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| August 18, 2016

We Think About Weird Stuff, Until it’s Less Weird

Lots of good ideas (and OK, lots and lots of bad ones) start out as something a little strange. We handle half-court basketball shot promotions all the time. But who was the first guy who said “Let’s bring a fan onto the court at halftime, and if he makes a really long shot, we’ll give him a prize”? Guesses abound, but the truth is lost to the mists of time, and that’s a shame.

It’s a pretty massive idea these days. Here’s the official NBA You Tube video of a year’s worth of fan (and mascot) attempts hitting nothing but net, but that doesn’t tell us where it started.

And we’re betting that when it began, it seemed a little weird.

So we’re thinking about the next strange thing that might take off.

Here’s something that probably isn’t it: we do a lot of hole-in-one contests too. Nothing new there, but last week a staffer saw this video about pros teeing off with putters before the Scottish Open.

Our staffer thought “What if we set up larger prizes for people who attempt the hole-in-one with a putter?”

This idea hasn’t take off around the office.

Here’s something we are watching and are absolutely fascinated with: Pokémon: Go. You know the trope: Kids want to play video games and their parents are barking at them to turn it off and get fresh air outside. Well, now you play the Pokémon game by getting outside and walking around with your phone. And it isn’t just kids playing. Weird. And wonderful.

Oh, about the phones: this writer’s father was a big “Get Smart” fan in the 60s. Dad found it less odd that Agent 86′s phone was in his shoe, and more absurd that he had a small portable phone at all. An open question in his dorm room was “why would anybody even want one? You’d be tied to your phone no matter where you were.” Needless to say, the cell phone’s gone mainstream. In many countries, there are more cell phones than people. In Macau, there are 323 cell phone subscriptions per 100 people.

So this is pushing us to work more and more to help clients deliver promotions over mobile devices. It’s great on a bunch of levels, from instant client-customer communication, to saving occasional trees by not using paper. As people use mobile devices for more and more things, this will be where our clients meet new customers.

For all the strange stuff we do, we’ve got no monopoly on thinking up weird promotions and crazy contests. Got your own idea that’s fun and unique? We’ll help you plan and execute your promotion from start to finish, with a huge prize at the end for any customer who is especially skillful or lucky. If your idea is as brilliant as the half-court shot, sure, somebody will copy you someday—but we can help you be the first, the biggest, and the best. And there’s nothing weird about that.


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