It’s taking time out from the game of “I try to sell you. You try to avoid me” style of marketing.
It’s throwing out the rulebook to share a laugh with your customers… with future customers… and with complete strangers who will never in a million years be your customers.
If you’re asking Will it return a solid ROI on time and dollars allocated? then… you really gotta lighten up.
The photo above is published courtesy of Thomas Hawk, who made it available in his Flickr gallery. He uploaded it in December, 2005 and it’s still making people laugh. Wrote Hawk:
Today as I was crossing the Embarcadero I noticed that this gentleman
had left his coffee on the roof of his car. Midway through the cross
walk I turned and pointed at him and he just waved at me. I ran back to
the other side of the crosswalk and approached his window as he wasn’t
getting what I was pointing at. When I got close enough to speak to him
I told him that his coffee was on his roof. He looked at me and said,
“I know, Happy Holiday’s from Starbucks!” At first I didn’t get it, it
didn’t sink in, so I told him again, your coffee it’s on your roof and
again he looked me square in they eye and said, “yes, yes, I know,
Happy Holidays from Starbucks.” It was at this point that I realized
that the coffee cup was permanently affixed to his roof and that he was
an advertisment in disguise. Even though I’m not sure how I feel about
cars clogging traffic and poluting the City with exhaust to make a
marketing point, I still had a chuckle when I realized that I’d been
As of July, 2008 this photo had been viewed 21,954 times on Flickr.
Think Starbucks got a good ROI on that paper cup?
More Lighten Up! Marketing Classics:
Enjoy more from Sean Kelly’s Lighten Up Marketing series here and at Relentless Marketer.
Sean Kelly is a 20 year veteran of the franchise industry, and founder
of the award-winning marketing firm IdeaFarm. In 2006, he founded the FranBest franchise networkbest franchise opportunities, the top new franchises, franchise marketing, franchise public relations and small business marketing. Contact him at seankelly[at]ideafarm.net.