Creative marketing

I’ve come across two examples recently of outside-the-box marketing (in my opinion!) :

 Cultural and Political Icons hand out breakfast to taxi drivers  (double click images to see them larger)

Who better (literally) to drive tourists and visitors to your Museum than your city’s taxi drivers?  The Smithsonian’s American Art and Portrait Gallery recently staged an event for Washington’s cabbies – Abe Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe and other icons represented in the Museums’ collection gave out free doughnuts, branded coffee mugs, and museum information to all the cabs that drove by one morning last week.  (Read more about the event on SAAM’s blog, Eye Level).
Not only might cab drivers better remember the Museum’s hours and location, they will also have a fun story to tell every passenger that wants to go there.

  Pittsburgh airport  If you’ve ever been through Pittsburgh’s airport, it’s likely you passed this pair;  everyone does on their way to baggage claim.  Who are they?  A young, 20-something George Washington, and Steeler football player Franco Harris.  The two icons of Pittsburgh history are accompanied by signage inviting arriving passengers to “relive a few classic battles” – when George Washington stormed into the area in what was to become the French and Indian War;  and Harris’ Immaculate Reception that won the Steelers’ 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders.  It’s a curiosity that’s hard to avoid, and one that simultaneously invites you to experience more interesting stories at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, a Smithsonian affiliate.

These examples seem both fun and effective, and I bet there are many many more out there.  What’s yours?!  Let us know so we can share. 

1 reply
  1. Shawn Parker
    Shawn Parker says:

    We haven’t got a lot of cabs in Providence, RI, but we do have drivers who can spread the word.

    Even though our project is still in development, I often hear a little bit of buzz about our project out the window of my office, which is across the street from our museum site. When the Providence Duck Tour ( drives by, I can usually catch the tour guide saying “…the future home of Heritage Harbor Museum…” before they trail off towards the bay. It keeps my spirits up in the midst of the mega-challenge of getting a new museum off the ground and reminds me that some of our best marketing comes from unlikely sources.


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