Crazy Times Call for Crazy Ideas

Competition is brutal and the economy can make it even tougher.  Sometimes you need to think WAY outside the box in order to have a real crazy breakthrough idea.  After all, if everyone says your idea is crazy……. you may be onto something.  Here are a couple of examples of crazy ideas that worked for business.

1.  If you live in Lodi, California and are bald, and it happens to be Wednesday, it is your lucky day.  If you go eat at Gary’s Uptown Restaurant and Bar and you are bald, your meal is free.  If you have half your hair, you get a 50 percent discount.  This crazy stunt grabbed the attention of the media, landing Gary and his unique discount in a variety of national publications.  Business soared as a result.

2.  To get people to open new accounts, Bank of America started a program called, Dig for Change.  To promote it, they plopped a 20 foot couch stuffed with coins in the middle of New York’s Grand Central Terminal and invited people to Dig for Change.  The concept expanded to malls in other cities, with sports heroes showing up to get in on the dig in some places.  A sofa, or any item, placed in a setting where it typically does not belong can’t help but grab attention and when you capture consumer’s attention, your on your way to getting their business.

3.  Burger King had wallets with small loaded gifts cards placed all over big cities such as New York, Chicago, and others.  They were placed on the ground in Times Square, in parking lots, on subways, and more public places.  The result was that people would pick them up and tell their friends that they found a wallet with a BK gift card in it.  By the way, the wallet had no personal contents.  This would bring the person with the card into Burger King to use it and hopefully they would buy more than what was on it.  Burger King also benefits by the word of mouth of people telling their friends of their good fortune and it serves as reminder to people who find the wallets and hear about it that they should visit BK if they have not been there in a while, creating brand awareness and a great word of mouth story.

The key to all these examples is that it does not take a lot of money to come up with a crazy idea to boost business but you need to free your thinking.  What can you do as a planner, supplier, and more to break the mold of what is expected in our industry and catch people’s attention?  Remember it is better to be resourceful, than full of resources why is often why having lots of money is not always the answer.

Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment Services


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