I saw an extraordinary guy walking through Golden Square the other evening. He had a style all his own. A lean, wiry chap of at least 60 years, and white haired, he wore an incredibly loud sky-blue, close-cut suit. He also had on white shoes, a bright tie and a red wool ear warmer, which was odd because the weather wasn’t particularly cold. To top it off, he smoked the biggest cigar I’ve ever seen. And he strode along the pavement with a little spring in his step that made him seem quite youthful.

The thing is, that eccentric character caught my attention, and made me smile. Can you do that?

I’ve been working on an experiential marketing job recently, and having to think a lot about attracting attention. The challenge is to do it in a relevant way.

As Leo Burnett once said, you can have a man coming downstairs with a sock in his mouth, but it’s a rotten ad unless that sock is totally relevant. Yet, as another famous adman, Bill Bernbach, said, if your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic. If only more marketers listened to him. There’s so much advertising and marketing that fails to attract attention or engage.

Experiential marketing must be the most immediate way to see if you can stop passers-by and make them try your product. What could be more direct response?

Maybe for your next sampling exercise, you should use a spry old fellow in a loud blue suit. That’ll get their attention.

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