Thursday, November 12, 2015
Katie Sands, Vice President / Account Director

You’re in a brainstorm. A few dozen ideas are thrown on the whiteboard — some of them are just plain crazy. When the meeting is over, you take your notes back to your office and pick each idea apart. Logistics. Cost. Client comfort level. Technological hurdles. There are a hundred reasons not to pursue the crazy ideas — sometimes really good reasons. But other times, there’s an oddball idea that captures your attention, and if you’re lucky, your client’s and audience’s attention as well.

That was the case with the “Get Your Game Face On” promotion for Bad Boy Buggies. Our client asked us to create an activity that would drive booth traffic at the SHOT Show, the world’s largest trade show for professionals in the hunting, shooting, and law enforcement industries. We knew that could be a challenge, as the booth was on the lower level of a huge show. But they needed a crowd, as Bad Boy was kicking off its largest product launch in recent history: the Ambush hunting vehicle with dual drive technology. 

After a whiteboard session, one big idea stood out. Just as the Ambush vehicle has dual technology, what if we showed the two sides of a hunter? That is, their wild side mixed with their tamer nature. Would people allow us to take their photo and morph it with an elk, bear, or wild boar? The result could be…unsettling. Plus, there was no guarantee anyone would be willing to sit for a photo, let alone share the primal result online. But our gut told us these “Game Face” photos would distinguish us from standard “enter to win” booth promotions. We also knew they would forge a lasting brand memory for attendees. Despite the stomach butterflies an idea like this gave us, the client gave it a green light.

That anxiety was alleviated as the first attendees strolled into the booth on Day One, pre-show mailer in hand, asking, “How do I get my game face on?” The spectacle drew people in from the aisles. Attendees convinced their friends and coworkers to do it, after showing off their own wild photos. Even the Bad Boy Buggies pro-staffers — celebrities from shows such as Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector and The Crush with Lee & Tiffany — got their game faces on.

In the end, we averaged 80 Game Face participants per day, with many more pulled in as spectators. Each interaction offered an opportunity to talk about the new product. And every participant walked away with a branded Game Face photo to remember us by.

The next time you’re in a brainstorm, take note of what makes you nervous. It just might get you noticed.