Working Out-of-the-Box Marketing into Your Business

Fake 'dirty water' vending machine
Unicef put guerilla marketing to the test on the streets by offering bottled water for only $1. The catch? Each is labeled a different disease and stated ‘You wouldn’t drink dirty water; no one should.’

When most people think of marketing, they think commercials, magazine ads, and billboards. But, in a world of people striving to be noticed, creativity is a must when it comes to successful marketing.

In today’s fast-paced and unforgiving world, if you have the same old schtick to present to people, no one will take the time or slow down enough to notice it. That’s why crazy, out-of-the-box marketing is something each business should take into consideration.

Public Displays of Advertising

Imagine you are spending a peaceful day people watching in the park. As you sit and enjoy the characters walking by, you notice people craning their heads to see some spectacle. Music shatters the park’s lull and the crowds of passers by break out into dance. Halfway through the routine, they shed their clothes to reveal a bright promo shirt underneath advertising the bistro that just opened down the street.

Flash mobs are a growing advertising ploy. They catch the attention of pretty much everyone who can view the event. No matter what they are advertising, a spectacle like this sticks in your mind. It will probably even be the highlight of conversation for most people. If you can get creative and find a way to work a public stunt into your marketing plan, the public will remember you whether they want to or not. Your stunt will cause buzz, word-of-mouth marketing and, in essence, get you some free advertising.

Say you can’t get any people interested in a flash mob. That’s okay. There are other forms of public stunts for you to try. For instance, simply having someone stand by your business or on a busy street with a promotional sign will draw the eyes of commuters. You could also have a mascot pass out coupons or promotional flyers.

Bringing Back Bartering

Before our current currency people exchanged goods for what they needed, and life was good. Money may not be something your business has an abundance of to use on a huge marketing plan, but you do have something you can use: your business. Whether it be a sale, coupons or a giveaway, free stuff is a great way to get people to notice your business. People love a good promotion.

You can also use your business to barter with other businesses. If you find a copywriter, graphic designer or marketing genius, offer up some of your products in return for a nicely written ad or some awesome graphics. You could also try to reach out to radio. Offer your product for them to use in giveaways for their listeners. Not only do you get your product out there, you get your business name and contact information to a wide audience as well. The best part? It’s free.

Going Guerilla

Guerilla marketing is one of the most understated marketing strategies among businesses, which is baffling. This form of marketing calls for tapping into the most creative part of your brain to promote your business. It is usually cost effective, depending on how extravagant you get. You could go from writing about your business on high-traffic sidewalks in chalk to something like the genius Unicef marketing tactic pictured above.

Inspiration for this type of marketing is peppered across the Internet. All you have to do is simply search and enjoy.

Awe Inspiring

Personally, I could spend hours checking out the amazing ideas that people have used to either market their product or bring an idea to light. Some companies even specialize in out-of-the-box marketing.

  • IWearYourShirt: People can be promotional, too. This company was started by a man with a dream to earn a living wearing T-shirts. In 2009, Jason Sadler sold an entire year of shirt-wearing advertising where he would promote a different company every day with just the shirt on his back, literally.
  • Bluemedia: Sometimes bigger is better. Bluemedia specializes in large format advertising. From gigantic signs to advertising on city buses, this company will definitely help you to get noticed. They even provide large format wrap advertising for buildings.
  • Street Advertising Services: Though based in the U.K., Street Advertising Services offers a unique perspective to advertising that I wish we saw more of in the US. Using the ground as their canvas, this company uses chalk art to promote your companies brand. Their work is definitely eye-catching, and not something the public will soon forget.

If you have a creative cell in your body, put it to use with crazy marketing. Bringing something fresh to the public will put news of your business into everybody’s mouths. All it takes is a little bit of inspiration, and maybe some caffeine to get the creative juices going. In the end, it will be worth it to replace the humdrum normalcy of most marketing today.

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