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Follow and connect with Zynga (Twitter/Facebook) and American Airlines (Twitter/Facebook).

That laughing you heard earlier this week? That was Zynga on their way to the bank in advance of their company’s IPO next week. Alec Baldwin was on an American Airlines flight this week and had a disagreement with one of its flight attendants over the hugely popular game Words With Friends:

There was an uproar over this, with American issuing a statement calling Baldwin, “violent, abusive and aggressive”. Which, given how famously short the actor’s temper can be, isn’t a total surprise. American Airlines handled this about as well as it could. Of COURSE it has to put its foot down. Despite the fact that, you know, there’s no real reason we need to turn off our electronics on a plane. But, we digress. (A quick note. We’d fully intended on linking to Alec Baldwin’s Twitter feed, but he deactivated it on Thursday.)

Zynga, being the brilliant people they are, seized a moment of opportunity and launched a campaign that puts its brand awareness at an all time high less than a week before its IPO.

Three words that sum up everything all of us who are obsessed with Words With Friends are thinking, “Just let me play my game.” Zynga has made MILLIONS of dollars off of selling digital games. Be it Farmville, poker, Words With Friends or any other of its games, Zynga is the foremost brand in social gaming. It was presented with a golden opportunity; its brand at the center of a huge story and there’s no way it came out looking bad. Bloomberg is estimating Zynga stock to be sold between $8.50 and $10 a share; the high end of that values the company at $7 billion. That’s a TON of sheep on Farmville. Or whatever it is you buy on Farmville.

Obviously, this isn’t a situation you can orchestrate, but Zynga did exactly what it should have done to place its brand in the highest profile mere days before it goes public. It’s difficult to say exactly how much the company will benefit from this, but one thing’s for sure. We  had no idea “Qi” was an acceptable word until we played Words With Friends. What’s the strangest word you’ve ever seen played in Words With Friends? Let’s commiserate our devastating losses in the comments.