Creative without Strategy

Do you really want this spreading your brand’s message?

Here’s a new idea for all of you marketers charged with getting the attention of attendees at trade shows:  Why not attach little signs to flying insects so when you release them into the trade show hall and they land on people, people will see your message!  What a great way to catch people’s attention, right?  That’s exactly what a European company did at a recent German trade show:

Great way to capture attention, right?  But so is releasing a pack of hungry wolves with signs attached to their tails!  Or dropping a logo-wrapped car from the ceiling onto the floor in front of unsuspecting show attendees.  But the question is, do you really want your brand associated with the germ-infested annoyance of flying insects?  Do you really want people to think of you as the people who released bugs into the  trade show?  Maybe … just maybe … this could be a good stunt for a pest control company.  But beyond that, I think not.

There’s a subtle difference between capturing attention and advertising … something we loosely refer to as “strategery.”  And that “strategery” needs to come somewhere between “should we plan to attend this trade show” and “why don’t we release a bunch of flies in the show hall?”

Finally, what would our friends at PETA and the Humane Society of the U.S. say about this?  Shouldn’t these insects be paid for their hard work?