As an administrator I handle an awful lot of junk mail. It’s pretty annoying and, unless it happens to fluke and arrive at a time when I’m getting quotes for that particular thing anyway, invariably goes straight into the recycling bag. This is why I personally think direct marketing is a bit stupid. It’s not direct, far from it – it ends up in the hands of gatekeepers like me who throw it straight into the bin before a decision-maker lays eyes on it.
But one that caught my eye and imagination this morning was a letter from Grumpy Joe’s Flooring Sales, who deal in entertainment flooring and furniture. The name got me first of all. And beside his name on the letterhead was his logo, an old bald man illustrating his grumpiness with hands on hips and a deep scowl. I found it a bit odd – what the hell did this have to do with flooring? Not exactly doing what he says on the tin.
It intrigued me enough to read the letter, which got even more bizzare. ‘Despite all attempts to stop us, and despite vandalism and arson, the Gluing Ladies DID have a good Christmas….’ What?! You’re trying to sell us flooring but veer off into casual mentions of violent crimes.
This aroused my interest enough to follow his link to his website: ‘Anyone still not sure about why I’m Grumpy and what happened…look at the press release on the website www.portableflooring.co.uk/grumpy.pdf.’
It’s thrillingly shocking. There’s betrayal and back-stabbing, a deeply sinister Mr X and Mr Y, one brave man’s struggle against adversity and the mob’s attacks on his and his family’s property. Who would have thought the world of flooring could be so cut-throat?
But what really grabbed me is that, as a piece of direct marketing, this seriously worked. The letter grabbed my attention enough to read it fully. What was in the letter motivated me to visit their website. Probably exactly what a piece of junk mail is meant to do.
Now I’m no marketing professional, but I’m guessing if I spoke to one they wouldn’t advise a business building a publicity campaign around getting shafted by a couple of gangsters with a mob of thugs at their disposal. But that’s what Grumpy Joe’s done and it’s brilliant. If I or anyone I know needs a portable dancefloor Grumpy Joe is the first person I’ll think of. I’ll keep his details on file, even if it is for novelty value. And he’s definately achieved one aim in that I or anyone I advise won’t touch Portable Floormaker Ltd with a bargepole.
Now either Grumpy Joe is a genius or he’s unwittingly hit upon promotion gold. From today, in my head specialist portable flooring = Grumpy Joe. Surely that’s any advertiser’s dream?