Thursday, April 4, 2013

Clever Ways To Advertise With Promotional Imprinted Products

Spring is finally here & it's again time to bar-b-que. What does your grill look like after the long winter season? With this cheap & easy advertising campaign, a manufacturer of barbeque grills attracted attention to his products. Several street corners with sewer covers were chosen for the ads.  The question, "Need a new barbeque?" & the name & phone number of the company was then added. Anyone with a barbeque knows what it's like to have a grill that is beyond cleaning, so this was an effective campaign.

This new way of advertising was done on the streets in England. I don't think there's a city in the US that would allow you to write your message on their street corners.

Here is something Bounty paper towels did on the streets of New York & Santa Monica that grabbed the attention of everyone who passed.  On the streets of New York & Los Angeles, Bounty successfully demonstrated how well their product works.  The ad read: "What better way to demonstrate the superior absorbency of Bounty paper towels than with some big spills".

And they are talking about some seriously big spills. On Seventh Avenue in New York, busy commuters were greeted by a six foot tall coffee cup knocked over & spilling onto the sidewalk--complete with steam & the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  In Santa Monica, week-end shoppers found a seven foot, 500 pound ice cream bar melting on the Third Street Promenade. The message: "Bounty makes small work of BIG spills" was highly effective.
(Advertising agency: Publicis, New York, NY)

Ok, so most of us don't have a bigger than life budget for advertising but there are other ways to cleverly advertise your business & use promotional custom products as well. The whole idea is to be unique......grab the public's attention by doing more than simply handing out pens or t-shirts. If you find a unique way to distribute your marketing products, the image of your business will make a long-lasting impression.

If you are a realtor, instead of just sending out calendars with your photo on them, offer something out of the ordinary. Something that's a little bit more expensive than the normal promotional custom product to the first ten (20? 25?) customers who register at a showing with an agent.  A good example of this would be a flash drive--something everyone with a computer could use, but few people actually invest in them. If advertised correctly, chances are that many more than ten or twenty people will show up & may make an offer since they are already in the office. Plus, having these people actually in the office allows the owner to hand out other applicable, but less expensive promotional items & show what they have on the market.

Another way to capture the public's attention is to reach out to people waiting in line. Dubbed "wait marketing" by the industry, this concept centers around the concept that everyone will have to wait in line at some point. A small business owner can offer free promotional products & will usually be met with a favorable response because those in line have little to do but wait. One word of caution: many public places require exhibit permits to give out advertising material--no business owner should try this in a public environment without permission.

Here are three ways my customers used to stand out form their competition when handing out customized promotional items:

1. One of my customers goes to local soccer matches & high school football games when it rains & hands out plastic ponchos with his company name imprinted on the lightweight poncho. The poncho easily folds into a small pouch & can be worn at other times--showing off his logo at a variety of places. When the rain catches the spectators off guard, he's more popular then the players.

2. Another customer, an auto dealership, had an ad campaign, "Biggest Savings In The Valley". They bought plastic piggy banks with their logo & name on them to distribute among people who walked on to the lot. They put a coupon in each bank & hten displayed them throughout the dealership. Most coupons were for maintenance while a few were for bigger items like detailing or a free set of tires. You couldn't tell ahead of time what the coupon was for until you randomly picked your bank.

3. A chain of gyms bought beach balls with their logo vividly displayed & on hot summer days when the beaches were crowded, they had employees go to various ones in Los Angeles county.  The employees stood on a rise above the beach or on the pier & threw the balls out at the crowd. People clamored to get them & for the rest of that day & for weeks after, the gym's logo bounced along the Pacific coastline in LA.

 Don't have the time or the budget to get creative with your campaign? That's alright too. The bottom line is that you have promotional imprinted products at your disposal to distribute among your targeted audience at all times.  You've heard the saying: "out of sight, out of mind"......don't let that be you.

The whole idea is to get your company name out there & to be recognized. Pens travel from hand-to-hand like a dollar bill does, t-shirts are walking billboards & will go wherever you or your customer goes, shopping bags are seen by 100's of people monthly as they are used in grocery stores.  Letter openers, note pads & stress relievers are only a few of the items that are used regularily by people & every time they're used, your name & logo are in front of them.

Distribute, distribute, distribute & if you can come up with a clever idea then that's icing on the cake. It could be that one creative step that will make someone really notice you & call them to action.

Good luck!
Ronni Sherman

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