Has anyone ever tried placemat advertising before

Profile picture of the author hademade by
I was just curious to know if anyone has ever tried placemat advertising before. I don't see any threads from this forum that deals with placemat advertising. It has gotten my interest recently when i saw the potential profit you could make. This one company had there placemat ad rates, and i calculated there ad price by all restaurants they are. It turns out they are making over 200k a year just on placemat advertising. But it seems like it is a lot of hassle to get that far. They have like 18 restaurants, which seems hard to acquire. But has anyone ever had any success doing this, i am thinking about doing this.
#offline marketing #advertising #placemat #resturant

  • Profile picture of the author Aussieguy
    I did it as a young entrepreneur (I was about 20). It was a good effort for back then and I look back with fondness. It got me out there and walking into small businesses (retail) and talking with owners. I'm sure some of them advertised just to give the young guy a go, lol

    I'd absolutely never bother with it now, but it was a good experience at the time. I did 2 projects one each in 2 different cities.
  • Profile picture of the author MoneyMagnetMagnate
    That sounds like a MidasMan09 question...eh, Don? -
  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
    Just for the helluvit our firm did some placemat advertising. Completely worthless as a venue. From an advertising sales POV, it can only be sold as a branding mechanism, it does not function as a call to action.

    The problem resides in the fact that although you can say that to many advertisers, and they will nod their head in agreement about the importance of branding, when it's time to renew, they will tell you they didn't get a response. Making a living from advertising is all about renewals and residuals. Placemats are one time shot for the majority of advertisers.
  • Profile picture of the author hademade
    Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

    Just for the helluvit our firm did some placemat advertising. Completely worthless as a venue. From an advertising sales POV, it can only be sold as a branding mechanism, it does not function as a call to action.

    The problem resides in the fact that although you can say that to many advertisers, and they will nod their head in agreement about the importance of branding, when it's time to renew, they will tell you they didn't get a response. Making a living from advertising is all about renewals and residuals. Placemats are one time shot for the majority of advertisers.
    So most companies don't renew after there contract, and this is more for branding. I might not do placemat advertising then, i was just wandering if it was good to get into.
  • Profile picture of the author oda
    If a Placement isn't the best place for a QRcode then I'll eat a placemat.

    Go to any restaurant, people are staring into the distance, looking around.
    Put a few QRcodes in front of them and they will start zapping away like crazy.

    The restaurant owner should like the idea as the 15 minutes they spend zapping qr codes will make the waiting for food time pass faster.

    Why not make a random facebook app, qr code link to it and the diners may have a chance to win the meal free or 10% off or a free coke etc.


    Oda
  • Profile picture of the author Tousen
    I did placemat advertising before 2 years and it worked great.
  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
    I wasn't attempting to dissuade...with QR codes it might very well make a big difference. I was only sharing my experience with it as a buyer and advertiser.
  • Profile picture of the author hademade
    Originally Posted by oda View Post

    If a Placement isn't the best place for a QRcode then I'll eat a placemat.

    Go to any restaurant, people are staring into the distance, looking around.
    Put a few QRcodes in front of them and they will start zapping away like crazy.

    The restaurant owner should like the idea as the 15 minutes they spend zapping qr codes will make the waiting for food time pass faster.

    Why not make a random facebook app, qr code link to it and the diners may have a chance to win the meal free or 10% off or a free coke etc.


    Oda
    That sounds like a good idea, but i don't know anything about qr codes. I will have to learn more about qr codes first.
  • Profile picture of the author hademade
    Originally Posted by Tousen View Post

    I did placemat advertising before 2 years and it worked great.
    Thats good, did the advertisers review there contract when you did placemat advertisers.

    Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

    I wasn't attempting to dissuade...with QR codes it might very well make a big difference. I was only sharing my experience with it as a buyer and advertiser.
    Well if the companies aren't renewing there contract, i just saw it as a waste of time. You would have to find around 14-16 new companies each time. The qr codes does sound a lot better to me, but i will need to learn qr codes first. I have never made or don't know how to use qr codes.
  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
    You're going to have to hammer them on branding branding branding.
  • Profile picture of the author SBCopywritingGuy
    Interesting.

