Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bus shelters come to life...

This weekend I have experienced Chicago's extreme temperatures. While waiting for the bus in Michigan Avenue I had the chance to take a close look at one of those marketing gimmicks that press and magazines inevitable write about - just like this article in the NYT -.

Inside the bus shelter, above Kraft's Stove Top stuffing poster, there was a set of lights supposed to provide heat to bus passengers while waiting for their ride to arrive. It didn't work that well although, as I said temperature was quite low...

Some call it experiential marketing, others categorize it within guerrilla marketing. Although there might be interesting implications regarding the user experience (for example, the fact that brand attributes might be projected out of their natural environment), for me these gimmicks are just that. Ways of obtaining free media coverage. It is a quite effective technique I must admit: it is an unexpected event, crafted around a story ... good raw material for journalists. Good ROI for the product manager. Good PR for the brand. Good PR for the agency.

The following picture is a previous summertime iteration made of artificial lawn. Also spotted in Chicago, in 2008. Who would have told me I will be blogging about it? :)

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