Modern business has changed dramatically since the rise of traditional print advertising and newspaper editorials. Most marketing budgets were designed around investing in the best magazine spreads or newspaper sections, and if you were a small business, local flyers, and signs.
Throughout the years, more businesses have gone online or continue to market digitally through cost-effective measures such as social networking. In some senses, you could say that modern marketing is less about providing a message and more about understanding customer groups, seeing where they fit in your business, and satisfying those individuals.
Let’s face it, we live in a competitive world where consumers have the power to control demand for most goods and services. Without leverage, businesses must stand out in other ways such as marketing strategy and brand management. Over the last ten years, small businesses have done just that with the revival of a new “guerilla marketing.”
Many guerilla marketing tactics died when the internet provided local businesses with the opportunity to post ads online with local news sites and search engines. But a few, like the human billboard and sign spinning have, with a little creativity, brought on a revival that’s not only cost-effective — the latter, in particular, seems to have all but become a sport all it’s own.
Here’s a look at one of the best roadside advertisers and sign spinner champion, Dijon Rice. To this human billboard, sign spinning is less of a job and more of an art.
Human billboards started with the very non-competitive idea of “standing and waving” to passing cars. Starting from the simple use of sign holders on busy intersections outside local businesses, the practiced evolved. Sign spinning began grabbing the attention of drivers and passing pedestrians, ultimately bringing more business to the advertiser and building “buzz” around the area. Job seekers would talk about human billboard positions like they were premiere job opportunities, customers would remember products more easily, and business owners would brag amongst themselves about who had the best sign spinner.
The art of sign spinning is about creating a mesmerizing environment for a potential customer who is stopped at a red light, while also not distracting drivers while they are moving. Motions should be fluid and naturally connect with each segment of the presentation. The best artists are the ones who conduct the right “moves” at the right time with precision. Complexity and difficulty in each “spin” are usually not as effective as the overall presentation and flow. With sign spinning schools, degrees, and various certifications for the training and skill sets obtained from proper instruction, it’s clear that sign spinning is here to stay.
In fact, the practice has become so developed that a single person with the right mastery of the art could be a more effective call-to-action than five online advertisements. With online, and even print advertisements, customers must see the goods or services offered, make a conscious decision to find the nearest location, and drive there without distraction. Implementing sign spinner marketing grabs the attention of potential customers who can actually buy something from your store immediately — a more dynamic and engaging form of what your store signage has been doing for years.
Zen is probably the best way to explain the control of the best sign spinner artist. The practice of Zen is best described as self-awareness and absorption. With mediation as one of the primary practices of the enlightenment, observation senses become extremely efficient. With sign spinning, there is the same focus for many of the top artists around the world. They treat the job more as a calling and see their creativity and energy as a performance. Treating themselves like a league or organization, many of the top sign spinners meet in public parks to receive instruction, practice, and hone their craft.
Although sign spinning is not a religious practice like Zen, people have found enjoyment and enlightenment in the craft as a means of self-expression, and businesses have found them to be a great way to drive interest and sales. When it’s time to replace your aging signage through a company like Quality Sign Designer, consider designing an extra couple of signs to try out the latest guerilla marketing method. Find yourself a good spinner, and you’ll have a new way to grow your sales.
Matthew Hall is a freelance writer and professional student who contributes articles and insights into business trends and the challenges of the aspiring entrepreneur.