5 Under-Utilized Promotional Methods You Should Be Trying Now - Ohai


5 Under-Utilized Promotional Methods You Should Be Trying Now

by Parag Tahilramani Jul 21 2017



The vast majority of corporate promotional budgets continue to burn for common advertising media like TV, newspaper and internet ads. The internet, which a decade ago was considered a rather unorthodox advertising medium, is going to account for 50% of all advertising spend worldwide by 2021. However, most companies still spend little time or money on innovative promotional tactics that accumulate tons of public approval. Here are a few:

1. Instagram bookmarking contests

When Instagram introduced their ‘bookmark’ feature, Audi quickly grabbed the opportunity to launch a crazy puzzle contest right there on the app. They uploaded a picture of their R8 supercar in 9 jumbled parts. Users had to bookmark them in the correct order, so that their personal bookmarks page showed the car in full, like an assembled jigsaw puzzle. The first five fans to complete the game were given mentions on Audi’s official Instagram account! The fact that those posts were bookmarked increased their visibility to users who weren’t even following Audi. The congratulatory post which mentioned the five winners got over 195,000 likes – outperforming most of their Instagram posts!

audi bookmarking jumbled
Audi uploaded posts in a random order…
… Et voila! Here’s the completed puzzle!

2. Viral videos and games

In late 2012, Melbourne Metro decided to publish an animated video to educate the public about rail safety. You may have already watched it without knowing what it was for. Yes, the promotional video they made was Dumb Ways to Die! As of May 2017, it has garnered about 150 million views on YouTube! The games built around the video are quite popular too, with over ten million downloads on the Android app store.

dumb ways to die
One dumb way to die is to get run over by an ambulance.

Speaking of viral content – do you know why content goes viral? There’s a science behind it. Different content goes viral for different reasons. In the case of Dumb Ways to Die, it’s because the video is incredibly silly yet carries a deeper and more meaningful message.

3. Ask customers to make ads for you!

From 2006 to 2016, Frito-Lay held their competition ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ eight times. Customers were asked to submit their own ads for Dorito’s. Frito-Lay would offer huge prizes from $400,000 to a million, and guarantee that at least one customer-made commercial aired during the Super Bowl.

crash the super bowl

If you don’t have a big budget, you can always ask customers for ideas and then credit them on social media. Maybe offer a box of cupcakes to the winner! People will do anything for free food.

4. April Fool’s pranks

We all know about Google’s crazy April Fool’s day pranks. This year, they made Pac-Man work inside Google Maps, while BMW offered a unicorn’s horn as an optional accessory on April 1. Several big brands pull off these pranks really well – it would be perfectly okay for smaller firms to do it, too. They’re hilarious and never fail to grab consumer attention.

BMW's Unicorn Accessory Prank
BMW’s Unicorn Accessory Prank

Companies need to be careful with these pranks, though – in 2016, Google’s Mic Drop prank backfired horribly and caused serious issues for some of its customers.

5. Make Memes

No, this is not a joke. Memes are a great way to connect with a younger crowd – albeit they can look really unprofessional on your social media handles if your brand generally caters to an older audience. So, it’s safe to say that only certain brands can effectively use memes as a marketing technique. Take the example of Jimmy John’s Sandwiches. They used the meme below:

jimmy john's marketing

Jimmy John’s ended up with over 5,300 likes and 2,700 retweets for that joke. Isn’t that great? They are now using memes on a regular basis to market their product. Memes are a form of highly shareable content. When your customers laugh at them and click the ‘Share’ button, they’re basically doing free advertising for you.

Then there’s the legendary Dos Equis beer. Their ‘most interesting man in the world’ advertisement turned into a meme that has hung around on the internet for several years. Here’s one:

most interesting man dos equis ad

Yes, this meme started out as a beer ad – look at the bottle in the bottom right corner. Dos Equis is now a lot more recognizable in the countries in which it is sold, thanks to thousands of people sharing the meme on social media!


You can always boost your marketing game with techniques like these. Never be afraid to think out of the box! Advertising is constantly evolving, getting more and more dynamic by the day. We’ve evolved from having a handful of advertising forms a few decades ago to hundreds of unique promotional techniques today, with an infinitum of possible permutations and combinations. As technology steps up from computers and mobile phones to smart wearables and smart homes, ads are only going to get more complex – perhaps a whole lot more awesome!

Have you ever created a unique and out of the box advertisement, how were the results? Our marketing team will even help you out for the next one. Post it to our Facebook page and let’s get started!

Get the Ohai app today. Click here to download.

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