By Rob Weinberg, Ask Mr. Marketing
As I watched the Macy’s parade last Thursday I suddenly envisioned a 40-foot-long, 20-foot-high Panama hat flying over the crowd.
The hat was held down by 50 people, each wearing a blue blazer, blue jeans, and a Panama hat. “MarketBuilding.com” was emblazoned on each headband.
Figuring it’s an easy way to expose my ad agency to the 3.5 million people on the parade route and the 22 million television viewers, I contacted Macy’s…only to be told they do all the selection and design in-house.
Naturally they want the usual suspects — SpongeBob, Spider-Man, and Charlie Brown — but it can’t be coincidental that Ronald McDonald, the AFLAC duck, and the Pillsbury Doughboy came down Broadway in order.
Further research uncovered the truth: first-time balloons cost $190,000-plus for construction and admission into the parade. In year two I’d pay Macy’s about $90,000 to throw my hat into the ring.
That’s $1,055 per minute for the three-hour parade. And since those figures are a bit dated, the cost of balloons has probably seen some inflation (rim shot).
So I figure slipping my hat into the procession should just be a matter of greasing the right palms. Ten million dollars ought to cover it all, including fitting all 50 volunteers with costumes and filling my oversized chapeau on Wednesday night with the equivalent of 20,000 helium balloons.
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to borrow the $10 million against my Westwood house, so I need a little help.
Sliding the hat between Mr. Kool-Aid and Mickey Mouse makes perfect sense. And on the chance Macy’s is determined to hold the line at 16 balloons, I’m drafting a design so the Energizer Bunny can wear my hat.
Hey, let’s face a fact — this parade has become one giant shilling fest. Like the commercials on the SuperBowl, competition is limited and the audience is huge.
So why not sponsor a balloon? The cost per thousand viewers is equivalent to a large email campaign, and I’m sure to stand out of the crowd. Well, over it, anyway.
And if you lend me the money you can even ride on the float with me right behind the balloon.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Mr. Marketing always knows how to make any business fly over the competition. Get his personalized attention at www.askmrmarketing.com.