April 12, 2021

Are there other ways your attraction is attractive?

Maybe you’ve heard of Skin So Soft? Avon thought it was a skin moisturizer (and it is), but the public bought it for another reason. It turned out to be a bang-up insect repellant as well. So good, in fact, that today Avon makes a second product: Skin So Soft Bug Guard.

Avon isn’t among our clients, but here’s a little background if you’re curious (and we’re nothing if not curious!). https://mosquitoreviews.com/mosquito-repellents/avon-skin-so-soft/

Why are we telling you this? As people who care about the marketing of attractions, there may be a lesson here for all of us.

One of our group creative directors tells this story: “When my daughter was about 2 years old, she and I were members of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. We attended at least one Saturday a month for one reason: We loved the liquid nitrogen lecture. (We also both liked the chicken nuggets in the cafeteria.) The lecturer, of course, may have thought we were there to learn about scientific principles like sublimation. Actually, my daughter was addicted to the part where a rubber ball soaked in liquid nitrogen freezes so solidly that it breaks like glass on the floor. And, as I’m sure any parent of a toddler can confirm, just sitting and relaxing anywhere for a solid 45 minutes was the most rewarding part for me. This is not to say we didn’t like other exhibits for reasons the museum actually intended, but it’s not what got us there.”

As museums or amusements parks, we often stick to defining ourselves by our primary function and choose to promote ourselves only along those lines—by touting better exhibits in the galleries or bigger rides. But there’s also an audience for what we may overlook. An art museum may be the best choice for first daters who are more interested in scrutinizing one other than in looking at any artwork on the wall. A zoo may be loved as a park as much as it is for its animals. A shopping mall is a walking venue for seniors.

A ferry isn’t just a way to get from A to B. It can be a way to get closer to interesting lighthouses and a way to catch a breeze on a hot summer day. Our advertising effort for Cross Sound Ferry Lighthouse Tours paid immediate dividends.

Do you have to look only at plants at a botanical garden? In promoting “Light” by Bruce Munro, we helped world-famous Longwood Gardens become an art venue.

To paraphrase Robert Burns, we should see ourselves as others see us, not just as we want to be seen. In an era where electronic media enables us to microtarget, don’t be afraid to examine yourself from each visitor’s perspective and see if it’s worthwhile to address their specific needs. It’s OK for a botanical garden to be a beer garden every once in a while. And while visitors are sipping their beer, maybe they’ll discover a passion for orchids.

Care for an informal chat? Everyone’s situation is unique, so the above advice may not apply to you—or you may need help applying it. If you’d care to reach out, it costs nothing to get to know us. Contact us: [email protected].

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