Lemons into lemonade
With thousands of bars being reviewed by thousands of bloggers, an over abundance of entertainment websites, free weeklies and the old fashioned newspapers (in a town that still supports not one, but two!), how does a Chicago bar separate itself from the pack?
Not with a million dollar marketing campaign, but with $100 and a little bad luck turned good.
Last week, a “classic” issue of Playboy was stolen off the men’s bathroom wall from a newish bar called the 50/Fifty in Chicago’s trendy Ukrainian Village. The theft generated an enormous amount of press, and ultimately the magazine was returned (for a $100 reward).
The story was all over town (all over the world, really). On the radio, in the paper, on the web, on Twitter, in more than one language even!
A classic bit of guerilla marketing, executed just about perfectly. Everyone in the Chicagoland area that is old enough to read now knows about the Fifty/50. They also got a very nice glimpse at the personality of the establishment – it’s a place that cares deeply about vintage Playboy. It’s racy, but still classy. They also managed to mention, via a well crafted press release about the theft, that they have an outdoor patio, a fantastic beer selection, and award winning burgers.
My suggestion for the next step - get a team of servers commenting on every news story out there – “We love the 50/Fifty! Best salmon in town! Hope they get their Playboy back.” And voila! Instant cred, a fun marketing campaign that will capture exactly the audience you want, and all it cost was a $100 and some time.
Have you had a seemingly bad problem turn into a great opportunity to market your company or your products? Let us know how it worked out for you, and what you learned!