Food and beverage container maker Thermos relied on PR and creative support from Spong as it shipped hot coffee to contest winners and journalists in what The Atlantic dubbed an "extraordinary PR stunt."

thermosTo promote its Stainless King beverage container and its claim to keep fluids hot or cold for 24 hours, the company shipped coffee in May to Facebook fans from a San Francisco coffee house, following up with another shipment to journalists in July from a Minneapolis coffee purveyor as part of its "Overnight Coffee Challenge."

Robinson Meyer, an associate editor covering technology for The Atlantic, was one of the hot coffee-in-a-Thermos recipients, and offered kudos to the marketing maneuver in a piece for the magazine online that traced the route of the coffee -- which arrived hot -- from Minneapolis to Washington, where Meyer is based.

"Now you've been warned: This is an article about a PR stunt," wrote Meyer. "It was, however, an extraordinary PR stunt -- well-executed, conceptually simple, and bubbling with zeitgeist. And I accepted the hot coffee for reasons beyond my love of roasted arabica."

Spong won the Thermos account last year and scored a previous hit with its #ThermosThursday social media PR campaign.