Off The Wall Marketing/Canadian Copywriter

An off-the-wall promoter creates unique, memorable experiences to keep a company's name front and centre in the consumer's mind. To do this, s/he thinks "outside the box" while still "remaining in it", if you know what we mean. In other words, you must analyze who your customers are and their needs (which is conventional marketing), but you must also reach them in a refreshing way (which is off-the-wall

promotion). Remember that a promotion is an event to create short term sales, however, if your promotion is memorable enough, you can use your promotion to create an overall image.
First, you must create a niche

A niche? What's a niche? A niche is the same as a nephew, except she's female! Okay, okay, stop your groaning. It seemed funny to us at the time. (Sheesh. Tough audience.) Anyway, if you want to understand what we're talking about here, let's take the experience of a man named Warren Avis. When Warren Avis was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force during the Big One, that's World War II for all you newbies, he often had difficulty finding ground transportation after his plane landed. So frustrated was he that he started to store his motorcycle in his plane's bomb bays, just so he'd have something for transportation during his off-time. After the war, he noticed he was having the same problem when he was a businessman. Suddenly, he was struck by a brainstorm. He decided to put car rentals into major airports and in highly visible areas of the city all over the world. To promote his new service, he hired women for the counter, offered new cars for rent and even pioneered the new "credit card" idea. From the get-go, his creativity was evident in the way he convinced airplane execs to put pamphlets about his car business in their planes. (the magazine was a forerunner of today's in-flight magazines). Just by doing this, Warren Avis advertised his new car-rental concept to thousands of travellers. Suddenly, Avis was going where no other marketer had gone before. As the president of his company, he was a perfect marketer. He saw a need and he filled it...AND, like all successful marketers, he wasn't shy about promoting his enterprise.



Be memorable

Give your business a signature -- something the consumer will remember. It doesn't matter if it's kitschy. Your only goal is to avoid bad taste. Then again -- what the heck is so wrong with bad taste? Bad taste can get people talking!! For example, to get the attention of passing motorists, some American dairies housed themselves in huge "milk bottles". Hot dog and hamburger joints operated out of massive "hot dogs". They weren't hard to miss. If you own a television, there's no doubt you have seen "zany" TV commercials for your local car dealership. These people will do anything to get your attention -- from destroying cars to dressing up as furry animals. This is, of course, in advertising but the real place to get noticed is in "promotion". For example, a manufacturer sent out a video demonstration to the media packaged in an aluminum tray and called it a "TV dinner". A recent graduate in Public Relations sent out inexpensive tape recorders that he bought for about fifteen dollars and paired each one with a six-minute cassette; in the tape he introduced himself and told his listener that he wanted to be "different". A dental group wanted to thank patients for their patience with any problems they may have experienced during a time when the practice converted their computer systems. So they sent o ut a box whose label explained that there were no "half-baked" excuses for the problems. When opened, the package revealed six cookies, and yet another message explaining that the conversion proved to be "one tough cookie".

A Boston accounting firm, where one of the partners is Irish sends out green bagels a week before St. Patrick's Day to the media, and on the holiday to clients and vendors.



NAPA (National Auto Parts Association) certainly stands out on the roadways of the nation. Somebody had the brilliant idea of putting a large cap on their delivery trucks. The result: Who doesn't know NAPA? Roll Up The Rim To Win is a promotion from Tim Horton's Donut Shops (probably the brightest the company has ever done).The promotion was the first roll-up-the-rim promotion in North America -- and has since proved itself to be a major money maker for Tim Horton's Coffee Shops.