Promoting your business is an ongoing task. A few take it to another level. Some are out of the ordinary to say the least. Take a look at what is around you. Every consumer product is branded with some type of logo. A few however, stick out like a sore thumb. It is like the winning team waving a victory flag after a close game!

Advertisers want to be noticed, and with today’s economic turmoil, some go to the extreme to get attention. In fact, these oddball promotions make a huge impact on their business.

Here is my top five of all time.

#5. Sawmill Giant: A replica of Paul Bunyan stands handsomely holding its ax in one hand, while pointing the way to the sawmill with the other. The statue towers above 25 feet! The name of the sawmill is on its chest with a dark colored beard, hat, suspenders, blue jeans, and work boots. If you have trouble finding the sawmill, just look for big Paul Bunyan by the highway. Believe me, you will not miss it.

#4. Audio and Video Store: A 1957 panel van is outfitted with enough sound system to hear it miles away. But, buried beneath the speakers is a lift-away console, which emerges into a full surround sound theater. Once inside two people can sit comfortably and watch their favorite video on four wide screen television monitors. This incredible mobile entertainment center is simply awesome to see and hear. And, of course, their advertisement is beautifully displayed on the exterior. But, that is not all this fancy shop engages in for advertising. Once a week they place their entire catalog on two FULL pages of the newspaper — under the Obituary section — the most read section of any newspaper. WOW — that is nearly 250 products!

#3. Real Estate Broker Lights: While driving through a nice rural neighborhood one night, I noticed a house that had Christmas lights lit up all over the place. Bright lights were on the chimney, gable ends, doors, windows, and even on the brokerage sign. Here it is June and this house is brighter than Yankees Stadium at night. I wrote down the phone number off the signage and called the broker the next day to see if the house was available. The broker answered and told me the house was sold an hour ago!

#2. Port-O-Jon Rental T-Shirt: One day nature called while on a construction job site. While inside the Port-O-Jon, a truck pulls alongside and a worker begins to clean each one out. When I made my exit, the worker stood ready to clean the one I used. He had a bright red t-shirt on with BIG black letters that said the following: “You Dump – We Pump – Give Us A Call.”

#1. Direct Snail Mail Smell: A furniture store mailed me a sales letter one day. This was a regular two-page letter that outlined many super bargains. But, that is not all that accompanied the letter. It had a wonderful perfume aroma. I read it over and checked out the envelope and began to sniff. I thought, Boy, does this letter smell great. I knew the couple who owned the furniture store and decided to give the owners a call to see what they were up to. I told them both I received their letter with a strong perfume smell on it.

They told me a surprising story. John and Kristy tried direct mail in the past, but failed every time to yield a good return. This time, John asked Kristy if he could borrow her best bottle of perfume while he prepared to mail 5000 sales letters. John carefully sprinkled a few drops of this expensive perfume on each letterhead. They both took part inserting the letters into the envelopes and sealed each one with postage.

Approximately three days later, John started to receive customers and began to make sales. He coded the letter with instructions to bring in a coupon for the items on sale. In fact, they sold out the bargain item, and then worked on selling out their entire inventory of kitchen tables and chairs, mattress sets, and sofas. This popular furniture store sold $32,000.00 worth of furniture in two weeks’ time — all due to the smelly sales letters. However, it dealt a not so rosy smell to the women of each household. It appeared the women had something to say to their husbands, why they were receiving such a smelly letter, and asked who sent it. Nevertheless, John and Kristy had an astonishing 72% open rate!

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