October 14th, 2010
06:28 AM GMT
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(CNN) - The emergence of the last miner from 69 days from beneath the Atacama Desert in Chile came after a 24-hour vigil by people glued to televisions and computer monitors around the world.

Online the spectacle was topped only by the World Cup, Wimbledon and Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration, according to Akamai’s Net Usage Index for News.

It was a huge day for Brand Chile, as the world watched in wonder as the South American nation rallied around the rescue. Chile President Sebastián Piñera – who personally greeted each miner coming out of the rescue capsule before a global audience – will take the nation’s newfound celebrity on the road later this week with a trip to London, Berlin and Paris where, according to the Financial Times, he will sell Chile’s image as Latin America’s best-managed economy.

It would be difficult to put a price on how much the good news exposure will be a boost to Chilean business abroad, tourism at home or even the numbers who will choose a Chilean red over an Australian or French vintage on their way home tonight (judging by the numbers on Facebook who said they planned to hoist a celebratory glass of Chile's finest, the nation's wine industry should enjoy a post-rescue windfall).

But the pair of Oakley sunglasses each miner wore provides a canary in the coalmine of the financial impact of the blanket media coverage.

As Oakley says on their website:

"The rescue team in Chile is relying on Oakley eyewear to protect the miners’ eyes when they are brought back to the surface.

"A few weeks ago, Oakley was approached by a Chilean journalist who was covering the rescue efforts and had recommended Oakley to the Chilean private health insurer, known as ACHS “Association Chilena de Seguridad”, for eyewear protection for the miners once they surfaced.

"Based on their requirements and full product specifications, Oakley donated 35 pairs of Oakley Radar with Black Iridium lenses…"

According to research by Front Row Analytics, the 35 pairs of $180 sunglasses donated to the rescue effort netted the company the equivalent of $41 million in television advertising time alone.

Talk about product placement. But will this big day for Brand Chile translate into big profits in the weeks and months ahead?

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. cbeasy

    That's nice the eyewear company get to advertise their product on what is suppose to be the greatest day for our nation. Praise be to God that all the miners are free and that they get to claim their lives again once. When I saw this, I cried and jumped for joy and thank God that he has kept them safe and secure from all dangers and be of good courage that the Lord sendeth their help on the way. I pray for them once more that God will bless their lives more abundantly and that the faith that kept them believing will be with them forever more for the rest of their lives. Halleujah and glory be to the righteous kingdom from Heaven above that the world witness a miracle touched by God. Praise him in advance. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    October 14, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  2. Felipe Ordoñez de Rivera (SPAIN)

    Of course this will generate huge sales for Oakley: everyone in Chile will want a pair, maybe not of the high-end "Radar" with the special lenses, but any Oakley. Good luck to them. I also hope that the American drilling company who drilled the rescue shaft gets due recognition in business growth. As for Chilean wine, damn right it's worth celebrating this amazing event with case-loads of the superb wines that Chile produces these days. The Argentine wine producers over the Andes in Mendoza will be green with envy. It's a pity that the Chilean wines are very hard to find here in Spain. And I always wear Ray-Ban sunglasses.

    October 14, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  3. Tracey reitz

    The goodwill that people all over the world have shown to the chilean Miners is real, and not to be underestimated, even if it has an opportunistic twist to it. I feel that people and companies first and foremost just wanted to be part of a good luck story. Helping to save lives feels a whole lot better than taking them. The positive shockwaves will reverberate for a long time to come. These miners, the rescuers, the chilean government and the people of Chile has given and will continue to give humanity a boost in the arm for hope, faith, belief and trust. – not only in others, but also in ourselves.
    I hope for a speedy recovery for the miners and their families, and that Chile receives in return all they have given to the whole world in these last months, days.

    October 14, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  4. B W Mitchell

    First & foremost: Thank God all the miners and rescue personnel are safe!!
    Now regarding sunglasses: The Oakley website reports that they were contacted via a Chilean journalist and the Minister of Mining to assist in this project and need. Sure it is an opportunity and sure Oakley is located in a country that is founded upon capitalism (for now). The USA is a country that understands sales and advertising...... so what? Oakley, in my opinion, did not take advantage of a near tragic event.. they stepped to the plate when their product was needed. It could have been Ray Ban or any other company asked to assist. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, as a result of this donation, a % of the sales profit and sales growth (which will happen) in Oakley products is donated by Oakley to global mine safety research? How many different prices have we seen reported on the sunglasses? Someone please get it right.

    October 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  5. Etuge

    If the world and Chile in particular celebrates then we should all thank God First for everything,because he made it possible.

    October 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  6. Rod

    Usually news from small, far away countries are mostly negative and so frame the perception of those around the world on what might be like to live, visit or invest in such a country.
    But in this case, being this such a positive and emotive news full of human virtues, comradeship and teamwork, where an outstanding organization led to the desired outcome, I believe the "brand Chile" will certainly benefit for the years to come.

    October 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  7. Issa

    CONGRATULATIONS to all Miners!! God bless you all!!! I was glued to my tv all through the rescue!!! Brave men with big faith!!! I am soo happy!! I cried and laughed for every miner who got out!! I am so happy that this has endded a happy ending!! Our Lord Jesus was with them and will always be!!

    It is amazing how the world united and became small for a humanitarian cause!! I admire the miners, Chile, people of Chile, the President... the drillers and not to forget the brave men who rescued the miners!!

    I hope all will learn a good lesson from this accident, and focus on the safety of the miners!! I think they should close this mine, really bad record with accidents and violations... they should put the owners in jail and make them pay huge ammount of money for the miners and their families!!

    Well done Chile!!! Congratulations to the miners and their families!! God Bless You All!!

    October 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  8. ramo

    Cool, oakley, a company worth millions of dollars gets press all over the world for some 30-dollars to make sunglasses when the miners will have to deal with physical and psychological issues for years.

    October 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  9. paulibarahona

    I'm chilean, I live in santiago, and i can say that no one here has ever metioned the oakley lenses or the profit on the wine after the rescue.
    not even one media (and they all have been covering the whole process from the very first day).

    we are all just deeply touched, blissful and proud for the courage of our miners, and the work done by our leaders.

    The 33 miners are heroes for our tiny, though strong nation, cause they represent all that's worth to us, and the best that we can be: closed to each other, generous, persistent, serene, competent, and resilient.

    Plus, this rescue operation is the best thing that has happened to us in a long, long time. just to mention, remember feb 27th?

    So belive me when I tell you that at least we, the chilean civil people, are not thinking about profits right now.


    October 14, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  10. Condorito

    Oakley or no Oakley it was great planning and flawless performance from a fantastic Chile team that borught it all about. Not God, Jesus or Babalu Ayeh. And the character of the miners....Puro Chile. Congratulation to all involved.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:49 am |
  11. andy healey

    A fantastic event and a massive change for Chile's international image – however sell your soul to the media and it may turn around and get you later.
    Someone on here mentioned Feb 27th but most readers will not even know what is being referred to. That was the date of the devastating earthquake in the south of Chile.
    Some of the press pack in Chile might take time to notice that almost nothing has been done in the reconstruction effor since thent. Little rebuilding has taken place and whole communities are suffering trauma with no help.

    October 15, 2010 at 7:47 am |
  12. Kenny Jaworski

    October 17, 2010 at 4:58 am |
  13. noeleen murphy

    I've been enjoying Chilean wines for years. They are top class – and I live in France with the best!

    October 17, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  14. ish modrijan

    Nice people with big hearts can do good anywhere for anyone at anytime without any notice,It does not matter what's the Grand total.When men humbled themselves the impossible is possible with with God always.It's that simple.

    October 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
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