My eye was caught recently by an item in a specialist marketing and advertising magazine about guerilla marketing. An ad agency in the relatively small German town of Eschweiler had obviously been briefed to create as much hype as possible for the opening of a new Tamaris shoe shop. The publicity stunt they came up with – designed not only to create awareness but also to create action: chalk footprints throughout the pedestrian area, leading to the shop entrance.
They must have been up all night drawing the things. According to the head of the agency, they knew they’d have to be “ballsy”. Too ballsy obviously for a town near the Luxembourg border with only 55,000 souls. Despite meticulous planning (including checking the weather forecast), by the morning all the footprints had gone.
The local fire brigade got wind of the idea. They got their hoses out and washed all the footprints away.
Guerilla marketing is a nice idea in principle, but it has to get noticed! And though the chances of getting noticed are higher in a small community, people may not like it. A shame really. Ironically, in cities where people and the authorities are perhaps more tolerant promotions like this don’t always get noticed – at some point there are so many publicity stunts going on you numb out.
I wonder if Tamaris still paid the agency for the promotion…