    I think if done correctly, it could possibly be effective. First, I was thinking it wouldn't work because most people are more concerned with EATING on their placemats than reading them.

    However...

    If you take most restaurants, people wait an average of 10-15 minutes before the server brings their food. I'd make sure the offer on the placemat was something that would drive the prospect to action immediately before their food arrived.

    An offer such as:

    "Want to save an additional 15% on your meal? Simply scan this code and upon checkout, show your screen to the cashier...INSTANT SAVINGS."

    If it were me, I'd test different offers on the placemat and go from there.

    Good luck with it if you do decide to test.
  • Profile picture of the author infomaniacs
    I remember seeing something like this on ebay awhile ago, someone selling an info product on how to do this kind of business
  • Profile picture of the author Aussieguy
    I've actually done it (well okay, only twice), years ago. Made good money at the time.

    What are you looking for? Some pocket money? Sure, go ahead. A full time business? No. Unless maybe you're setting up a "Novelty Advertising" business and this will be one of many "fun and different" places you'll be advertising the businesses. In which case - maybe. You might find a real business in that from businesses who see the value in having their name in different types of places.

    Why not? Well, here's the thing. I don't know what it's like where you live, but even all those years ago (after it was out there in various cafes) I saw the writing on the wall - I could see that it just didn't look awesome for the cafe hosting the placemats. Incidentally, I found cafes to be the ones to take them on board.
    Again, I don't know where you are, but I'd find it very difficult to keep a straight face and go into a cafe suggesting that you'll give them free placemats with ads on them. Most cafes wouldn't have any placemats on them, because they're not a modern look. Could be different where you are.

    Maybe where you are you've got lots of eating places that go through lots of disposable placemats (like the paper placemats in McDonald's trays). If that's a common thing where you are, I'd suggest at least going that way. I was doing the laminated thing way back when....argh! lol I'm sure I had a few David Miller's advertising - business people that just wanted to give me a go.

    The free disposables may well work (esp. with modern twists of QR and the like) - after all, businesses advertise on the back of shopping dockets here!

    Keep thinking of different ideas and see how you go!
  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    When I am pitching my giant postcard program, I get owners catching a flash of it sometimes and they always think it's a placemat, which doesn't usually go over to well until they realize what it really is.

    Anyways, I walk into a coin/antique dealer who I had been trying to pitch but was never open when I went before, and he saw it and got all excited.

    He thought it was a placemat and told me if he wasn't travelling around the country going to shows, he'd do it in a heartbeat. He said that he had done tons of placemat advertising and was always amazed at how much business he would get from them.

    He went on and on about how great placemat advertising is and told me that if I ever wanted to use him as a reference he would tell any business owner about his great results with it.

    I finally got the chance to tell him that my sample was a postcard sent in the mail, and he loved it obviously but he just kept right on gloating about how great placemat advertising was for him.


    I really never expected to hear that out of anyone.
  • Profile picture of the author smartdept
    Yes, QR Codes on a placemat is brilliant!
  • Profile picture of the author mikeyman120
    Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

    That sounds like a MidasMan09 question...eh, Don? -
    Yes, and I think he would say to go into the business(diners, restaurants) and offer them free placemats. If they accept sell 12-15 ads per side of the placemat @ $500 an ad and let them know they will get at least a years exposure. So 30 ads times $500=$15,000.

    Get the placemats printed, not sure how many to give them, but even if its $1000 you make $14,000.

    Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

    I really never expected to hear that out of anyone.
    I went into staples to get my postcard(from your thread) samples printed and laminated. When I went in to pick them up the lady asked if I was in the placemat business. With the lamination they do look like placemats.
  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Originally Posted by mikeyman120 View Post

    Yes, and I think he would say to go into the business(diners, restaurants) and offer them free placemats. If they accept sell 12-15 ads per side of the placemat @ $500 an ad and let them know they will get at least a years exposure. So 30 ads times $500=$15,000.

