Tuesday, July 18, 2006

1st Hand Research...

"Have you had lunch yet?" Beth called to ask me.

"No. Why?" I responded.

"You've got to see this," she said. "Johnsonville has their 'World's
Largest Grill' parked in Tony's parking lot. It's a whole semi-truck
with grills from end to end."

"Sounds nice, but I'm a little busy," I retorted.

"They're selling a brat or Italian sausage, chips and a drink for two
dollars," she continued.

So, purely in the name of research, I took my stomach to the nearby
independent grocer to study event marketing first hand.

It was a fun, well-planned event. The boldly branded trailer-turned-
grill was visibly parked near the busiest street. Proceeds benefited a
local church whose volunteers staffed the event. Full-color handouts
offered grilling tips and a $1 off coupon. And everyone was having
a good time.

It definitely created a memorable brand experience for me-- much
more memorable than the blue-haired sample lady in aisle 8.

But Johnsonville's Grill transcends event marketing. Much like the
iconic Oscar Meyer Weinermobile or Goodyear Blimp of my youth,
it's non-traditional marketing.

As traditional advertising spending continues a slow decline,
non-traditional methods, like event marketing, is growing -- up 12%
from 2005 to 2006 according to a study by BlackFriar Communications
reported in August 2006 Entrepreneur magazine.

And good event marketing stimulates a buzz beyond the event. Like
inspiring Beth to call me. Or me to write this tip.

- Phil Sasso