One thing that many companies don’t think about is that their own cities offer a ton of unique and extremely low cost ways to get their brands out. There is the Redbull Fluvog, Halloween Parades and other small festivals that attract a large amount of people as well as the press and the media. In Washington DC we have an annual event called the DC High Heel Drag Races. Unlike the normal Drag Races that you are used to with cars, the Washington DC high heel drag races take place each Tuesday before Halloween and people of all walks of life, Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Green Party, Libertarian, Gay, Straight, Black, White all show up for this event. Smart marketers also find ways to gain the attention of the crowd and get a ton of exposure. So what are the DC Drag Races?
The DC High Heel Drag Races are when Drag Queens, Frat Boys being Hazed and anyone else who wants to join in (and are male) parade themselves up and down 17th street for a few hours in front of tens of thousands of people and then at 9 o’clock you hear a countdown as they run down 17th street from JRs to Cobalt and everyone cheers them on. The event has become so popular that the media shows up each year including local news channels and newspapers as well as a ton of bloggers and regular people with smart phones uploading images to Facebook and Twitter. One way that I used this event to drive traffic to my new sites was hand a couple of drag queens $50 and also gave each of them them a sash to wear with the title of Ms. www.myurl.com. Almost instantly I saw photos showing up in feeds and my new sites starting getting hits within 24 hours because people were curious about the domain that the drag queen was wearing when they saw them walking or the photos on other sites. Another opportunity that you have in many cities are college students’ running clubs.
Many universities have large groups of college students that run together. Thanks to a few print on demand shops, you can easily create funny tshirts with your url and give the students each tshirt to run in. Since not a lot of college students have a ton of money, they are usually grateful for the tshirts and if you make them noticeable, fun and have your url on the back or front, you can get exposure to the community as they are running through the city. People move out of the way and if the group is large enough or the people running are attractive enough, your brand and url will definitely get noticed. If you want something a bit more unique than college students running with your url on a tshirt, see if a city near you has a unique parade for a specific culture or even for animals.
In Rehoboth beach there is an animal parade for halloween. During pride in DC we have a puppy pride parade and you also have numerous other annual parades like the Pachyderm parade when the circus is in town. People dress their dogs and pets up in costumes and tshirts during these and you have a ton of people who love animals showing up to watch. This is a great opportunity to sponsor a fun contest or set up a small booth and do a contest like the ugliest dog or best costume or even setting up a puppy scholarship for one lucky puppy to get to go to obedience school to learn how to walk on a leash or behave when other dogs are around. You can brand the contest with your url or company name as well as hand out little fun toys for the dogs to play with while they are at the parades. Word spreads quickly when dog owners start to see the same toy and they all want to get them for their own dogs, especially when they are free. For $1 or $2 a piece, you can send each of the owners home with branded dog toys and keep your url in front of them until the dog gets tired of the toy. If you can’t set up a booth, you can always just carry them around in a large messenger bag and hand them out to the puppies as they are going by, with the owners approval.
Each city and most small towns have great and inexpensive advertising opportunities for you to take advantage of. You just have to think of when they are happening and how you can gain brand exposure from them without taking advantage of the event or pushing your own brands to heavily which could offend the actual sponsors and advertisers. Sponsoring drag queens, handing out dog toys or even donating useful things to help a club are all great and inexpensive ways that you can gain a lot of exposure and not have to spend a ton of money.