Can A Sharpie Poster Push More Sales Than A Glossy Ad?


Today, my classmate Zach noticed this Zyrtec ad on telephone poles all over Boylston and Tremont street in Boston.

The flyer reads:
"Missing 2 Hours. Last Seen: While waiting for Claritin to start working. If found please call: 1-800-4-Zyrtec"

Not that this is any sort of scientifically-vetted research but considering Zach took the time to take it off a dirty Boston telephone pole and pass it around and show his friends, it definitely seems to have made an impact... and it achieved that effect without shutting the city down like other Boston-based guerrilla efforts. It was cool to see how simple copy scribbled with Sharpie on plain white paper taped to telephone poles around the city had the ability to cut through the clutter of its competitors' glossy ads.

by Amanda Mooney    Apr-14-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Good   

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.



Is it legal?

Posted by: Insider on April 15, 2008 12:33 PM

Legal and approved through agency and client legal departments.

Posted by: adranter on April 15, 2008 1:05 PM

Isn't the point to pull a tab rather than the whole poster? Come on Zach, don't you have a camera phone? Shame shame, shame on you.

Now who's gonna' get the "effect?"

Posted by: Edward on April 15, 2008 1:56 PM

Cut through the clutter? It IS the clutter. What a half-assed, lazy attempt at "guerilla."

Quit wasting paper.

Posted by: Billy on April 15, 2008 2:00 PM

There were like 5 more in a 50ft radius. I took it down to show my marketing class.

Posted by: Zach on April 15, 2008 2:00 PM

guerrilla marketing techniques and legal ads are like oil and water. The Cartoon Network's adult site [adult swim] spurred bomb squads to close two bridges in Boston last February. Boston residents found themselves on RED ALERT status!

The police closed the Charles River to boat traffic. Boston Police confirm that the Pentagon was alerted and the U.S. Northern Command was monitoring the situation from a base in Colorado. least Pete Berdvosky isn't facing HomeLand "RED ALERT" terror charges with this guerrilla campaign!;)

The brand (*wink*) must also disavow any knowledge or information about the campaign.

..lmao thx Angela!

Posted by: arthur barbato on April 15, 2008 2:05 PM

What agency did it?

Next time I have a yard sale I want to know who I should contact to get some flyers made.

Posted by: Kim on April 15, 2008 2:08 PM

@Edward I'm glad Zach took it down to show us. Shame on him for taking down the ad?? We passed it along to all of our friends which is probably a much better endorsement for it than having it stay plastered on telephone poles.

Posted by: Amanda Mooney on April 15, 2008 2:08 PM

SO GOOD! I can't wait to get over to campus to see these ads for myself. Hope they're still up.

Posted by: Sarah Hutton on April 15, 2008 2:15 PM

Coolest thing about this is when you call the number. It ties the idea together and sends you to the website. That's what we call integrated!

However, the real success lies in where these things are posted, how many calls go in and then how traffic increases to the site.

Here's what I worry about. Are allergy sufferers the same type of people who read homemade missing signs? Did they post them in cities with high pollen counts (environmental exposure along with family history go along way to determining whether or not someone will develop allergies).

Could the money have been better spent in upping their adwords budget? And let's not pretend that this was a cheap idea. We know how agencies work.

Posted by: John DeCesaro on April 15, 2008 3:07 PM

I believe it IS illegal to post advertising on telephone poles without permission by the city. We'll see what Mayor Menino's office has to say about this.

Posted by: sixtoe on April 15, 2008 9:53 PM

Interesting. This is what happens when all the marketing $ get sucked up by the extension brand, isn't it?

Still doesn't change the fact that I stopped waiting for Claritin to work after I got my first sample of it years and years ago. Just take one children's benadryl [1/2 adult dose] and get on with life.

Posted by: Thoryke on April 15, 2008 10:40 PM

Yeh they're posted in San Francisco as well. I noticed them yesterday.

Posted by: Megan in SF on April 16, 2008 11:50 AM

You professionals do realize that the main effect of stuff like this is to make people normal hate the product for having wasted their time and suckered them, right? Only ad people find this stuff charming.

Posted by: B on April 16, 2008 5:58 PM

saw them in hollywood as well...

Posted by: rb on April 28, 2008 7:47 PM