S – x between buildings? Now “this” is marketing dangerously!

with Neil Godin

You won’t be able to read the text in the photo below, so here, let me read it for you: “The advertising campaign stating that ‘The Rolston was So Enticing Other Buildings Want To Have S – x  With It’ was considered alarming by a number of people. Yes, we did sell multiple homes at The Rolston because of this campaign, but if the S – x comment was considered inappropriate, we do apologize. In future we will focus on presenting the Rolston condominium homes solely on their amazing architectural design, downtown Vancouver location and very affordable pricing.”

This “apology” was followed by the following (not so apologetic) text. Here. Read on…

This “apology” was followed by the following (not so apologetic) text. Here. Read on…

“And, for the record, we deny the rumor regarding the CN Tower and The Rolston having s – x. Nor did The Rolston have s – x with the Wave condominiums in Surrey or Centro homes in Richmond. And we would like the OnQue development to stop calling. The Rolston doesn’t like you in that way, and only wants to be friends.” 

Do I hear you saying, “Whaa?”

That was my reaction too. Isn’t this a great example of head-spin advertising? First it takes you this way. Then that way. And. Of course. It leaves you laughing. (Unless. Of course. You’re one of those very tightly straight-laced people who really were alarmed when the previous ad ran).

This breath-taking, total fun approach to advertising is the brainchild of Bill Morrison, Marketing Merlin at Pilothouse Real Estate Inc., marketers of the Ralston (And. Of Course. The three other projects referred to in the “apology” ad). Hmm. Yes, Bill, a nice bit of hitchhike advertising to pull those other buildings into the ad.

Bill Morrison and company leveraged – and continue to leverage – the buzz value of the campaign by using social media as well. Ralston developers, Rize Alliance (@RizeAlliance) are getting terrific-traffic with tweets like, “No sex, please, we’re…Vancouverites,” and “Great ad. Great apology ad too.” One Facebook post reads, “We are all adults aren’t we? S – x sells in every other industry!” (Ooo. That’s taking it seriously!)

Your call to action:

Three calls to action this week.

One. In the draft of a blog post that he’s writing (and shared with me), Bill notes that this campaign breathed new life into marketing and sales at The Rolston. Key point: “We focused our efforts on getting noticed first,” Bill said, “Before moving towards presenting an offering.” Bingo. The first rule of all advertising is simply that it must get attention. So. If you’re planning any kind of media campaign, brainstorm ways to make certain that you’re seen and heard – and buzzed about.

Two. Amplify your paid message with social media.

Three. Remember that s – x still sells – and if you can use it as creatively as Pilothouse has it will generate buzz. And buzz builds biz. Yes, some may be “alarmed.” But hey. That’s marketing dangerously.

See you next week.


Ps – I’m advised that funding is still available to BC business owners through the government’s Micro business program. If you are interested in having me provide you with coaching in marketing and sales, contact me for details. Small 100% grants of $1500 each are available to qualifying business owners (in other words, strangely, there is no cost to you at all). But. Qualification is limited to people who have “not completed formal (diploma, certificate or university credits) post-secondary education. (I know this sounds strange as well, but it’s the criteria for some reason). And your business must be very small, with fewer than five employees.  All kinds of training is available BTW, so call me for directions even if you’re interested in obtaining training from someone else. You can reach me at 604.888.4570 (Metro Vancouver) or 1.800.563.IDEA (4332) or email me at ng@neilgodin.com.

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