1 October 2012 by Joy Reddy
Before I purchased my home, I lived in an apartment. Nearly every weekend, the apartment would have someone standing out front advertising the available units, great rates, amenities, etc. You’ve seen these people: the ones at my old apartment would be outfitted in recognizable garb, from the Statue of Liberty to Abe Lincoln (with stilts!).
This is not a job for the uncoordinated. These folks aren’t simply made to wear these outfits and hold the signs–they also are tasked with dancing while flipping the sign about in the air.
While these herculean feats of agility are entertaining, I question the success of this marketing effort. But it must be working right? Businesses, from restaurants to tax preparation services, continue to invest in a feet on the street approach. Factoring in the design and production of the sign, costume or uniform cost and actual compensation, you have to wonder how many businesses see a return on their investment from sign flipping.
You may remember the scarecrow on the street, but did his presence spur you to do business with UPS that you otherwise would not have? Some cities have passed legislation banning sign flipping on public streets, citing safety concerns for driver and the spinners. Does this word of mouth advertising truly deliver results or is an ineffective gimmick?
None of the businesses I frequent employ sign flippers. Instead, they have built such an incredible reputation—either by exceptional service, price or quality, that patrons come to them.
Have you ever been drawn in by this type of marketing?