5 Crazy Marketing Ideas: Do They Really Work?

The ability to think outside the box is important for marketing teams that want to grab consumers’ attention and convert sales. But when does creativity border on crazy? The strategies that work for one company can prove to be a total flop for another. You must know your client, his or her customer base, and how you can help.

When you really need to stand out from the crowd, it’s necessary to step away from common marketing techniques and use a method that evokes greater response. The marketing ideas shared below might seem crazy to you, or they may spark a wild idea of your own. One thing’s for sure, to stay ahead of the game, you’ve got to be able to think outside of the box.

Fun Twist on Night at the Museum

The movie Night at the Museum tells the tale of a third-shift security guard and what happens when all the museum exhibits come to life each night. In Month at the Museum, one Chicago museum ran a contest to increase patronage among the 20 to 40s age range. Entries came in from around the world, including the required written or video essay. The prize they were all clamoring for was the opportunity to live in the museum for an entire month.

Capitalizing on a Great Ad

Do you have an advertisement that’s already drawn some excitement? Take it to the next level by bringing the ad to life. That’s what one beer company did when they recreated the walk-in, beer-filled refrigerator depicted in a commercial. Consumers were given the chance to walk through a real beer-filled, walk-in refrigerator while taking pictures and videos. Afterward, they posted their pics and videos on various social media sites, resulting in further advertisement for the beer company.

A Surprise in the Middle


The element of surprise can be an effective way to grab attention. Imagine the surprise on consumers’ faces as they finished their popsicle or ice cream treat on a stick only to discover that the stick is actually a toothbrush! That’s what one dental company did to raise awareness for dental hygiene.

Using a Little Bit of Shock Value

offsetters global warming

In an effort to raise awareness about the effects of global warming, one organization placed life preservers and vests under park benches and hung life rafts from skyscrapers. Their point was that if things continue the way they are, cities will experience severe flooding. The campaign got attention with its shock value.

Challenging the Competitor

If you’re confident in your position as number one, you can gain a lot of attention by challenging the competition. That’s what one car company did. The small UK-based company had successfully grown its customer base in America with outside-the-box marketing techniques. To achieve further growth, they challenged Porsche to a race. Porsche denied, making the other car company a winner.

Choosing Out-of-the-box Ideas That Work for You

The purpose of marketing is to get the attention of consumers, pulling them away from the competition and converting sales. While you wouldn’t want crazy marketing stunts to be the norm, using them occasionally can be fruitful. Develop a balanced approach that includes tried and true marketing techniques, while supplementing your plan with occasional attention-grabbers. Create your crazy marketing plan with demographics in mind so you don’t sacrifice your audience in the process. The ultimate goal of a wild marketing scheme is similar to every other marketing ad…to draw the attention of potential customers and lead them to purchase the product or service.

Contributed by Mary Ylisela from Touchpointdigital.co.uk, a specialist media and advertising agency.

40 Hilarious Chalkboard Signs That’ll Make You Look Twice

So you’re a small business owner huh? You have one of those funny little chalkboard signs out on the sidewalk to attract customers but no one seems to take the bait. Maybe you should follow the lead of some of these bars and get a little sassy with your signage!

Often times these chalkboard signs are used to promote daily specials or happy hour times. Ok, it seems like only bars use chalkboard signs. But why is that? Chalkboard signs allow you to test out different messaging on a daily basis so you can see what really speaks to your potential customers. I’m honestly surprised more small business owners don’t use these! It’s guerrilla marketing in the true sense of the word.

While humor and sarcasm wont work for all small business owners, it will at least put a smile on someones face as they are walking by. Below are some of the most hilarious chalkboard signs i’ve seen!

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Touchwood Design Creates Acoustic iPhone Docking System From Wood

One way to gain new business is to appreciate the current clients you already have. Touchwood Design, a design agency based in Ontario, knows exactly how to show appreciation of their clients in the most creative way.

The agency teamed up with folks down the road at Mono Centre Salvage & Wood and created a unique gift that spoke to the character of the agency by creating a custom powerless acoustic docking system for the iPhone. The product was made using 100-year-old wood salvaged from a local barn which made the product cheap with a unique spin.

The gift certainly spoke to the agencies creative minds and also was a nice little gift to appreciate their clients.

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Orange Bicycles Scattered Throughout San Diego

Orangetheory Fitness created a guerrilla campaign to market its gym opening on Girard. They scattered 30 orange bicycles around La Jolla. It was inevitable for people to notice it. It’s orange. Outside of the fruit and the sky, hardly anything can get away with orange without looking like, well… a fruit.

If it was attention Orangetheory Fitness wanted, they got it. The questions is whether or not they got the right kind of attention and if it was attention that drove people to their brand.

The Point of Guerrilla Campaign

It’s called a guerrilla campaign because it is supposed to disturb the norm. It is supposed to stand out from the crowd. It is supposed to be different from the environment. The orange bikes achieved all those. After all, it is orange. It’s a given.

However, a guerrilla campaign is also supposed to engage the public. It is supposed to draw them in. It is supposed to lead them to a relationship with your brand. The orange provided a mystery but they failed to capitalize on the curiosity.

Attention Is Only The First Step

The orange bike was a great hook but they should have followed through. The one thing Orangetheory Fitness failed to recognize is people’s short attention span and lack of patience. People are not going to research for answers, not when it comes to bikes at least. They saw it, wondered what it was about, didn’t know and proceeded with their life.

Orangetheory Fitness should have allowed people to interact with the bike. Instead of being a “sculpture”, they should have made it an interactive device that will allow people to discover the fun in doing fitness activities. They should have allowed people to do something fun or funny or both. They should have used the bikes as a door to their brand.

Orangetheory Fitness has, in fact, a very good unique selling proposition. Users rotate between treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training and free weights—all while wearing a heart rate monitor to ensure an optimum workout. It makes the training more personal. Since everyone’s body is different and responds to different training tools differently, the gym is able to adjust according to what will be most effective to one’s body.

That USP got lost in the orange bike.


There are several takeaways:

  1. In all fairness to Orangetheory Fitness, they were able to launch a simple teaser with minimal budget using their own brand name.
  2. Marketers should remember that an effective marketing campaign doesn’t end with the teaser. If you are going to tease the public, make sure you follow through.
  3. Don’t forget what you are trying to sell.


Chasing The Heat With The Hunter’s “Refresh-O-Meter”

For Hunter’s 25th birthday celebration, they partnered with award-winning experiential marketing agency, Offlimit Communications, and created the “refresh-o-meter” campaign which rewarded loyal Hunter’s nightclub patrons when they purchased Hunter’s and scanned a unique QR code on the bottom of the coaster.

For every 50 Hunter’s drinks ordered, it raised the temperature of the club by 1.0 degree. Once the thermostat hit 25 degrees celsius, a round of Hunter’s limited edition was provided to everyone in the club.

In total, the Refresh-O-Meter encouraged the sale of 27,522 units to date… and counting.

It’s a great campaign that rewarded loyal Hunter’s customers and brought on new ones. I’d just feel bad for the other people in the club as the temperature constantly got raised.

What do you think of this campaign?

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