Ten Creative Advertising Ideas
By Steve Gillman - 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
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
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
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
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.