I‘m a cyclist-commuter. Bicycles catch my eye. But none has better than the one a month or two back, a bright orange bike (and I do mean orange – wheels, chains, everything) ridden by an orange man (and I do mean orange – a full body stocking (how did he SEE in that thing???)).
That was notable – I mentioned it to my wife. Strange.
Then a few days later, going into a local fast food place, I saw another orange bike chained up outside. Now, the tire was flat and it didn’t look like it had been ridden in a while, but still, there it was. Came in and glanced around, but no orange men were in evidence.
Started seeing them more, all around Colonial Plaza. In front of the bookstore, and a hobby supply store – here and there and everywhere. Wow. Just all over the place. I couldn’t tell you if they were elsewhere because I don’t shop elsewhere – just around this plaza, close to home.
I was beginning to have my suspicions.
Then, when JB and I out at the little Mexican place in that same plaza, we found a huge deal going on in the parking lot; tents, loud music, all sorts of bronze folks strutting about with their muscles hanging out. And all around the place, atop tents and cars and chained to everything, were orange bikes. And now I got it. These were the little marketing trick this new gym (because that’s what it was all about) were engaging. Word of mouth. Curiosity. A marketing blitz.
Which is funny, and SPOILER ALERT to those who have not read my Early Retyrement, but that’s exactly the trick Mason (my hero) uses to drive up the marketing of his own grain to the citizens of Tyre, all the way back in 330 BC. Not that I invented this gimic, no, but I had do admit that when I saw all those orange bikes, I thought of the scene with the grain transport easing through Tyre’s breakwater, the huge sail with his icon on it, and the excited crowd, wondering what this was all about. Specifically, this icon here…
So, it was funny to see and to reflect on this. Here was the pitch, as earnest and dishonest (for what is that sort of marketing than a touch of dishonesty, as Meroe would tell Mason) all here for me to see. I hope it worked for the gym and they do well by it. Worked for Mason. Me? I suck at marketing.