The ad game

In advertising, that old maxim 'truth is stranger than fiction' is constantly being proven - and then some. Such is the case with Revelstoke whiskey's urinal advertising, which employs a new technique that makes a message appear when the urinal is...

In advertising, that old maxim ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ is constantly being proven – and then some. Such is the case with Revelstoke whiskey’s urinal advertising, which employs a new technique that makes a message appear when the urinal is hit by warm, er, water, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. (See What Were They Thinking? page 7 – and let the pissing whiskey jokes begin). While it took our intrepid news editor a few days to remember where he’d seen this, once recalled (and assured of its reality) it made quite an impression. It’s such a dead funny concept that when he tried to explain it to people, the typical reaction – once they stopped laughing – was, ‘is it for real?’ The photographer, whose first shoot for us was in a bar’s washroom, was especially dubious, despite such compelling reassurances as, ‘No, really, it’s okay. Pauper’s manager, Dave, said it was all right to take the picture, just use a squirt gun to….’ Never mind.

The urinal marketing ploy, and people’s reaction to this unique out-of-home proposition, led to a ponder on what other spots out there are ripe for advertising messages.

We’re throwing out a few innovative ad opp suggestions and invite you to pick product categories that might be a good match for them. If you want to send in your completed connect-the-brand-with-the-ad-venue submission, we will be delighted to judge them (totally subjectively) and award some lucky contestant a prize (note the lack of adjective to describe the reward, largely because it depends on how amused we are…). And, of course, we’ll subject you to the admiration of your peers by printing the winning entry.

Here they are, in order of feasibility, the top nine underutilized ad venues:

1. Construction trailers (they’re big and they’re everywhere)

2. Movie trailers (they’re even bigger, and more ubiquitous than construction in springtime)

3. Continuing our potty theme, Johnny-on-the-spots

4. And still in the washroom, condom dispensers

5. While condom wrappers have been done, what about the condoms themselves? (Some of this may qualify as direct marketing)

6. If fruit can be a new ad medium, why not meat?

7. And if yarmulkes aren’t sacred (kids in the U.S. have been seen wearing the Nike swoosh on their skullcaps), does that open the door to in-church marketing? Surely someone could sponsor all those devotional candles

8. Although flowers and shrubbery have been used to logo-ize roadsides, the pavement itself has been largely overlooked

9. And while the overhead highway signs offer existential road tips like ‘motorcycles are invisible to motorists,’ I’m thinking there’s room for some bumper ads around the invaluable advice (for fast readers)

As with any new advertising initiative, there could be backlash but that, too, is publicity. FYI: ZZTop’s chins remain unavailable for sponsorship.

cheers, mm

Mary Maddever, Editorial Director

mmaddever@brunico.com

P.S. For all you competitive types, the fax number here is (416) 408-0870.