One of the finest examples of acheiving a high return on investment with marketing dollars is the Spuds McKenzie campaign from Anheuser Busch. The 1987 marketing dog of the year was not without controversy. In addition to his fame and marketing success for Bud Light Beer, Spuds also racked up millions of dollars in merchandise sales. The pooch appeared on the David Lettermen and Joan Rivers shows and was Grand Marshal at Mardi Gras.
While marketing problems may have resulted – (think dogs, beer, kids), consider the fact that the canine moved millions of dollars worth of branded merchandise. People associated so strongly with the brand that they were willing to pay to promote it via shirts, hats, etc.
This is a great example of how media dollars can generate revenue of its own without degrading the brand.