    Get the placemats printed, not sure how many to give them, but even if its $1000 you make $14,000.



    I went into staples to get my postcard(from your thread) samples printed and laminated. When I went in to pick them up the lady asked if I was in the placemat business. With the lamination they do look like placemats.
    Makes me wonder how many people in my community are using them as placemats in their home!

    "Hilda, get that goddayum coffee off the table and use this here free placemat. Just clip out the coupon for the free dog wash for rover first.
  • Profile picture of the author hademade
    Originally Posted by SBCopywritingGuy View Post

    Interesting.

    I think if done correctly, it could possibly be effective. First, I was thinking it wouldn't work because most people are more concerned with EATING on their placemats than reading them.

    However...

    If you take most restaurants, people wait an average of 10-15 minutes before the server brings their food. I'd make sure the offer on the placemat was something that would drive the prospect to action immediately before their food arrived.

    An offer such as:

    "Want to save an additional 15% on your meal? Simply scan this code and upon checkout, show your screen to the cashier...INSTANT SAVINGS."

    If it were me, I'd test different offers on the placemat and go from there.

    Good luck with it if you do decide to test.
    Thanks for the advice, it seems like this will work well if you focus on putting a scan code on the placemat. I don't think most people will remember the deals on the placemats

    Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

    You're going to have to hammer them on branding branding branding.
    I understand now, but i don't know if the small businesses would be interested in this.
  • Profile picture of the author hademade
    Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post

    I've actually done it (well okay, only twice), years ago. Made good money at the time.

    What are you looking for? Some pocket money? Sure, go ahead. A full time business? No. Unless maybe you're setting up a "Novelty Advertising" business and this will be one of many "fun and different" places you'll be advertising the businesses. In which case - maybe. You might find a real business in that from businesses who see the value in having their name in different types of places.

    Why not? Well, here's the thing. I don't know what it's like where you live, but even all those years ago (after it was out there in various cafes) I saw the writing on the wall - I could see that it just didn't look awesome for the cafe hosting the placemats. Incidentally, I found cafes to be the ones to take them on board.
    Again, I don't know where you are, but I'd find it very difficult to keep a straight face and go into a cafe suggesting that you'll give them free placemats with ads on them. Most cafes wouldn't have any placemats on them, because they're not a modern look. Could be different where you are.

    Maybe where you are you've got lots of eating places that go through lots of disposable placemats (like the paper placemats in McDonald's trays). If that's a common thing where you are, I'd suggest at least going that way. I was doing the laminated thing way back when....argh! lol I'm sure I had a few David Miller's advertising - business people that just wanted to give me a go.

    The free disposables may well work (esp. with modern twists of QR and the like) - after all, businesses advertise on the back of shopping dockets here!

    Keep thinking of different ideas and see how you go!
    So you think disposable placemats will be better, so you are thinking more of tray liner advertisements. But the thing is with this idea i would have to go to large corporations such as mcdonalds, burger king, etc instead of the smaller restaurants.
  • Profile picture of the author hademade
    Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

    When I am pitching my giant postcard program, I get owners catching a flash of it sometimes and they always think it's a placemat, which doesn't usually go over to well until they realize what it really is.

    Anyways, I walk into a coin/antique dealer who I had been trying to pitch but was never open when I went before, and he saw it and got all excited.

    He thought it was a placemat and told me if he wasn't travelling around the country going to shows, he'd do it in a heartbeat. He said that he had done tons of placemat advertising and was always amazed at how much business he would get from them.

    He went on and on about how great placemat advertising is and told me that if I ever wanted to use him as a reference he would tell any business owner about his great results with it.

    I finally got the chance to tell him that my sample was a postcard sent in the mail, and he loved it obviously but he just kept right on gloating about how great placemat advertising was for him.


    I really never expected to hear that out of anyone.
    I never heard about placemat advertising working good for anyone, but i guess it depends on the location and business. But i would need to test this to see how well it does, i think it could work in my location if i target the right businesses. I am also trying out your postcard method, i am still working on the mock-up for that. I think i should just stick with one method first instead of trying to do more than one thing at one time.

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