Last week I was talking with a customer about the success they had at a recent grand opening event. They had expected about 200 people. Over 800 people showed up. “The caterer kept running out of food” he said. “It was great!”
So (of course) I asked him what they did to draw so many people, hoping for a silver bullet answer I could tell you all about. In the end, there was no silver bullet that helped this draw this fantastic crowd. It seemed to be a combination of good old-fashioned marketing that did the job: They ran some ads in the local papers. They sent some mailers. They built their new branch in a pretty good location.
But, they also did one thing that was new and creative. They hired a mobile billboard.
In case you haven’t seen one, here’s a picture.
(For more information, click here for a Google search.)
There were several reasons they hired a mobile billboard.
One was because they only needed it for a week. Since they were promoting a grand opening, they did not need it for a month or two. You typically don’t rent stationary billboards for a week.
The second reason was that they could put it wherever they wanted. They had it drive around town in areas close to their new location and in high-traffic locations. This gave them much more exposure than a single billboard could have. Then, when the billboard truck was not driving around, they parked it in their parking lot so they continued to get exposure.
I like this. It was different. And it enabled them to focus their ads where they wanted in a short period of time. Billboards in the same locations would have cost much more and would have stayed up longer than they wanted.
Will mobile billboards replace the stationary signs we’re so used to seeing? No, I doubt it. They offer exposure in a different way than stationary billboards.
And I don’t see them as a likely advertising vehicle for most small businesses. They are too expensive for the amount of exposure you get.
But, for very short term promotions (like grand openings), I think they can be a great way to create a buzz and draw attention to the business or event.
What I really like is that this advertiser broke out from the norm and tried something new. And it seemed to work for them. Bravo!