One can only write so much about email marketing and social media. They are important marketing channels, but they are not the only marketing channels. In fact, it’s only when you step far outside the box, that you really get people talking about what you did. With that in mind, here is Benchmark 5: Unique Marketing Tactics.

  1. Plane for recruits. Oregon State has taken recruiting to the skies. Since they can’t be everywhere all the time, they’ve hired a plane to fly over the high school games of recruits. It’s something that sets them apart from the competition and gets people talking about them. Unless you were proposed to via sky writer, you probably can’t say anyone ever sent you a message by plane.
  2. Pizza at the debates. Pizza Hut recently offered pizza for life to anyone brave enough to ask the presidential candidates what their favorite toppings were at this week’s debate. They got a fair amount of criticism for cheapening the meaning of the debates with such a publicity stunt, and eventually retracted the offer. I’ll say this, people were talking about it. I read articles for a week about it. I won’t be getting Pizza Hut any time soon (because…gross), but it was the first time I’d even thought about the chain in some time.
  3. Charity hockey game. The NHL is currently in a lockout. This, after they’d finally managed to regain the popularity they had lost from the last lockout. Members of the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks don’t want to lose their fans again. Despite being on different teams now, many of the players will reunite for a one-off game for charity. It will be a highlight in what is another dark time for a struggling league. A way to bank on nostalgia and remind fans to not forget what a great game it is.
  4. OK Go music video. The band has long been known for their creative music videos. Their treadmills dance video for “Here it Goes Again” is the stuff of legends. The band made an awesome video for their song “This Too Shall Pass” featuring the Notre Dame marching band. However, the record label would not let them make their videos embeddable on YouTube. So, State Farm offered to foot the bill for a new video, that could be embedded. The result is one of the most talked about music videos in recent memory. My dad even sent me the video, not knowing I was a fan of the band and had seen it anyway. One of my measures of whether or not something has made it, is whether or not it finds its way into my father’s email chain. With 37.5+ million views on YouTube, it’s hard to say it wasn’t a marketing success for State Farm.
  5. Red Bull Space Jump. Remember when it was NASA’s job to send people into space? Red Bull sponsored stuntman Felix Maumgartner’s recent world record breaking jump from the stratosphere. When you see him standing over the Earth ready to take his plummet back to the ground, he’s dressed in his Red Bull space suit and helmet. It is a moment I won’t soon forget. A man about to accomplish something no other has done before, with the crest of the Earth as the backdrop. It was incredible.