Illusory Follies Andrew Flanagan's Blog


Non-Conventional Advertising

Sandwich sign by CE NelsonTo get in and out of town I must traverse about 2 miles of very built-up, very trafficky, retail- and service-dotted roadway. I was surprised to see over the last few years how often stores are using real, live humans as "flaggers" holding signs for their businesses or for special offers. Sure it's less creepy than dead people holding up signs, but my gut-instinct was that it would cost too much to pay someone and that the impact on sales would be minimal. Apparently my gut is wrong. According to this article I learned three things I'm surprised by:

  • This is a competitive position
  • People are fine with $7.50/hr for this work
  • It can have a dramatic effect on sales

Don't get me wrong, money is money and I know that people will do all sorts of things. I just think it would be miserable work. Time would pass slowly as you stand in the cold with maybe a slight drizzle coming down. Cars beeping, bikes almost hitting you. Bleh... I'd much prefer the McDonald's job. On the bright side it takes no skill, you can probably listen to music and daydream.

On the other hand, I'm surprised that this really helps business. I can see how it may make some people aware of businesses that are squirreled away in strip malls. I guess I'm not part of the demographic who even uses strip-mall businesses for much of anything so perhaps I'm no more inclined to visit them whether they're having a special or not.

I don't know what my blog readers think, but I'm surprised. Any opinions? Any experience being influenced by or being a flagger?

Thanks to the Business Opportunities Weblog for the link...