Marketing is simply a way to get attention for your business, charity or organization. A way to stand out from the crowd, to create a story that attracts customers to your door (or website).
Some gimmicks are personal in nature: Slash’s top hat, Angus Young’s schoolboy outfit, Richard Simmons’ striped short-shorts, Steven Tyler’s scarves.
Some gimmicks are in a name: Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, OpenTable and YouTube make sense. These names (sort of) relate to what they do. But what about GoDaddy, Squidoo, Zillow and Diply? They are just odd words or combinations of words that are so unique that you are forced to pay attention.
There are retail gimmicks: Adding clutter, putting the most popular items at the back of the store, “one time only” sales.
There are edge-creating gimmicks, like mocking a competitor (“Southwest Airlines – We Beat The Competition, Not You.”). Or inverting the first rule of Fight Club – getting people to talk about you all the time. Think pretty much anything Trump.
There are experiential gimmicks, like the Jump with Derrick campaign. Adidas hired NBA star Derrick Rose to challenge sneaker lovers to touch a ten foot high shelf (the height of standard basketball rim) to win a new pair of Rose-branded kicks.
And there are visual gimmicks like this one:
It is easy to dismiss gimmicks.
But they work.