The True Origins Of Gorilla Marketing

Feb 09 2010
Filed In: TPF Email Archive

About 20 years ago, I was working in a popular tourist location that had mini-golf, a go-kart track, and a video arcade. Except for the Manager, Supervisor, Mechanic and myself (I maintained the coin-op video games in the arcade), everyone else was getting paid minimum wage. Budgets were non-existent, and there were many days we operated fully in the “red”.

The manager came downstairs from his office, and gathered the “Salaried” folks together in our “Conference Room” - in this case, the Tunnel in the Mountain on hole #8. His idea - get a guy in a gorilla suit to walk up and down the street and pass out coupons. Each day, the coupon would be for something different, and it would only be redeemable on that day.

Really? A gorilla suit?

While it did fit our theme for the golf course, we all doubted the plan would work. All of us, that is, except for two people: Our manager, and the guy they hired to wear the gorilla suit.

As you can see by the picture, it’s an elaborate costume. It runs close to two thousand dollars, too.

Every night, the guy would show up, put on the costume, walk up and down the street and hand out coupons.

And every night, people would show up at our location with the coupons in their hands for a free go-kart ride, or a round of mini-golf, or even some free coins to play some of our arcade games. When you look at that list, the only expense we really had was gas for the go-kart rides… but more importantly that that, we had something we could measure.

Every hour on the hour, someone would radio in how many coupons they had collected for that hour, and a running total for the night. Our manager knew his idea was working. Overall sales increased (because, really, who plays a solo game of mini-golf?), our location won a company award, and the gorilla suit idea was implemented at other locations.

Without a way to measure, your marketing and advertising efforts are wasted. If you have to guess at any aspect of the effectiveness of your campaign, you’re doing something wrong.

The contests and campaigns we run at The Prize Factory take this into account. We provide you with data on how well your campaign is doing. How many people have responded, and more importantly - how many people have taken action. We’re more concerned with the conversion ratio than we are with the hits or traffic a campaign is pulling.

Traffic is the easy part - getting that traffic to convert into a potential customer… that’s where you need expert help.

It’s simple, really. You don’t need to go buy an expensive gorilla costume and walk up and down the street - just give us a call today and discover just how easy and affordable our unique solutions are.

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