The University Of Advertising
This is a post that has been created on other forums in the past. It is my proginal writing, and can be found on my blog.
It's the glorious days of summer now. The sun beats down upon my head as I wake up for my morning run. The birds wait anxiously to soil my freshly-waxed car. The only song worth listening to on the radio is "Boom Boom Pow". And plans to make money from the unsuspecting, naive college crowd storm into my head with each and every passing minute.
I know spamming is a taboo topic on internet marketing forums. But this is offline, rather than online. And call it advertising instead. For those entering college or already attending, looking to get the word out about your email submits or your website or your affiliate link, the following is a nice, creative list that I have compiled over two and a half months of brainstorming, writing, and plotting.
- Bathroom Stall Graffiti | Need: 1 assistant of the opposite sex, 4 thick Sharpies | Best done: early in the morning, when the bathrooms have just been cleaned :: Put Sharpie(s) in pockets. I will be using one black and one red. Check bathrooms beforehand to ensure that the stalls are not the write-proof stainless steel. Sit down on the toilet. Write your advertisement down legible at eye level on the door, as well as directly above the toilet paper dispensary. If creativity is the name of the game for you, unroll some toilet paper and write it down on there vertically. I'll be writing in red and outlining in black.
- Less Illegal Bathroom Advertising | Need: 1 assistant of the opposite sex, 50 heavy-duty notecards with your advertisement printed on them, 10 rolls of clear masking tape :: Do your research and make this one count. I get free printing at the Honors College office, so I will be using my own photo paper and print out 50-plus advertisements in full color. They will be taped liberally (ergo: all over several layers) to the bathroom walls in strategic locations. Examples are eye level at the toilet and/or urinals, over the paper towel dispenser and hand dryer, to the back of the door, on the ceiling, and on the mirror.
- Kiosk Takeover | Need: Several dozen full-page advertisements, hundreds of pushpins, and darkness :: This is best done in the middle of the night, when foot traffic is at its slowest. Spam the kiosks, pinning your ad up everywhere you can think of on the boards. Cover others' ads, turn them over, do whatever necessary before people show up. Contrary to popular belief, people do read these. And when they catch a glimpse of a semi-hostile advertising takeover, the masses will come.
- Chalk Is Your Friend | Need: A few artistic helpers, sidewalk chalk, darkness, and time :: This advertising method is quite aged, and works perfectly if executed in busy spots. At least until it rains. Check the weather. Find a time when there is a lull in storm activity for a week or so, and gather your crew. Wait until midnight rolls around, and graffiti the sidewalks, brick walls, stairs, anything you can think of. College students spend a lot of time looking down as they walk, so target the ground, even though it is the first to sustain damage in case of bad weather.
- Professional Carding Campaign | Need: 500 business cards, a few friends/employees/associates with carding talents :: Carding is something I saw frequently in high school. Someone would walk around and slip business cards with simply the worlds "I carded you!" on them to people. Some got them in the water bottle pocket of their backpack, others in the hood of their sweatshirt. Some were lucky enough to get it right in their pocket. And everyone got one through the slats in their locker door. Give this a try discreetly in crowds going to and from classes. The results from this could be legendary.
- Dry-Erasing | Need: Access to the residence halls, possibly an associate of the opposite sex :: I like this one quite a bit. Most dorm rooms on campus have white boards stuck to the door. They usually have little tidbits of information on them. It's simple. Go up to every single one, write your advertisement, and on to the next one. Then disappear. No money required, no start-up, and not much planning on the part of the advertiser.
- Sign Slipping | Need: 1,000+ advertisements on paper promoting your product/site, permission from the residential director (or not), and a few helpers :: This, like the chalk idea, is an aged one. Just slip advertisements underneath doorjams. Quick and easy way to get your point across in the bluntest way possible. Plus, again, free printing is always nice. Just go print 100 copies at a time as not to make the secretary suspicious.
- Shout-Out To The World | Need: upper-floor dorm room with big window, permission or good standing with those directly below, old white sheets, lots of paint :: This one is a nice touch for a dorm room facing the action. I took three old white sheets and sewed them together (did this already, preplanning is key). I'm going to paint my advertisement on the sheet and hang it out the window for everyone to see. I live in room 323, and I am good friends with the occupants of 223 and 123. Should be a nice, simple way to get the word out to the masses.
It goes beyond placing a few dozen business cards on a table hoping to get passers by to stop and take one. It goes beyond selling bumper stickers and T-shirts. It goes beyond the typical kiosk tearaway strip ads. It goes beyond fliers and beyond banners. This is creativity. This where the true, dedicated, curious, lasting traffic comes from.
The methods can go on and on. I'll post more as they come to me. But imagine the possibilities of an iframed email submit for something college-related, or even an un-iframed CPA offer promoting your college or university-style apparel in general. The profit potential could be through the roof.
Get good enough at this advertising thing, and start advertising your services as a creative campus advertiser. Then watch as even more money comes pouring in. Get going, students!