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Need Publicity for Your Mall? Hire a "Celebrity"

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Mall owners spend thousands of dollars each year to generate publicity for their properties, including organizing celebrity book-signings and special appearances. But maybe they don't have to go through all the trouble necessary to get a commitment from the stars of "The Hunger Games" or "Twilight" or the latest tween sensation to come to their mall. Maybe all they need to do is hire a little-known performer with a sense of humor and a lot of confidence.

Just check out this story of an actor in Virginia convincing everyone at the MacArthur Center Mall, including security guards and store staff, that he is a big-shot celebrity. All he did was enter the mall with a small entourage and a certain attitude, and within a very short time shoppers were asking to snap pictures of him while the mall provided a security staff to follow him around. Some stores even closed their doors to the general public so the actor, under the fictional celebrity name of Thomas Elliot, could shop without being disturbed by his "fans." His appearance even sparked a slew of sighting comments on Twitter.

The actor, whose real name is Thomas Cramer, along with his performance troup Chill Hill Media, did all this as part of a social experiment.

Watch the video here and keep him in mind when you are trying to create buzz for your mall!

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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