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Ashton Kutcher: Closet PR Genius

As a public relations professional, it’s my job to stay up-to-date on current events and the daily major news stories, and I particularly love when I stumble across a story that involves some genius PR work. There’s nothing I admire more than a clear example of an excellent marketing idea coming to life, and recently I learned that one of my favorite actors just happens to be brilliant at leveraging a PR opportunity (that, or he has an amazing PR team behind him, but either way, mad props). I’m talking about Ashton Kutcher. By now, most people know that the guy who is famous for playing not-so-bright characters is actually a technology investment wiz. Kutcher was an early investor in some of Silicon Valley’s most successful concepts, including Uber and Airbnb, and alongside his business parter, he’s turned $30 million into $250 million solely by making smart investments.

That said, it really shouldn’t be any surprise that Kutcher is smart enough to capitalize on a free opportunity to market his latest investment to millions – and highlight his philanthropic efforts in the process. This week, Kutcher went on Ellen DeGeneres’ show and surprised her with a $4 million donation to her wildlife charity on behalf of cryptocurrency startup Ripple, one of his latest investments. Here’s the catch: instead of presenting Ellen with giant check, he instead had Ellen push a button on his phone that instantaneously transferred millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency to the charity instantly.

So, not only did Kutcher gain goodwill by making a massive donation to a great cause, he also demonstrated to Ellen’s millions of viewers the ease and convenience of utilizing Ripple. Not only that, but he also instantly got Ripple a slew of PR in every national media outlet, knowing that his large donation was going to be widely covered. Below is an example of just a few of the amazing PR hits Kutcher locked in simply by taking a few minutes out of his Ellen segment to essentially do an on-air demonstration of why consumers should use Ripple. Like I said, the guy is a pro.