Putting flyers on car windows...

Profile picture of the author MarketingMama by MarketingMama Posted: 07/21/2009
bad idea?

i know most people think it's annoying, but maybe that's cuz it's usually just an advertisement of some kind of promotion or discount or something.

what if i'm offering something for free, something that most people would like and use? would that make it "less" annoying?

i'm trying to think of ways to write off my gas mileage on taxes when i go to malls and such...
#car #flyers #putting #windows

  • Profile picture of the author misterwrecker
    misterwrecker
    To be honest those fliers do annoy me, but there must be results because I think people would stop doing them after awhile.
  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Rezbi
    I personally don't even bother to look at it.

    I just screw it up and chuck it.
  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    Rich Struck
    I've been tempted to try it but it is just too annoying. Another problem is liability... If someone drives off and the paper obstructs their view and they crash, I bet they would want to sue you.
  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    Rich Struck
    Originally Posted by misterwrecker View Post
    To be honest those fliers do annoy me, but there must be results because I think people would stop doing them after awhile.
    People do all kinds of stupid crap, it doesn't mean that it works.
  • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
    Angela V. Edwards
    I would strongly advise against this. I am also in the crowd that just crumples it up and throws it away without looking at it, but I agree it's a liability. Not only might it obstruct someone's vision if they drive away, but to do this, you (or the paper) would have to touch someone else's property. That is NOT a good idea, I don't think. Can you imagine all the things you might get blamed for if someone wanted to?

    Bad idea...
  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    kindsvater
    In some places this might be considered trespassing and get you into trouble.

    Once in college the police were searching for some ... err, I'd better stop there before my wife kills me.
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Kay King
    Using someone else's property as your personal ad space isn't a good idea and is unlikely to lead anywhere you'd want to go.

    Do it where I live and many other towns, and store managers will turn them over to local police who will track you down through the flyer info and ticket you for littering or for solicitation.

    If you want to advertise - get signs made and put them on your own car and drive around.
  • Profile picture of the author cottpfoc
    cottpfoc
    As you can see by some of the responses in the thread, your conversion rate would probably be low, but the more you get your message out, the better your odds of success. So I wouldn't rule this out.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Hackett
    Michael Hackett
    Strangely enough, we had a guy come into our print shop the other day that has one of those "cash for gold" businesses in a nearby town. He wanted to get prices on business cards, flyers, marketing materials, etc.

    I asked him what had been his most successful marketing method over the years, and he said "flyers at the malls and parking lots - but it's just so hard to do anymore."

    I'm one of those that would throw them away, but evidently, plenty of others aren't.
  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    George Wright
    They work and they work big time.

    There are ways to do it with immunity from punishment and with great success. And with the blessing of the business owners. Malls? No experience there, however, they are managed by people and people can be persuaded if there is "something in it for them." Think about it.

    Just think out of the box.

    George Wright
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Silvester
    Michael Silvester
    Hi MarketingMama,

    Let me just say that putting flyers onto cars is such
    a pain in the ass to do. The best way to leverage this
    techinique is to hire a helicopter and throw a few thousand
    out the window of the chopper as you fly over all the
    carparks.

    That way you can do your whole town in about 20 minutes
    intead of doing 1/4 of 1 carpark in the same time period.

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester
  • Profile picture of the author Gary McCaffrey
    Gary McCaffrey
    I can't believe there are so many litter bugs here. I hope when you say 'throw away', you mean dispose of properly and not throw on the street!

    Seriously though.

    My previous apartment was on a street very near the city center so it was constantly used by drivers for free parking then they'd walk into the city, always packed with cars and it was very popular for people to slip business card underneath the drivers door handles.

    I assume that it worked because they were back advertising the same thing again and again in all the streets around my area.
  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    ecoverartist
    Depending on what the free thing is, you might consider taking out a classified ad (especially if you live in a small town) or maybe an ad in a relevant magazine. If you have community bulletin boards in your area you could put your flyer there too with some tear off tags.
  • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
    Killer Joe
    Just be sure you check your local laws first. Even if they convert as well as other marketing tools facing stiff fines for violating a local ordinance can wipe out your profit.

    It's not like they can't find you...

    And if I catch you putting something on my car...


    KJ
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    John Durham
    50 years ago it would have worked. Today though the only people who do it are the ones who are clueless about how to market and they cant think of anything more creative to do.

    I would imagine you might get a 1-3% response rate if your ad is apealing, but it's really not worth all the hassle.
  • Profile picture of the author misterwrecker
    misterwrecker
    Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post
    People do all kinds of stupid crap, it doesn't mean that it works.


    I agree with George that they do work. If people are going to implement the same marketing tactic over and over, that usually means that it works. Either that or they like wasting time and money.
  • Profile picture of the author MarketingMama
    MarketingMama
    you guys are funny!

    there seems to be people on both sides of the fence for this one.

    like i mentioned, i was thinking of a way to write off mileage to the malls. i probably wouldn't specifically go to a place to put flyers on the cars. i would already be there for another reason. (that's between me and you, though. if you work for the irs, then yeah, i'm going to the mall for the sole reason of advertising my business... :rolleyes

    unless i've forgotten something i've read (it's possible with my short term memory) no one here has actually tried it. they've just seen other people try it or have heard of people who have had success (or not) with it. i suppose that's a start though...

    i really doubt someone would "drive off" with an 8.5" x 11" bright pink piece of paper stuck to their windshield.... :p

    but i suppose stranger things have happened.

    and yeah, i suppose ultimately if i don't want to tick people off, then i shouldn't do it.
  • Profile picture of the author MeCanX
    MeCanX
    Our community around here get's fliers all the time and most of the time they end up on the ground. Now, I usually look at them but never respond unless it's a club or some crazy going out of business sale...then I might respond...

    I personally think it would hurt your reputation vs help it.
  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    George Wright
    Hi privateer,

    Sorry to hear that. Would the $2k had you not had to pay the fine been worth your while?

    I'm just wondering because as I eluded to above, Mall Management can allow you to pass out flyers if they want to. Also you might have needed a permit.

    One more question if you don't mind. How many flyers did you pass out to make the $2,000.

    (I'm assuming you made $2,000 because you said after a $2k fine you barely broke even.)

    Originally Posted by privateer View Post
    I have done it, actually. I got a nice letter in the mail with a $2,000 fine and informing me I was no longer welcome at the two malls and three shopping center that management company ran. The fine knocked my profits down to about break even, I made like $60,

    I've totally ignored not being allowed in the mall, but if I made a nuisance of myself and, got noticed, I would be trespassing and they could press charges.

    Like I said, be careful.
  • Profile picture of the author AmyBrown
    AmyBrown
    Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post
    i really doubt someone would "drive off" with an 8.5" x 11" bright pink piece of paper stuck to their windshield.... :p
    I see people driving with stuff stuck to their windshield all the time. Imagine you have just gotten your kids and purchases in the car, started it up and then notice the flyer. Now you have to turn off the car, pull someone's crap off of your windshield and dispose of it. Many people don't get out of the car, they let it blow off. I've even seen people turn on the windshield wipers to get the flyer off as they drive. It's particularly unfair to the elderly or disabled that may have difficulty reaching the flyer.

    Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

    like i mentioned, i was thinking of a way to write off mileage to the malls. i probably wouldn't specifically go to a place to put flyers on the cars. i would already be there for another reason. (that's between me and you, though. if you work for the irs, then yeah, i'm going to the mall for the sole reason of advertising my business... :rolleyes
    Is contemplating tax fraud and posting it on a public forum really how you want to represent your business?

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