At Mad 4 Marketing, we’re always wary of resorting to gimmicks when we’re building a campaign for your business. Although it can be fun to come up with extremely creative and off-the-wall ideas to help you get the word out, at the end of the day these brainstorming sessions are often best just to get the juices flowing and then can be scaled back to more reasonable ideas. But that’s not always the case. For example, guerrilla marketing endeavors can be classified as marketing stunts. These are often a popular and practical way to catch consumers’ attention and make a lasting impression. The important thing is knowing the distinction between what will work and what’s over the top. This takes the discretion of a knowledgeable advertising agency with a diverse skill set, from traditional to avant garde media and marketing applications.

One of the main reasons for concern is that marketing stunts are unpredictable. Since you’re ideally seeking a one-of-a-kind event or attraction, this means there’s no way to know entirely what to expect. There aren’t analytics to see how successful a similar promotion has been in the past and anticipate its reaction with the public. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be done correctly. It just means that it’s very important to estimate cost (in terms of money and time) vs. reward, and make sure everyone involved understands and approves the plan so that expectations are aligned. Nailing key messaging throughout the course of the event is vital, since once of the key pitfalls to avoid with marketing stunts is burying relevant ideas within the framework of comedy, outlandishness or absurdism just to make an impact. At the very least, if a stunt doesn’t go over as well as you’d hoped, it’s good to know that the brand’s name and core essence do get out.

Product placement is one of those obvious marketing ploys that audiences typically don’t like to see – or don’t like to be aware of, at least. Then again, if it didn’t work it probably wouldn’t be all over your television and movie screens. Morgan Spurlock’s most recent documentary, “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” explores the phenomenon of product placement by interviewing business execs and artists about the growing trend – while simultaneously soliciting the movie to sponsors. He actually makes an interesting point about the gimmick of product placement, however, by noting that he doesn’t consider it selling out because he maintained creative control. Similarly, if you’re going to go for a gimmicky marketing stunt, it’s important that those receiving it feel like it maintains some integrity and is more about addressing them and appealing to them than it is about doing something for your own benefit and bank account.

For more advice about the types of marketing concepts that are most suitable for you, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.