Idea #2: The Money Giveaway

This is a money making idea for entrepreneurs. It’s also essentially a publicity idea for businesses, but I originally conceived it as an idea to make money for myself. Of course, as with a lot of my ideas, I still haven’t done anything with it – that’s why I created this blog of ideas.

The idea is simple: Arrange a public event to give money away. Whose money are you giving away? Not your own, that’s for sure. You haven’t got any. I mean I haven’t. Anyway, you’re giving away advertisers’ money. And taking an organiser’s fee for yourself.

This idea will work because everyone wants free stuff. If you doubt this read about the stampede that occurred when cooking oil was reduced by just over a dollar in a Chinese Carrefour. Yes, free stuff is great. And free money is the best free stuff there is. Your event will attract throngs of people who the advertisers will be able to expose themselves to while the punters are waiting to collect the cash. That’s the first reason advertisers will want to give their money away.

But probably more crucial for the advertisers is the wider media coverage the money giveaway event – and its sponsors – will receive. It’s almost certain to be the focus of quite a media buzz both before, during and after the event. (Read on for evidence…)

This idea is just a fresh application of the principle of corporate sponsorship. There is a ridiculous amount of money thrown around in this arena. For instance, the sponsorship deal between my home football club, Newcastle United, and Northern Rock Bank is reported to be around £25 million for five seasons. The difference in the money giveaway is that the companies are paying to sponsor the money giveaway event, and this money is just given directly to the consumers. This could be a more efffective system than traditional sponsorship for the following reasons:

  1. People get desensitized to advertising. The more people that are exposed to traditional forms of advertising (such as logos and banners) the less effective it is. People’s attention is drawn to novel ideas.
  2. The originality of the idea is the main media pull. If people were always giving money away, it wouldn’t make the news. But they aren’t, so it will. News is valuable advertising for companies. When you consider that a 30 second slot on a major US television network costs upwards of $100,000, you’ll understand why it’s quite valuable to be the focus of a three-minute news item on several channels. (The Million Dollar Homepage is a great example of the power of an original idea to draw advertisers.)
  3. People will form positive psychological associations with the advertisers at this event. Why? Because the businesses are giving them money for a change!
  4. The money giveaway event provides a good opportunity for advertisers to interact with consumers, so that they will have more of an experience of the brand. This could include entertainment, free samples, competitions etc.
  5. The money giveaway is just the next stage in a general trend towards advertisers giving more to consumers in order to draw them in – almost a necessity in today’s hyper-competitive market.

I first came up with this idea a few months ago. I was then pretty surprised when, the very next day, I turned on the TV and saw that a man calling himself Bailout Bill was doing it in Times Square, New York! Here’s an article about it from the New York times:

And here you can see how much publicity the events got:

Seems to work, right? Give it a go!

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