Just the other day I was walking in town only to realize that I had turned myself into a walking billboard with advertisements all over me. It hit me that I was advertising for several companies at the same time to my unnumbered audience of whoever I came into contact with or whoever got to lay their eyes on me.
I had put on a white shirt labeled “University of Nairobi” in bold blue writings on the front left pocket. I also had put on a white wrist band with a message about Unilever Company on my right hand, and carried a green Old Mutual key-holder with white writings on my left hand. With the background of my dark complexion, all the advertisements could clearly be seen and read by anyone a few metres away from me.
I just wondered how many more people are doing the same thing like me; advertising for companies for free! Looking around, I discovered that this is an art or should I call it a science; that many companies have mastered well and are using in their daily marketing strategies. Most people around me wore branded attires, from t-shirts, shirts, caps, and even some trousers. It hit me that what all these people, I included were doing was a serious marketing for the companies whose branded garments we wore, but we were not being paid for our marketing services.
Companies have taken advantage of this marketing strategy and have turned most of us into human mobile billboards with their advertisements all over our attires.
I asked myself, just how much money would the companies spend if they were to pay all of us depending on the number of people that one interacts with and thereby get to read the advertisements on us from the various companies? That cost would be too much and uneconomical; thus explaining why most of those branded wears are given for free by the companies concerned.
The companies spend a small amount doing a mass production of those branded wears and then distribute them as free gifts to customers; who feel appreciated so much by the “free gifts”. The happy customers then go out wearing the branded wears and marketing the companies’ products to a large number of other potential customers who later come and add to the revenues of the companies. What a smart strategy?
Next time I put on branded wear, I shall enjoy the warmth and the smartness of the attire, but my mind won’t be in the dark with regard to the fact that; someone owes me a marketing service fee for turning me into a human-mobile-billboard. Should I sue them for that? …well, I don’t know!