Marketing Where You Least Expect It


We continue to be bombarded with advertisements wherever we go. So much that we have begun to ignore them. We fast forward through commercials or if you don’t have a DVR you might just mute the TV because the volume of commercials is so much louder than the actual TV show. People have even stopped looking at billboards because they are looking down on their phones, instead of the road and we have trained ourselves  to ignore the right-hand side of Facebook and Google so we can avoid the ads.

Consumers now expect to see advertisements online and elsewhere, which is why the best kind of marketing happens where you least expect it.

Every May I try and check out the 9th Avenue Food Festival in New York City. It is one of my favorite Spring events. It runs on 9th Avenue starting at 57th Street to 42nd Street and features many local eateries.  The 15 block long food festival is filled with everything from empanadas and Thai food to burgers and sausage with peppers sandwiches,  to deep-fried Oreos, cannolis, and lots more. Anything and everything fatty, salty, greasy and delicious. 

During the 2015 festival, something caught my eye.  About half way down the festival, when indigestion and heartburn was probably kicking in for many, there was a big inflated Rolaids bottle; think bouncy castle style. You could not miss it. The staff at the Rolaids booth were giving away samples and people love free samples. Everyone was pushing, shoving and grabbing, just to get some Rolaids. It doesn’t usually matter what it is. If a vendor was giving away samples of rat poison people would still flock to them.

It was the perfect placement in an unexpected place.    This would never work anywhere else. Not at a  music festival, a car show, or an arts and crafts festival. It had to be at a food festival.

When thinking about marketing and advertising, targeting is the most important aspect. Consider not only going where your customers or potential customers are but where they wouldn’t expect it. It may just lead to some new customers.

*This article is by no means an endorsement or representation for Rolaids or Chattem, a subsidiary of Sanofi.

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