Not quite six million ideas …
OK, it serves me right, If I will go round saying things like ‘that gives me six million ideas for promotion’ then someone is bound to ask me for some of them, right? OK, my fault. I’ll know better next time. Well, I’m not going to write all six million, that would take, oh, at least an hour, but I can manage a few.
The reason I got myself into this pickle is because I wrote vast amounts of trivia regarding the words ‘Olympics’ and ‘Olympia’ that can be used as promotions next month when the games take place. You have to be very careful though. Read more here.
- We have two countries to mainly concentrate on – England where the games are taking place and Greece, where they originated. This is a great excuse to have a British or Greek week or weeks. If you have a restaurant, feature food from either of those regions during the games. If you don’t, organize a mini food festival.
- Remember that the same can be done with drinks. You can either serve drinks from those countries or your bartender can create cocktails. Bearing in mind that the use of words to do with the Olympics are carefully regulated, one idea is to use sports instead for the names – the Saucy Sailor, the Avid Archer, the Crazy Canoe, the Judo Jamboree … your bartender can have great fun.
- If you’re showing the games on TV develop specials around this. For example, in games where goals (or similar) are scored (football, basketball etc) make all drinks half price until the first goal is scored. Or, depending on the sport, the first USA goal.
- If you have a restaurant or cafe, make foods with sports connections – for example a pot pie can be decorated with pastry oars or hockey sticks. Or make a specialty game pie during the Olympics. This traditional British dish usually contains meats such as rabbit, venison and pheasant.
- You’ll see from the article that in the 1950s (and early 60s) there was a band called the Olympics. Using their music, you can hold and Olympics ‘hop’. Have prizes for people who come dressed in clothes from the era. Serve food that was popular in those days. It was the era of cocktails, especially the martini.Give the entire event a 1950s theme. Can your local car collectors’ club bring cars from that era? Note that Hawaiian themed parties were popular at that time.
- Adopt an athlete. Select your favorite sports and athletes (are there any from your area?) Have the athletes’ bios on your mobile website. Have a chart in your bar or lobby showing the progress of ‘your’ athlete/s. Look for athletes that are relevant to your business. If you are an ocean resort, is there a lifeguard in the swimming team?
- Remember to o that the Olympics gives you a great opportunity for training and motivating your own team.
- Use sporting phrases in your promotions as we suggested in the previous article. Add generic sporting images. Remember that if you use the word ‘games’ it should have no other Olympic related word. However, you can have an image of a runner and a slogan saying ‘race here soon to receive your free glass of wine’. While the archery is being shown, you can, for instance, use the words ‘aim’ and target’.
- I imagine that there’s a certain brweing companty in Turnwater, Washington that’s going to get a lot of orders in the next few weeks…
- A great special on your menu during this summer’s events would be Pacific Bay oysters. The Olympia oysters were popular duringthe California Gold Rush. Doesn’t that give you an idea? The oysters aren’t the cheapest in the world and ally that with the Gold Rush and there is a lot of potential there, especially if you work with a local non-profit. Or use ‘gold’. Partner with a local jeweler.
- You can’t use the Olympic 5 ring logo. But if your hotel or resort has a pool (or is by the ocean) you can acquire several rubber ring flotation devices and hold games. (Blue, yellow, black, green and red.
- Similarly, if you have a lawn or open area, organize a quoits tournament, using rings in the colors above. (However, it can also be played indoors). Quoits is an old English game that originated in Greece. Serve an old-fashioned British afternoon tea.
- Use your geo-location services to create special offers during the times of the games. Remember that you can change your offer every day. This can be themed to a particular country or a particular sport. Start a curation service specifically about the games for your guests. Plan a swarm – everyone wants a swarm badge. Promote it via your other social media. Make an event out of it – perhaps by making cookies that look like the swarm badge. (Make sure your staff check in!) Ensure that everyone tweets about their swarm badge. Send photographs to all your social media to encourage others in the area.
- Take a look at the games calendar to see when the various events take place. For example, if you are near the ocean or a river, hold your own boat race or other event when the canoe events or sailing events are taking place.
- Support the Paralympics. Work in conjunction with a relevant local non-profit. Athlete Danny Andrews will be competing in his fourth Paralympics this year and he is from Miami. Support your local athlete.
- Several ships have been named Olympic but arguably the most famous was the sister ship of the Titanic. As this year is the one hundredth anniversay of the disaster, hold an Olympic dinner or event. Remember, you’re not referring to the games but the ship. The ship was in service between 1911 and 1935 so you can choose your era. She was known as ‘Old Reliable’ – does any aspect of your business depend on reliability? She was virtually identical to the Titanic – even to the fact that she didn’t have enough lifeboats…
- Hold a silent movie evening and include the 1927 film Olympic. Again, you’re not referring to the games. Hold a silent auction for a local cause. Ask guests to dress in black and white. Team with a local boutique to hold a fashion show. Think Cecil Beaton and My Fair Lady.
- The short story Der Sandmann featured a mechanical woman who was passed off as human. Her name was Olimpia. The ballet Coppelia was loosely based on this. This is a great opportunity for a random act of culture!
- Set up a Twitter discussion with a hashtag (an original one) regarding your favorite sport or athlete. Twitter will be abuzz, as will all social media. Run a treasure hunt helping to promote the businesses locally. Ask them to supply questions. Or ask trivia questions.
A word of caution (yes, another). If you are promoting using ‘win’ or ‘half price’ be careful to evaluate your offer carefully. For example, I said above that you could offer half price drinks until the first goal of a football match is scored. If no goals are scored, is that still worth your while? (Probably, it’s like happy hour). During the 1984 Olympics McDonalds offered an “America wins – you win” promotion. They based this on the number of medals won by the USA in the 1976 games. (The USA did not compete in 1980). But in 1984, America won almost twice the number meaning that McDonalds had to give away twice the amount of food they had planned for.
As always, send out press releases prior to any events. Invite journalists and local bloggers. Use social media during the event and send out further press releases afterwards. The morning after your event, post images and details on your blog and upload the link to all your social media channels.