4 black-and-white photos for a buck. You in?
Remember those old photo booths they used to have at places like arcades and festivals? You know, you’d go inside and sit on a swivel chair you’d adjust for your height, so you can be eye-level with the camera, and then you’d sit and get blinded by the flash camera that took your photos. Remember those?
Usually, you’d go and sit down on the chair with a close friend, your current girlfriend or boyfriend, or a family member, and get into some goofy poses or make silly faces at the camera, then you’d have a good laugh once the photos came out. Right?
I remember taking some pictures like this, years ago with my grandfather, at Nathan’s on Central Avenue in Yonkers. And trust me, to think this far back, I’m not just digging into my memory banks, I’m more like “excavating” them.
You’d also see these photo booths in places like Woolworth’s and other five and dime and local corner stores.
Anyway, “LifeStyles” condoms has come up with a modern-day version of the old-time photo booth. It’s called a Make-Out Booth, and what happens is, you buy condoms from a vending machine in the booth and the booth gives you some free black-and-white photos of yourself, or presumably you and your lover.
The company is planning on rolling these booths out in New York City nightclubs. I’ll bet you anything, it’s only a matter of time until someone comes up with some sort of snappy urbandictionary.com worthy word for “doing it in the LifeStyles Make-Out Booth.” Sort of like how the term “Mile High Club” is slang for “doing it in an in-flight airplane, technically while at least a mile above the ground.”
While the Make-Out Booth is definitely a “clever” idea, the real question is, will it make LifeStyles more money? Will it increase their percentage of the marketplace? Will the cost of this campaign deliver a positive ROI (return on investment)?
In my opinion, this is nothing more than a pet rock. It’s cute, nice to look at, but isn’t going to prompt you to buy more LifeStyles, or change over to LifeStyles from another brand. And while some folks in nightclubs might, in a variety of ARI’s (alcohol-related incidents) will spontaneously buy condoms to either get inside the booth or take a goofy novelty picture… this won’t offer them anything close to a positive ROI.
People often foolishly mistake gimmicks like this for effective marketing. This is no more effective than running around nude. You might get attention, but you’re not going to sell anything because of it. Always keep your end goal of “making money” or “getting clients” or “attracting new qualified leads” in mind, when you’re doing something.
The thing is, your “ad guy” and Madison Avenue won’t tell you this — it’s YOUR job to keep your eye on this proverbial ball, and make sure you’re actions support what you’re trying to accomplish.
Making a new pet rock is nice, but… only if someone’s going to buy it from you.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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