Ringling Bros. Circus is currently playing in my city. In case you are not aware, I worked for many years (and several years ago) for them as a promoter. To this day, I stop what I’m doing when something about the circus pops up on my TV screen.
The reason I bring up Ringling is because I noticed they seem to be getting back to their marketing roots. They seem to be pulling out some of the old playbook. I think this is great! The circus is all about that.
This morning the local TV news station was showing footage of the elephant salad bar publicity event. This is an oldie but goodie event. When half a dozen elephants show up in the middle of the street and start eating salad and bread, you will get media attention. The elephant walk was just a few days before and it also still attracts the TV and print cameras. You just can’t buy this kind of marketing.
During the news story on the elephant salad bar, they also brought up that one of the elephants had painted a picture which is being auctioned off for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This made me smile with pride. You see, 20 years ago I first came up with the elephant painting idea after reading a news story about elephants drawing and painting at a zoo in upstate NY. When I first brought it up, everybody laughed and said “no way”. Some of those who laughed are the same people who came up with the elephant poop giveaway idea. Today, elephant painting is part of the Ringling playbook and they are raising money for good causes. This is what publicity is all about.
Have a great weekend!