FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Aaron: Hey everybody. I’m Aaron Konzelman. Welcome to American Small Business Institute. Today we are here with ad partner Monica Ballard.
Monica Ballard: Good morning.
Aaron: Yeah, I think it’s still morning.
Monica Ballard: Yeah.
Aaron: Yeah. Awesome. What are we talking about today?
Monica Ballard: Oh, we’re talking about guerrilla marketing. And you know, I truly believe that great ideas are always out there.
Monica Ballard: But there’s another way to put that. Great ideas are always out there. Yes. So they tend to be a little disruptive, they tend to be original, they shake things up, and that’s truly, in today’s marketing world, the way to get attention. And a lot of people think of a of this as guerrilla marketing, and here’s an example on your screen right here of a bus that utilized that sort of play right there.
Monica Ballard: It’s certainly an attention getter. But there’s a guy who I believe is the … he’s considered the father of modern advertising, but I would consider him also to be the father of guerrilla marketing, and his name was Thomas J. Barrett.
Monica Ballard: A lot of people have never heard about him or anything like that, but looking into it, he got into the soap selling business. And he said, “Any fool can make soap. It takes a clever man to sell it.”
Aaron: That’s great.
Monica Ballard: So he got into the soap business the old-fashioned way by marrying the boss’s daughter.
Monica Ballard: And suddenly, he was tasked by his father-in-law to make Pears soap very, very famous, which he did. He wasted no time about it. For instance, long-term branding. The guy was a master at it. He developed a series of images always using the phrase, “Have you used Pears soap today?” “Have you used … Good morning. Have you used Pears soap?” Over and over and over and over again, consistently hammering this away. How consistently? Ooh, how about 40 years?
Monica Ballard: 40 years using the same phrase, the same images throughout that. He rode the bandwagon. He developed something very cool. He bought French coins, which were about the same size as the British 10 cent piece. The reason that he bought French coins and stamped them with the Pears name was that it was illegal to deface the image of the British monarch.
Aaron: Right, yep.
Monica Ballard: So since everybody sort of considered them in the circulation anyway and were using them, he sent these coins out into circulation until finally the British parliament said, “You can’t do that.”
Aaron: Brilliant. Oh my gosh.
Monica Ballard: So it really took an act of parliament to stop Barrett’s branding campaign-
Aaron: And that’s the kind of attention you want right there.
Monica Ballard: Absolutely.
Aaron: Oh yeah.
Monica Ballard: Sure. So, celebrity endorsements were also something that instituted. He got Lillie Langtry, the famous actress and celebrity at the time to say nice things about Pears soap as well as, oh, hoity-toity authorities, and opera singers, and people like that. But also, he got an endorsement. The king and queen soap makers to their majesties, by appointment to the king and queen.
Monica Ballard: Okay, so can we go further than that? How about the Pope? Can we get the Pope? Well, we can imply that we have the Pope. Here’s an ad, and a nice little boy had a nice cake of soap worthy of washing the hands of the Pope.
Monica Ballard: I also want to bring up that he utilized rhyming-
Monica Ballard: … copy in that. He bought one of the most popular paintings at the time called Bubbles by John Everett Millais.
Monica Ballard: Bought the painting and turned it into a soap ad. He had an artist paint in a little bar of soap-
Aaron: Oh yes, at the bottom. Yeah.
Monica Ballard: … at the bottom-right hand corner and turn it into an ad for Pears. One of the popular satire magazines, Punch, made fun of his style of ad writing and they drew a cartoon with a hobo that said, “I used your soap two years ago, and I’ve used since none other.” And instead of being shamed by the ad, he bought the ad. And yes, you guessed it, turned it into an ad for Pears soap. So you know, he just had no shame.
Monica Ballard: He just saw everything as an opportunity. His cross-channel marketing was amazing. He used advertisements, annuals, including Christmas annuals which included recipes and stories, atlases, coins, collectable figurines, hand towels, jigsaw puzzles, deep breath, collectible postcards, lithographs, school supplies, paper napkins, postage stamps.
Monica Ballard: Cover child contests.
Monica Ballard: Yes. He had a contest every year where a customer’s daughter could be the poster child for Pears soap. And the last cover child contest was in 1997. That’s how long this promotion added. So yes, I considered Thomas J. Barrett the first guerrilla. The first guerrilla marketing. He was just exceptionally brilliant, and all of the attributes of guerrilla marketing that we consider today, he utilized. For instance, completely unexpected.
Monica Ballard: So a lot of the things that he did were just so far out of the box. No one was doing them. Buying a popular painting and turning it-
Monica Ballard: … into an ad.
Monica Ballard: Drastic. The French coins thing. That’s got to be drastic marketing right there. Humorous. Taking the Punch cartoon and turning it into your ad. That was great. One shot. Yes. These things were done brilliantly. One shot and then it was done, it was being talked about for years.
Monica Ballard: Cheap.
Monica Ballard: I mean, using the same phrase for 40 years. “Good morning. Have you used Pears soap?” Can’t get much cheaper-
Monica Ballard: … than that. And also goodwill. The whole contest with Miss Pears.
