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All good marketers know that it takes a great offer, well-targeted distribution and a compelling pitch to turn promotional campaigns into profitable sales. These tenets form the foundation of a successful direct-marketing campaign - but sometimes simply getting attention is exactly what your company might need to get out of a slump or to increase brand recognition and boost sales. Few holidays offer so much opportunity for over-the-top antics as St. Patrick's Day - a national holiday in Ireland but little more than an excuse to party for many in the United States. Here are a few off-the-wall St. Patrick's Day marketing strategies you can use for inspiration.
Get the fastest person you can find and dress him in a leprechaun outfit. Challenge potential customers to beat the leprechaun in a foot race to the "end of the rainbow." Whoever can beat the leprechaun gets a pot of gold ... or a free product or service. Few editors will be able to resist the allure of a leprechaun race, so this is an excellent opportunity to get some free press (read: free advertising).
Perhaps no day is more fitting for a world record-breaking attempt than St. Patrick's Day, the national holiday of Ireland, where the Guinness Book of World Records was born after Guinness Brewery managing director Sir Hugh Beaver could not find a reference for the world's fastest game bird. This is another stunt that could earn you tons of free publicity, especially if you try to break the world record for:
Print shamrocks, pots of gold or leprechaun footprint stickers to affix to utility poles, buildings, sidewalks and store floors to bring customers to your awesome St. Patrick's Day sale (stick with permission, of course). Make sure your company name and logo are on every sticker - just because someone doesn't follow along doesn't mean they won't remember your name due to this outrageous and fun marketing tactic.
Try partnering with an Irish pub to offer a dual promo-pack. Perhaps you could go in on discounted drinks in return for setting up a contest, Irish quiz with prizes or other brand promotion during St. Paddy's festivities. Promote the event by distributing posters, club card flyers and banners; and by sending direct-mail postcards to your target audience. This is a perfect promotion if your company caters to the college or after-work downtown crowd.
Everyone likes to save a bit of green, and many people wear green on St. Patrick's Day out of tradition (and to avoid being pinched!). Have some fun with it and offer a discount to anyone who makes a purchase while wearing green. Even better: Offer a dollar off for every piece of green clothing each person wears (you'll probably want to cut this off at a certain figure, to avoid giving merchandise away to fanatics who would wear 600 green wristbands).