The Power of Oprah’s Favorite Things

Oprah. Her name alone conjures up images of media dominance, star power and worldwide generosity in the form of big-ticket audience giveaways and large charity donations. The show is on during my workday so I rarely catch it, but when I do, it sucks me in for sure. And as part of her “farewell” season, the two-part show featuring her much-anticipated “Favorite Things” recently aired. As expected, hysteria, jumping and screaming ensued among audience members. And the social media-sphere lit up like Christmas with tweets like “wiping my tears” to “Caaaashmeeeere soooooooocks for EVERYONE!!!!!”

The clout that Oprah has with millions of consumers is astounding, so the selected products immediately fly off the shelves after each “favorite things” show. It’s an interesting PR situation– there were surely some negative online customer reviews or even critical mentions in media stories about these items prior to the show (hey, nothing’s perfect), but once Oprah gives her blessing, it erases any possible doubt in people’s minds as they flock to buy 20 of whatever she has deemed a favorite. The only way a company could fail would be if they weren’t equipped to field the mass influx of calls and website orders, which is a real possibility if they haven’t made plans for extra personnel and server bandwidth. The show even brought Groupon down for a few minutes with the Nordstrom Rack offer (a few of us Y&A’ers bought a few too).

By the way, my favorite of Oprah’s latest picks wasn’t the Breville Panini Press or even the seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise. No, I was salivating over the Beecher’s World’s Best Mac & Cheese.

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