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Ten Creative Advertising Ideas

By - 2007

The advertising ideas that follow are specifically about finding new places and ways. It's an area that has always been full of potential for innovation. An article I recently read about a company called Show Media prompted me to write this page on creative ideas.

3,000 taxis in New York carry advertising placed there by Show Media. Clients (which include Levis, Nike and other big companies) are charged $200 per month for each ad, and Show Media pays $100 to the cab company per month. leaving enough room for healthy profits. Owner Laurence Hallier says that a typical campaign cost $40,000 per month for exposure on 200 taxis, and is seen by 25% of the city's residents daily.

The article got me to thinking about what other creative advertising ideas and opportunities are out there. I am coming up with the following short as I write this, and without research, some of these ideas may have already been put into practice.

Audio Advertising - An ad automatically plays as people walk by certain locations. Clients could be charged by the number of times an ad plays (they get a good deal when more than one pedestrian happens to be there to hear the ad). A company could also sell the actual machines to specific businesses to use as they wish. For example, a restaurant might have a recording that is triggered by each passer-by, saying something like, "Hi there! Come on in right now and you'll get a free drink with your lunch."

Residential Sign Advertising - Although I'm not sure about the legality of this in most places, many yards have signs supporting political candidates or announcing that some company just replaced the windows or did the siding, so why not have paid advertising too? The home owners who participate get a monthly check for each sign. Advertisers pay twice that, leaving room for a profit for the company that provides this service.

Ads On Street Signs - Many cities are looking for additional revenue, so how about placing advertising on street signs to provide that money? The city gets the monthly revenue, but in addition to that the company that arranges this might have to make new signs for the city, saving it this expense.

Car Ads - This is being done in some areas already, but what's needed is a simple system for organizing in from both ends. Ad buyers can call or visit, and a driver can pull in, have a sign attached to his or her car, and get a check for keeping it there for a month or a year.

Flying Ads - Some areas have consistent breezes, so it might be possible to have kites flying most of the day with large ads visible on each. Of course beaches are a natural location, but this may work in other places.

Murals on Buildings - This could be an opportunity for a budding artist who need to make some money. Find an ugly building and ask the owner how much he would charge to have a nice advertising mural painted on its side. Find advertisers who will pay enough to leave a decent profit and you're in business. The building owner might have to be offered final approval on the planned mural and should agree to leave it there for at least a year.

Movie Box Ads - This isn't about advertising on the box in which a DVD is sold. But many movie rental stores have their own blank boxes (usually plastic) that they send out all of their movies in. They could sell advertising on those for local products or services (a restaurant, for example), or products available nationally as well. A busy store sends out hundreds of movies a day, so this could provide a lot of exposure for the advertisers and therefore a decent source of revenue for the store.

Scent Advertising - Pump the smell of fresh cooked food onto busy sidewalks, alongside a sign or audio ad promoting a restaurant. If you think about how much more you spend grocery shopping when you are hungry, you can see the value to a restaurant of stimulating that hunger.

Plant Ads - People's bushes could be trimmed into the shape of a company logo, or a company might offer to care for a row of bushes that decorate a road in exchange for trimming them how they want. Plant and flower beds could be grown in the pattern of a logo or even to spell out slogans. Farmers fields near airports could have ads cut into them to be seen by plane passengers flying overhead ("Stay at our hotel when you land").

Advertising Games - Word-of-mouth advertising could be boosted by making it into a contest. Let the participants sign up online and get a number which they give out with their recommendation for the product or service. The one who refers the most customers in a year wins a big prize.

These are ten ways to advertise that I thought of in the forty-five minutes it took to write this page. You might want to brainstorm a few to add to the list.



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