My university English professor once said “If everything is highlighted, then nothing is highlighted.”
What happens when Sweden’s teeming jungle of start-ups all pitch similar or identical advertising angles and marketing campaigns? Things start to get a little melded and monotonous. If you mix all the paint on your palette together, you’re going to end up with a dull gray ooze. Well I’m not letting the startup scene turn into a dull gray ooze. Not on my watch.
Your PR guys or gals are working their heart out, and they’re doing a good job. Good for you PR minions! Then there’s you. Your destination is the horizon. You know what? I like your style. And this list is just what you need.
Here are 5 ‘alternative’ advertising/PR ideas (listed in gradually-increasing levels of insanity) for those looking for something a little different. Just don’t do these all simultaneously, or else we might all turn into a dull gray ooze.
1. The ‘Out-sorcerer’:
Use a site like fiverr.com or similar for things you don’t have time to do yourself. Spend $5 [≈ 32SEK, as of publication] on any service. Heck, spend $100 [≈ 635SEK] on 20 different services. With the right imagination, this website can be a Wonka Factory of PR ideas. [Author’s note: additional tasks come at an extra cost. Bang-for-buck mileage may vary. Still though, this site is the McDonald's of outsourcing. I mean that in a good way.]
2. The ‘Badge of Honor’:
Pay a bicycle courier to wear your big fat logo on their shirt or messenger bag. In return, sponsor their lunch for each day they wear your logo. If they bargain or negotiate then, well, you’re on your own I can’t think of everything. Couriers are seen by at least a thousand people each day, and let’s face it, the only way you’re going to get your logo into a dozen different office buildings during working hours is on a courier’s chest. Alternatively, find a boutique café in town and have the barista wear a (professional-looking) apron with your logo on it. (Pro-tip: pick a café near the offices of an investor you’re trying to lure.) Offer cold hard cash. Carbon-fiber Pelican case with security handcuffs optional. [Author’s note: remember to keep all monetary transactions above the table, or just tip your barista heavily.]
3. The ‘Powerballer’:
(If applicable) offer your social media followers (or even the general public) a random draw or engagement prize (once or every month or every quarter, etc.). And for the love of kittens be sure to get the green light from your legal department before you start handing out prizes like you’re running for public office. The prize should be something relevant to the interests of your followers. As for competition type, random means random, engagement means referral competitions or best-answer-wins. Random usually means more entrants. Engagement usually means better discourse. (Random = quantity, engagement = quality, in case I’m not being clear enough.)
4. The ‘Chillanthropist’:
(If applicable) offer your product or service as a onetime package donation to an NGO, humanitarian or environmental organization of your choice. Why? Because you’re one cool startup. There is no good karma or bad karma. There is only karma and the absence of karma. Insist that they press-release any cooperation between you two. Catalog the outcome (benefit) of your philanthropy and press-release it yourself. Milk it. Tell your friends. Feel good. Rinse and repeat for maximum effect.
And finally, my personal favorite,
5. The ‘Long-Distance Relationship’:
Hunt, track, locate and begin correspondence with a scientist at one of the permanent base-stations in Antarctica. (Keep reading.) Be honest with them and tell them what you want. Ask (beg?) them to install your app or use (or even just try) your service. Send a care package as a goodwill gesture (read: payment) if necessary. Brag about how your app/service exists on all seven continents. Press-release it. Remind everyone you meet of this awesome fact. Include it in your e-signature. Write it on your Christmas cards. Write a book. Retire wealthy and tanned.
Now go. Your startup needs you! But first to the pollmobile!