I found an article on WebProNews written by Chris Crum on the Groupon offer where folks would receive a discount on what were called Dahmer Tours.
I’m not sure who is behind these tours but apparently, the deal was for a 90-minute tour for 2 people discounted from $60 to $35 and bless their souls, they even elected to use the promotional tool, “buy it for a friend!” Nice gift huh?
The 90-minute tour didn’t take folks inside Dahmer’s old home but instead, it lead you through the streets where Dahmer preyed on victims, enticed them and well, as the Groupon offer stated:
“Things that go bump in the night keep us awake by invading our dreams and loudly honking car horns every 30 seconds. Give yourself the creeps with this Groupon.”
Sure this seems weird and because the families who had relatives that were victims of Dahmer, Groupon took the offer down and rightly so.
Good or Bad Idea, It’s Still Advertising!
This made me think about an advertisement in a newspaper I saw for a handyman service (actually I’ve seen it used to advertise other products) but in large print, the ad said “WIFE WANTED!” Curious, I read the ad only to find it was an ad for a handyman company but it did serve its purpose. It got me to read the ad. And heck, what if at that exact moment I needed a handyman but had no idea where to look?
The Dahmer Groupon offer isn’t the same, but think about this for a moment. How many gruesome folks out there will remember the offer, visit Milwaukee and take them up on the $60 tour with no discount—I bet more than you think!
Being Innovative in Your Advertising
I would advise skipping some like visit the Grim Reaper at our free event (unless it’s Halloween) but what about some other unique offering that entices customers to your door?
One idea for a plant and tree nursery might be, buy a tree; get a dead one for free. I know what you’re thinking—what in the world could a customer do with a dead tree? Some will come to see what it’s all about where others will come buy a tree to see if they can save the free dead tree. You may get some folks looking for kindling for outdoor grills or poolside fireplaces for Spring entertainment use or maybe they’re working on a craft project and need what your tree has! Whatever the reason, people will be curious.
Another way to pull them in is to advertise a longer campaign. Have every male staff member grow beards and advertise their progress regularly—in print and on your website. Inform your customers when the big shave time comes that they too can participate in the shave and then donate the hair to a children’s cancer hospital. If you can get a local celebrity involved in the shaving, that’s even better! People may show up because they felt the customer service they received from a male staff member was terrible and want to convey that via a horrible shave, but most will be enticed by the idea—and because it’s for charity, all the better!
Plan, Do and Act!
These are only two (well three if you’re as brave as Groupon) but you can think of some of your own. Be outrageous! Be innovative! Grab your customer’s attention anyway you can as long as you don’t break the law!
I realize the family of Dahmer’s family did have a case and pulling the ad was the right thing to do, but I’m telling you, if I ever go to Milwaukee, I’d take the tour!
And, even though the Groupon offer has been taken down, that doesn’t mean folks will forget about it soon and in fact, it was a Google Trend for three entire days! Can you be that innovative? Sure you can!
I guess I could advertise my Dentist in New Mexico was once the prison dentist where Dahmer was incarcerated and did work on his teeth before he died. While he didn’t advertise this, it did intrigued me and heck, I just love telling that story just to hear people say “Ewwwwwwwwww!” True story though!
Crum, Chris – WebPro News – “Jeffrey Dahmer Tours on Groupon Don’t Go Over Too Well” March 3, 2012, retrieved March 6, 2012.
Image Credit: Dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net