Crazy Marketing Ideas

<img class=”size-full wp-image-1384 alignleft” src=”” alt=”download” width=”275″ height=”183″ />Any small business knows that marketing expenditures are hard to justify. The most cost-effective marketing is an idea that can be spread by word-of-mouth. The benefit of this type of campaign, often called guerrilla marketing, is that, done right, it can engage Facebook friends, Twitter followers, local press, and national media.

The best ideas for a guerrilla marketing campaign are not expensive. YouTube videos made with smartphone cameras and cheap props can generate as much buzz as a $1 million TV ad campaign. Staging the campaign at the right time, in the right place, can also up your visibility.

We present 10 recent marketing campaigns from marketers big and small that all had one thing in common: they mastered the art of getting attention.

Global Warming Awareness Campaign

Objective: Bring attention to the issue of global warming.
Payoff: Coverage in hundreds of blogs and news media outlets.

Small businesses can take a lesson from nonprofits and advocacy groups, which often make up for small marketing budgets by creating offbeat campaigns.

The city of Vancouver got a dose of global warming reality when Offsetters, a Canadian organization that advises companies and individuals on how to offset carbon emissions, hung life rafts off the sides of buildings, set up manned lifeguard stands in city parks with “Lifeguard On Duty” signs, and strapped life jackets under park benches with advisory signs for passersby.

The point: That global warming, unchecked, will flood coastal cities. The execution didn’t cost much, but created high shock value that got the attention of local and national media. And the idea was completely tied into the mission of the organization.

Colgate Ice Cream Sticks

Objective: Promote Colgate products and overall dental hygiene.
Payoff: Publicity and significant sales gains in markets where the promotion ran.

Ad agency Young and Rubicam’s Thailand office came up with a clever reminder for kids that shows what can happen when one marketer reaches out to another to collaborate on a good idea. Colgate approached a local ice cream manufacturer to have sticks shaped like a toothbrush inserted into its ice cream bars. As kids licked down to the end, they saw Colgate’s logo and a reminder, “Don’t Forget.”

A whimsical message from Colgate and a public service effort by the ice cream maker gave both companies a PR boost.

Copenhagen Zoo Bus Ads

15682809Objective: Drive patronage to the zoo for a special exhibit without relying too heavily on expensive TV, radio, and outdoor advertising.
Payoff: Attendance surpassed projections by 30 percent.

The Copenhagen Zoo wanted to promote its new reptile exhibit and drive ticket sales. Take out some ads, right? Or, the zoo’s marketing office could employ the creative capability of graphic printers by using giant wraps. Shrink-wrapped city buses in Copenhagen gave the impression that they were being squeezed by a giant boa constrictor.

Working with city transit authorities on clever schemes like this to turn buses and subway cars into rolling message boards is easily done these days, especially as many cities are looking for new sources of revenue. And an ad that moves around the city all day will be seen by everyone in town.



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