Friday, July 17, 2009

Promotional Opportunism

Chance favors the prepared mind,” was how Louis Pasteur saw his abilities to invent and innovate. Dr. Richard Hamming, a scientist at Bell Labs told his colleagues, “The prepared mind sooner or later finds something to do and does it.”

How many times have you seen or heard you something that was right before your eyes but you never previously noticed until someone opportunistically embraced and exploited it?

Similarly, some of the best promotions are born of opportunistic circumstances. Just in time for today’s economic realities and courtesy of Trend Central are three ideas for fun-on-the-cheap - one from a corporation, one from a group of friends and one from an individual.

• Dumpster Diving. This has taken on a new meaning in Brooklyn, NY as Macro Sea has converted old dumpsters into urban swimming pools – complete with decks – and set them up in empty lots and backyards for no charge fun. The dumpsters have been cleaned and lined to keep their past history from seeping into the present.

• DIY Art Show. Some Brooklyn-based artists set up a display of their sculptures on a rooftop where their friends could make like the upper crust at an art show only without the expensive formal wear and toasts with 40s instead of Champaign.

• Make your own home Tiki bar. Or maybe ‘tacky’ bar would be more like it. One man’s night out at the bar is another’s stay-at-home good time. His basement bar was constructed from used/discarded wood and bar stools, Christmas lights, an old TV that plays an amateur loop of fish swimming, and various thrift store decorations.

Observation, timing, the ability to shelve existing plans, and recognizing that "random forces often conspire to make things ridiculously easy just as often as they conspire to create hurricanes and earthquakes…” are traits of an opportunist.

What do you see around you that could be the spring board for a talk-generating, opportunistic promotion?

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