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Marketing Beat: Stōk Cold Brew is Paying People to Quit Their Jobs


Screenshot from a Stōk-bbatical promotional video.

Forging a new path on the influencer marketing frontier, cold brew maker Stōk is offering three people $30,000 each to quit their jobs to pursue their wildest dreams.

The company — owned by the Canadian branch of the French multinational food corporation Danone — is calling the marketing campaign a Stōk-bbatical. Yet unlike an actual sabbatical, which involves paid leave from an employer, Stōk is making no promises about future employment upon the conclusion of the dream chase.

“Are you sitting at your desk struggling over what font to use or which formula to plug into your spreadsheet?” the company asks as part of the campaign. “It might finally be time to temporarily fire yourself and apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Seriously. There’s so much awesome out there in the world. What are you waiting for?!”

The company is accepting 300-word-maximum written proposals for prospective U.S.-based desk-ditchers, promising three winners the gift of $30,000, comprising $20,000 for paid travel expenses and a $10,000 stipend for an agreed-upon personal pursuit between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15.

The big catch is, it’s not really that personal at all. Apart from having a dream and having a valid passport (if required), the main qualifications for the Stōk-bbatical package are: a “love” for taking selfies and capturing photos for content; an enjoyment of “scrolling and posting on social media;” and an “impeccable use of the hashtag game.”

Nothing says personal freedom like being a marketing tool for #megafoodcorp.


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