Today I received a copy of the “Northwest Examiner” in my mailbox.  A local newspaper that comes out once a month, and is mailed to everyone with a NW Portland (Oregon) address.  People try and tell me I’m not “hip” like the “real” Northwest — the trendy downtown neighborhood with cool old homes, art galleries and lots of places to eat.

Whatever!  I get the paper, my street is “NW” so there.  So I live on the “Suburb” side of the hill for the schools.  So there is an alpaca farm 300 feet from my home… it is boxed in by urban sprawl so I’m not in the country either.  But I digress… back to the paper.

As I sat, eating a piece of reheated pizza because once again I worked until I was about to pass out and needed food IMMEDIATELY if not sooner, I flipped through the paper.

obamadogadIn the corner of page 18, something caught my eye… (we are getting to my point, hang in)  “Pub owner may promise puppies”.  Huh?  This seemed a little unusual so I decided to read further.  This ad goes on to say that you can become president if you promise your kids a puppy so he thought he would borrow Obama’s concept and use it to sell burgers.

That is some timely, out of the box thinking!  Guess what… I was intrigued so I kept reading.

The owner went on to ponder a plan:  $200 cheeseburgers that come with a golden retriever puppy.  $500 Monday-night tacos come with an adorable chihauhua…  The final plan will be annouced after the first of the year.  (Genius!  Do you see what he is doing? I’ll now LOOK for the plan in the next issue — I like this guy!)

And he leaves us with this:  “In the meantime, the pub will continue to offer its free refill with a soft drink. Barack Obama would have never won with that deal.”

Now why am I sharing this? Unless you live in Portland, you probably won’t eat at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill, locationed at 937 NW 23rd Ave.

There are a few marketing points to ponder in this ad.

The use of color isn’t the best.  The green words on red, although seasonal, is very hard to read.  So the lesson isn’t in brilliant use of graphic design and color. (Sorry- no offense — loved the ad, it works!)

  1. The image is cute – who can resist a puppy?  What image do you have that you can put front and center to catch someone’s eye? On your website, in an ad, on a blog, etc.
  2. The humor is timely.  How many people take the President-elect’s promising his kids a puppy and use it to design a $200 cheeseburger?  The idea is so out there it gets your attention.  At the same time, you know it isn’t real so it doesn’t confuse.  What can you do to stand out through an unusual comparison?
  3. The title is catchy. I wouldn’t have red the fine print without the “huh?” factor of a pub owner promising puppies.  How can you put a little “huh?” into your message?
  4. By promising a plan after the new year, the puppie-pedaling pub owner has me intrigued and wanting more.  I may even drive over the hill and try a burger.  What can you do to create suspense and a desire for more with your audience?

That is the end of my story and I leave you with this… what do you see in the world today that you can use to make yourself and your art stand out?

~ Tara

P.S.  They have sold 639,690 burgers so far, which also leaves me wondering how long they have been in business and how long it took to sling so many burgers.