Promotional Advertising to the Back Row
Most local events and festivals focus on the kids and it can be difficult to gain the full attention of the parents standing behind them. It’s critically important, however, to remember who your real target audience for your promotion is. Don’t neglect the kids’ attention, but remember not to neglect the adults, either.
If you live in the United States, you’ve probably been a parade or two. There is even a good chance you’ve participated in a parade or two. Why? Often, it’s because you are either a fireman or you are marketing something. Local advertising doesn’t get much easier than walking or driving down the street to a cheering audience. Parades, like many other public events and festivals, often are designed to appeal to kids even more than the parents but the marketing people are often neglecting their true target audience.
WHO’S GETTING THE MESSAGE? I have kids, young triplets, in fact. They love parades. We go to the parade and the kids line the curbs with their bags and scramble for the showers of candy thrown from the passing floats. We parents stand behind the impenetrable front lines of kids acting as a human baracade between us and the marchers. Our focus is usually on our friends and the kids, less the marchers. I’m going to guess that the local candidates, businesses, churches, and organizations marching down the street are really targeting ME with their message more than my five-year-old triplets. The kids can’t vote. They aren’t in the market for a new church denomination. They like firetrucks. Throwing fistfuls of candy to them will grab their attention, for two seconds, but less of my attention. Nevermind the fruitless attempts to promote to adults with a coupon or leaflet which will lie on the ground until the street sweeper comes. So, how do you get your message to the back row?
CANDY COAT YOUR MESSAGE: Getting your message to your target audience is crucial. To do so, you often have to cause a diversion for the kids, then get to the back row directly. Try tossing candy like everyone else, but make sure the candy is imprinted with your logo or message. The kids won’t care, but the parents will see your logo or message again and again with each printed candy wrapper. Second, while the kids are scrambling, you must hit the parent, your real target, directly.
BOMBARD THE BACK ROW WITH PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS: You must cross the kids’ front lines. Go airborne. Try plastic frisbees imprinted with your message. Launch t-shirts from a giant slingshot or air cannon. Hand out printed balloons to the kids which will obscure the parents view with your message. They’ll have to see your message if you hit them with it. If that doesn’t fit your style, try a more functional approach. Cool them off on a hot day. Hand out custom bottled water with a customized label. Give out customized paper fans, logoed visors or customized hats, even sports bottles with a logo. Practical promotional items with your logo or message are sure to be appreciated.
It can be surprising how much promotional opportunity is missed at local festivals and events. You have the kids’ attention, now all you need is to remember to get your message to your true targets. They are easy to spot. They are the ones in the back row.
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