9 Unusual Places to Advertise

Billboards, TV, print ads, e-mails, radio ads, and direct mail. These advertising methods are all proven and tested, which is why every other brand in the world uses them. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to cut through the noise, much less get your brand noticed in a sea of traditional ads in streets, shops, grocery stores, public transport, and practically anywhere else that has ad space.

That said, getting your brand noticed is not only a matter of making the ad itself captivating to audiences. Sometimes, it’s about where you put your ad. And if you want to get noticed, you’ve got to think outside the box and advertise in these uncommon places:

1. Car

Think about it: you use your car every day. The same goes for your business vehicles. If you’re a smart business owner, you would already have car signs on these vehicles. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop at cars that you own. With magnetic signage or custom wraps, you can turn other people’s cars into mobile ad spaces for your brand in exchange for cash. And these days, everyone could use some extra money for gas, so you won’t have a shortage of people willing to put your ad on their car for a small fee.

2. In video games

Video games are getting more and more advanced by the minute, which means that game studios need a lot of money to fund their game’s production and development. One of the most common methods that studios use to make money is to offer ad spots in their video games, providing a cool and futuristic opportunity for businesses to advertise their brand to certain audiences. Take a look at how FIFA brings different big-name brands to life inside their video games.

3. Baggage claims

When you stand by the baggage claim, you most likely do nothing but stand and wait for your bag to show up at the carousel. Thus, you are more likely to look for something to occupy your brain space, anything to save you from the five minutes that you have to spend watching bags go round and round. This makes the baggage claim a perfect place to advertise to people who have nothing to do but watch.

4. Outlets

Outlet ads operate on the principle that travelers in airports are always looking for outlets to charge their phones, laptops, and other devices. It’s an unusual place to advertise, but it’s effective.

5. Airline trays and airsick bags

US Airways is offering ad space on their airline trays and airsick bags in coach class. Passengers will be staring at these items for hours on end, which is obviously a great space to advertise.

6. Door hangers

Door hangers with specific offers on them can create a lot of interest in your business. For example, if you own a restaurant, print outdoor hangers with offers like “Unlimited drinks Mondays to Fridays, 8-9 PM” or “20% off on family set meals on Tuesdays” and place them on doorknobs around the area. However, be sure to keep this in mind: the more enticing your offer is, the more effective the campaign will be, so think of an offer strong enough to have customers walking through the door.

7. Manhole covers

If you’re interested in putting your ad on manhole covers, call your local transportation department to find out if they’re offering ad spaces. Cities that have limited budgets are more likely to agree. Once you take care of all the permits and requirements, move on to designing the ad specifically for manhole cover ad spaces, and then work with a reliable printing service that can create prints that are durable enough to withstand the elements and heavy foot traffic they are going to inevitably experience as manhole ads.

8. Street art

Street art always catches people’s eyes, be it a mural, an art installation, or 3D graffiti. To advertise on the street, you would have to work with the city (for requirements, permits, etc.) and a street artist (or a team of street artists) to make your vision come to life.

9. People

There are several ways you can use people to advertise your brand. Company swag is a given, but this method is already overused. Why not try renting out people’s body parts for temporary tattoos? It’s quite unusual, but there’s nothing that can catch people’s attention more than a tattoo of your logo on someone’s forehead.

Advertising is an ever-evolving industry, and today, thinking out of the box is often necessary to take your brand a step above the rest. By advertising in these unusual places, you can be sure that people will take a second look.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.