Friends were in LA visiting from Canada. We drove to the Marina.
Friends from Canada: What’s that dancing guy doing over there? Is he on drugs?
Me: He’s advertising the apartments right there. He flips the sign around and throws it in the air to direct attention to the open house at the complex.
Local businesses need help with their marketing, yet they can’t afford the services of the top marketing agencies. This is a great opportunity for you to get hired as their marketing consultant. There are several ways to convince them you are the person for the job.
1. Come up with creative marketing ideas on the spot. For example, tell the hot dog cart guy you’ll pull him around town behind your motorcycle every Friday while he free throws hot dogs to the noon-town business crowd on the sidewalks.
2. If the business owner is over 40, stress your experience with old media. If they are under 40, tell them you will create their own app.
3. Stress the art of positioning. That means you create a better lie than the market leaders.
4. Look for creative ways to promote the business. It’s old news to have one of those blow up, dancing man characters on the roof of the business, and rolling billboards are also common now. How about combining them and having a rolling, dancing man touring the city?
5. You can also co-promote local retailers:
– Combine a bowling alley with a bait and tackle shop.
– Do a joint venture with a lingerie shop and a flower store.
– Match the local “Hillary in 2016” campaign with a lie-detection service.
I noticed billboard advertisers try to appeal to Angelenos as if we all worked in show business. One bank promoted their abundance of ATM locations with the line “Like Paparazzi to Celebrities. Around Every Corner.”
Is that it all it takes to appeal to Angelenos. Are we that shallow and dumb? Yes.
In that spirit, here are some other mindless ad campaigns to appeal to people in Los Angeles.
– Our service is faster than Gloria Allred rushing to the nearest TV camera!
– Joe’s Pizza! Hotter than the waitresses at the Ivy!
– We wouldn’t think of walking either! Geno’s Auto and Body gives you a free rental while we fix your car.
– Tired of the nepotism in the industry? We’re hiring and all of our relatives are useless!
– Need a shrink? When you are more feeling more delusional than Kanye West, give us a call.
– Spirituality is important at Tom’s Body Shop. Our mechanics become one with your car. Namaste.
– Too many In-N-Out Burgers? Call Jim the Personal Trainer—workouts so hard you can eat all the Double Doubles you want.
– Ready for a real relationship? Try UltraFantasticMatchQuest.com. More effective than getting a new agent.
Ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky has an interesting and funny show on live Web site Justin.tv. “Fearless Q A” stars Alex Bogusky and another Crispin guy answering questions people tweet to them from Twitter. If you like stories from behind the scenes in advertising check it out here.