Off-the-Wall Thanksgiving Marketing Strategies

When it comes to Thanksgiving marketing, sometimes turkeys, pilgrims and cornucopias just won't cut it for your postcard, brochure, poster and banner designs. No, sometimes you need something truly unique - something outrageous - to attract local media and generate free publicity, a huge turnout and massive return on investment. Here are some off-the-wall Thanksgiving marketing ideas you can use as inspiration for your own this year.

Break a world record

There are few better ways to generate free publicity and get a massive turnout than to attempt to break a world record. Consult the Guinness Book of World Records to identify records you would have a reasonable chance of breaking, and try to keep them relevant to your business if possible. If you can't find something relevant you can still go for the gold because this is an excellent publicity stunt. Here are some Thanksgiving-related records you could try to break this November:

Try an a-MAZE-ing promotion

Get lost in Thanksgiving with a corn maze! This is a good fall activity that can be held anytime in October or November. For a Thanksgiving theme, skip the haunts and turn your attention to the impending Black Friday to market to maze-walkers. Give everyone coupons or other goodies, hold a raffle for free products or services, or have a relevant prize on-hand for the person who completes the maze in the fastest time.

To make it more challenging, have your visitors find certain landmarks in the maze and/or complete riddles before their times count. Don't forget to print lead collection forms for your raffle so you can continue to market to your audience long after your big event!

Spot the turkey

Dress someone up in a giant turkey suit and have them wander your local neighborhoods or shopping area. Place an ad on the turkey stating that anyone who spots the turkey can get a discount or redeem a special offer. Alternatively, place several "turkeys" in a field and have a big event where visitors purchase buckets of water balloons to throw at the turkeys. Whoever hits a turkey gets a prize!

Turkey eating contest

Food eating contests seem to be all the rage today, and no cuisine is off-limits. Use this competition's contemporary popularity to garner some free publicity for your business by hosting a turkey eating contest (or trade turkey for some other traditional Thanksgiving feast food, such as pie). To make it even more appealing, take petitions to donate food to the local food bank for every pound of food eaten during the competition. If you don't want to float all the expense yourself, invite non-competing businesses to chip in and sponsor a good cause.

Thanksgiving greeting cards

Everyone prints custom greeting cards to send at Christmas, but you can get a leg-up on the competition by sending Thanksgiving greeting cards with a special offer included for your Black Friday and Christmas sales. You get to spread the cheer and get a profit boost at the end of the year!