While at the Event & Arena Marketing Conference, I went to a discussion on grass roots and alternative advertising. The speakers were Mark Gianturco and Scott Becker from Neoterics. They are an agency that specializes in this type of marketing.
Their big street marketing concept involves the use of Segways. The thought process is that as they roll down the sidewalk they will attract attention. Makes perfect sense. Now deck out the Segway with an advertising message and give the person driving the Segway flyers or samples and you got yourself a great rolling marketing tool.
Other street advertising that was discussed included bike taxi’s and wrapped vehicles. My thought is that these are not as effective anymore because people ignore them. You have to keep ideas fresh. People tune things out very quickly.
The guys from Neoterics discussed street decals. They showed some examples of 3D decals. They were pretty cool. They noted that these have a strong visual appeal and strong word of mouth. From the slides they showed us I would agree. The coolest example was the decal at the bottom of the stairs. While you look from the top of the stairs, you see a person laying on the floor at the bottom. It was made to look as if she fell down the stairs. That will get your attention!
They have come up with a new way to use street teams. They made them look like “big” fans of the team or band and had them drive all around town creating “excitement”. In one example they showed how this street team received TV coverage for a “bunch of fans” driving all around town.
Other forms of alternative advertising included illumination on the sides of buildings with logos or artwork. The TD Banknorth Garden was doing this during the NBA Championships and was shown several times on TV. Mobile billboards can be very boring. But they showed an example that I liked. They took a mobile billboard with the background that actually matched the exact location. Then they placed something “crazy” on the board they made it look like a tornado was coming right at you. The visual was cool.
Hockey Team Idea: Place a huge block of ice with a hockey stick frozen into it. Run a contest where the person who can pull out the stick will win a 10 game package. This is a take off on the story “The Sword in the Stone”. This would make a great radio promotion. I suggest setting this up somewhere with maximum visibility.