When the marketing staff at the Baybrook Mall in Houston, Texas brainstormed ways to publicize their expanded food court and “family restroom,” they refused to settle for the ubiquitous ribbon-cutting ceremony or the overdone press conference.
Family restrooms, by the way, are the new trend in shopping malls. They’re private, unisex rooms where moms and dads can accompany children who aren’t old enough to go into the men’s or women’s restrooms by themselves. It’s a place where the whole family can, uh, do its business in private.
What better way to play off the restroom theme than with a toilet paper art contest. The mall invited local school children and adults to submit artwork in which toilet paper is an essential medium or focus.
“We parlayed it into a huge fun thing,” said Sunny McKinnon, the mall’s PR consultant. “We sent personal invitations to 40 schools. Art teachers at some of the schools already have responded.”
The winners received gift cards. Entries were displayed in store windows –guaranteed to create a buzz throughout Houston.
Thanks to Publicity Hound Jennifer Weiner of Houston for telling us about this. Keep it in mind the next time you’re tempted to wimp out with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and those ghastly oversized scissors. Or a boring ground-breaking ceremony featuring a line of guys in suits and hard hats, poised with their feet on the shovels. Or the check-passing ceremony with the fake 2-by-4-foot check.
Want more ideas for media events that reporters love?
“Fun Alternatives to Boring Ground-breakings, Ribbon-cuttings and Check-passings” shows you how to host fun media events reporters will flock to instead of the staged media events they hate. Learn how a hospital publicized a “breast fest” that’s a clever take-off on the typical ground-breaking theme. Or why inviting politicians to your event can backfire. Or how a clever publicity stunt that turned a ho-hum awards ceremony into “news at 11.” Learn more about what we discussed during this one-hour teleseminar at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.publicityhound.com/publicity-products/marketing-tapes/groundbreakings.htm