Monday, April 24, 2006

Guerrilla Advertising at the Vancouver Sun Run

Over fifty thousand runners, walkers and strollers made it out for a sunny Sun Run in Vancouver yesterday. The ten-kilometre route weaved through the blocked off streets of Vancouver and thousands more watched from the sidelines as throngs of white shirted runners moved like a stampede through the downtown core.

This is a massive captive market, yet surprisingly, very few advertisers capitalized on this fact.

HSBC was the main sponsor, as was the Vancouver Sun, but it was the more subtle, guerrilla approaches that caught more attention and generated more talk power.

Taking a page from 1-800-GOT-JUNK’s marketing strategy from years past, GOT SPA adopted orange wigs and gloves and waved from buildings and ran in the race. The name is not so original, nor is the approach, but it worked.

Used had signs every hundred meters or so. It was hard to miss.

My favourite, however, was the handouts in the shape of a sun given out by Ethical Funds. The handouts were printed on seeded paper, so that as soon as they would be discarded they would grow trees. This is a brilliant marketing strategy for a company interested in sustainability and ethical treatment of the Earth.

There were also street banners, corporate running teams with their logos on the backs of the shirts and a blimp or two, all in all, however, it seemed like a wasted opportunity for hundreds of shop owners, participants and the owners of buildings.


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