Advertising in the real world is expensive! Billboards can run thousands per month.. Online advertising, what we do - it is a wide variety of methods depending on your business. Why not combine the best of both worlds - how to do this?
Google is in the process of photographing the entire world, literally. They even have guys with camera backpacks hiking remote mountain areas. Here's a good article on it. So not only does Google pay people to walk around with these cameras, they rely on contributions from Google account holders just like you! So why not include your own real but will soon be digital advertisement with your business on it. Take our client example; Splitting Pennies www.splittingpennies.com - see some great snapshots live on Google (right):
It even looks nice! Does Google care? If it was something serious, such as a copyright violation, I'm sure they'd be quick to delete it. But this idea came when I accidentally photographed my car, which had the Splitting Pennies ad on it. And we do pass out flyers in the real world or "In Real Life (IRL)" - so why not photograph them in all their glory (before they are carelessly ripped down by park supervisors).
This is really clever because it is taking the best of offline 'display' advertising as they call it, and meshing it with Google's massive data collection, making everything IRL electronic. Why isn't this strategy talked about more? Because practically, by itself, this is not going to give you any kind of real substantial increase in your business. But wearing a t-shirt with your business name on it likely isn't going to as well. This is a form of advertising similar to handing out business cards IRL or putting a lawn sign / billboard on your property. It is just another way to get your exposure out there - and why not, if you are anyway snapping away photos (which by the way, immediately become the property of Google when you submit them, in case you didn't read the fine print.)
While we're at it - next time you're out doing your own commercial photo shoot for a new product or something else - get ready to contribute it to Google! What's the downside of this? Probably, a few years from now, there will be more competition for photos and Google will filter out obvious ad-shots, which will force us marketers to get more creative. But for now at least - game on!