The brilliance of a simple idea

Wind blowing subway ad
By Sara Rider   |   April 17, 2014

by Sara Rider

Sometimes in the world of marketing, we search long and hard for a promotional idea that we think will be truly remarkable for our clients.  This can lead to lengthy brainstorming sessions—and sometimes frayed tempers (remember:  there is no bad idea in a brainstorming session!)  But great ideas are out there—you just have to find them.

In many of our client promotions, we’ve found that a strong visual can be the key to an outstanding promotional idea.  And if the idea can have some humor mixed in, you can take the promotion even further.

Witness a recent promotion by Apolosophy, a line of hair care products from Sweden.  In this simple—but imaginative—promotion, the ad agency Akestam Holst from Stockholm used a digital billboard in the subway to draw attention to the hair care products.

At first glance, it’s just another board for hair care—requisite attractive model; requisite, long flowing hair; requisite high-level black and white photography.  But then things get interesting.  The board was rigged with motion sensors—so that when a train came into the subway station, the digital display would change.  And instead of the model looking at you with her great hair, the hair would blow all around her face before settling back into place.

Talk about crossing the line between ad and reality!

The original plan was to leave the display up for one day—but it was such a success that it stayed up for five days.  And just imagine how many times people posted a video of it on their Facebook pages—or tweeted about it.  Just imagine how far the impact of that one board went—far beyond the number of hurrying commuters in that one station.

But in concept—how simple.  You just step outside the lines and bring the real world into your ad.  It’s a good reminder to all of us that we can find ways to promote products—and entertain people at the same time.

Always a good combination!

Sara Rider

About the Author

Sara Rider, Vice President at DeLaune & Associates, has written extensively for the healthcare, financial, non-profit, and technology industries for more than 30 years.

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