I came across this concept the other day while searching through marketing success stories and thought I’d share it. While I haven’t used it with our clients, I can tell you there have been a few times in Chicago where I wish someone would have helped like this.
Here’s the concept: If you are needing to create some lightning quick and positive “buzz” for your brand, and don’t want to spend a ton on old-fashioned media advertising, you may want to look into a concept called a Parking Angel campaign that not only gets people talking about your company, but might stir up an insane amount of practically free publicity if done correctly.
The concept is simple. First, drive down to your local bank and get yourself $50 worth of quarters, or dimes if your parking meters take them. This should be your only expense for this campaign.
Next, find a high-traffic/pedestrian area (ex: downtown) and begin walking around looking for expired or soon-to-be expired meters that cars are still occupying.
If you find one, drop a dime or two in the parking meter to eliminate a possible parking ticket for the car owner and place one of your business cards on their windshield along with a short hand-written note on the back explaining that they were visited by the Parking Angel courtesy of (insert your business name here). Explain that you saw their meter expired and wanted to step in and help them avoid a costly parking ticket.
The response should be strong — especially for the investment.
It’s absolutely crazy the amount of buzz you can create by spending one simple dime!
People will be absolutely amazed that you (your company) took the liberty to go out of your way to help them out in a random act of kindness.
At the very least, they should tell someone else about what had happened. Who knows, you might even make a new customer. Maybe even drive some good web traffic to your website.
All for only a quarter!
As I said, the concept is simple but the results are awesome. The more creative you are with your campaign, the greater the chances for added publicity.
Paul Dickens, a millionaire businessman, did just that by hiring a group of beautiful girls to walk around town and had them refill expired parking meters. He got the idea after reading about the original 1960s Meter Maids service in Surfers’ Paradise, Australia, where bikini-wearing girls worked to attract consumers back into the city centre
Time to take it to the streets.