Monica Ballard: That it draws the customer in, and not only the lady of the house who is buying the soap, but it appeals to the entire family as well.
Aaron: That’s awesome.
Monica Ballard: So putting the guerrilla to work for you and your company. You got to first take in the resources. What do you have the most of right now? What resources can you apply for great guerrilla marketing? Do you have money? Do you have customers? Do you have relationship or time?
Monica Ballard: So money. Promotional items, that sort of thing. Customers, can you use customers as brand ambassadors to tell your story and get people on your side? Relationships with other companies that you can co-promote with. You’re going to help each other out that way. Or do you have time? Is there time enough for the employees to get together and embark on a campaign? And if so, for how long? How long can you spare those people? Is it a slow time of year? Can you do those things?
Monica Ballard: So before we start tugging at ideas, you’ve got to take those resources in and then set out and just go to town. For instance, here’s one. Idea number one, startle them. Send out greeting cards way out of line for when seasonally they would be normal. If you get a greeting card in the mail that says, “Happy Thanksgiving,” or, “We’re thankful for you,” and it’s June, that’s going to stand out. If you get a Christmas card in the middle of summer that says, “Hey. Before the holidays arrive, are you going to be warm enough this winter? Now’s the time to buy a furnace.” That sort of thing. Valentine’s cards, send any time of year.
Monica Ballard: Send that and say, “We heart you all year round.” So you startle them by sending something that seems so out of place-
Monica Ballard: … but the message is in accordance-
Monica Ballard: … with what it is that you want to say.
Monica Ballard: So ideas number two, be loud and draw a crowd. Had this idea of sending singing telegrams. So send your employees. If you got uniforms, wear the uniform. If you have a mascot, send the mascot out there with them as well, and write a special little song about how much you appreciate them. And this, especially if the person you were sending the telegram to works in a large office, because then people are going to video that. They’re going to post it, they’re going to tag it-
Aaron: Right. Oh yeah.
Monica Ballard: … and then you just leave stuff behind with them so that they remember you. And they go, “Oh, I want some of that love.” Yeah.
Monica Ballard: Idea number three. Leave something behind that’s memorable.
Monica Ballard: We have a lot of plumbers as clients in the company that I work for, and we encourage them to leave behind some Poo-Pourri. We all know Poo-Pourri comes in the fancy little bottles, but they also make packaging that is a little bit more manly.
Aaron: Oh yeah. Yeah.
Monica Ballard: So the Master Crapsman.
Monica Ballard: Love the packaging. And of course on the packaging, you want a sticker for your company-
Aaron: Right, of course.
Monica Ballard: … so that they remember you, not just the Poo-Pourri.
Monica Ballard: And idea number four, be the talk of the town. There’s a restaurant in downtown Austin called El Arroyo-
Aaron: Oh yeah.
Monica Ballard: … and they constantly change their signs. They’ve gotten so much viral mileage out of their signage, that they’ve actually published a book of multiple different signs and most popular signs, and they hardly ever use that sign to talk about Mexican food, or their restaurant, or specials, or the happy hour or stuff like that. No. The only time they will mention the food is maybe by promoting that it’s the last stop for queso before you get to three yoga shops.
Monica Ballard: So if you have signage, how can you use that sign? Don’t use it to talk about specials, features, products, use it to generate love for your-
Monica Ballard: For your company, for whatever business that you’re in, so that people bond with that business, and feel good, and have a laugh and share it-
Monica Ballard: … as well.
Monica Ballard: Idea number five, color outside the lines of your target audience. So many times we just focus on that target customer and forget about the circle of influence. You know, the kids, the grandkids, think of what Barrett did with Miss Pears and involving the entire family.
Monica Ballard: And so, you can create coloring sheets and have coloring contests, and post those things online, and have people vote on the best one, and have people sing your jingle at a remote or at an event, that sort of thing.
Monica Ballard: So, you know, how will you make your mark? Will you take your mascot out to a community event and take photos with the kids and make people feel good about it? Will you have something smaller that you can leave behind with your customers so that they have something to remind you by? Can you bring a baby wallaby to a grand opening of a roofing company? We did that, and we had more people who … I mean, how many people were actually in the market that day for a new roof?
Aaron: Right, yeah.
Monica Ballard: But who will they think of first, and feel the best about-
Monica Ballard: … when they need a new roof?
Monica Ballard: It’s the company that they have a photo of their kid holding a baby wallaby.
Aaron: Yeah, absolutely.
Monica Ballard: Yeah. So will you attach your brand to something bigger and something memorable, so that when people recall it, they feel the best about your company and have good feelings? Any fool can make soap. It takes a clever man to sell it. So Barrett was absolutely right.
Aaron: Fantastic. Wow. That’s great. Fantastic.
Monica Ballard: All right.
Aaron: Love it. Thank you so much for being with us. Yeah.
Monica Ballard: It was my pleasure. And let’s make some magic together.
Aaron: Yeah. All right.
Monica Ballard: All right.
Aaron: All right. We’ll see you guys next week.
Monica Ballard: Great.