On Monday we wrote about a Michigan company that hopes to change the way consumers “do their business” by putting ads on toilet paper. While 99 percent of food and beverage brands would balk at the thought of their good name being flushed down the commode, you’ve gotta admit – it’s an idea that’s long overdue.
But as overdue as the idea may be, toilet paper is are hardly the most unusual or creative ad placement option. Below are a few of the wackier places we’ve seen or heard of ads turning up. Would you pay to have your brand in any of these locations?
- Barf bags – U.S. Airways made headlines in 2006 when it announced plans to sell ads on the air sickness bags housed among the SkyMall catalogues and other odds and ends behind every seat. The ads were placed on the outside of the bag, but we wonder if a better place would have been on the inside bottom of the bag.
- Eggshells – Think you can go 10 minutes after waking up without being exposed to an ad? Think again. In 2006, CBS placed its logo and promos for its shows on more than 35 million eggs. Witty ad copy for the “egg-vertising” effort included “Crack the case on CBS” (CSI) and “Scramble to win on CBS” (The Amazing Race).
- Manhole covers – A few years ago, Folgers dressed up some New York City manhole covers to look like a cup of coffee as seen from above. Holes in the ad allowed steam to pour out and complete the image of a steaming cup o’ joe. The only problem: The steam didn’t smell quite as good as the coffee looked.
- Your house – Houses in California aren’t cheap. The solution? Turn your home into a giant billboard. One outdoor ad placement company is willing to pay your mortgage for up to a year if you’re willing to cover your house in ads. Would anyone go to such great lengths to annoy the neighbors? The company received more than 10,000 applications within a month of launching the service.
- Your thighs – A New Zealand clothing company saw an ideal opportunity to turn an annoyance – the imprints left behind on your legs after you sit on a park bench – into a potential moneymaker. Their solution: Emboss specially-designed “brands” on public seating areas and turn consumers into walking billboards.
MARKETING LESSON: Are eggs, barf bags or thighs the right place for your brand? Maybe, but why settle for something that’s already been done when there are so many other oddball spots to put your message?