What is it about cardboard cutouts that makes people want to trade them like baseball cards? It’s amazing that a celebrity image or some other figure can command such attention. I guess that’s the essence of fame and celebrity.
Even retail stores seem to think that standees with celebrities on them will boost sales and make a better instore experience. They sell like hotcakes online where you buy them on ebay.ca, kijiji.ca, and a host of ecommerce sites dedicated to standees and cardboard cutouts.
I just shopped at Shoppers Drug Mart and saw the ever present Justin Bieber standee in their window. See the pic below. Have you ever wondered what it was supposed to sell? It’s apparently either of two perfumes, one called Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend and the other Someday by Justin Bieber. The Beebs sure has it going on. Even Elvis wasn’t that cool at 18.
Standees are not mentioned as one of the more effective retail selling devices, however it may be an underused form of instore advertising. Yes, the more annoying ones you see at theatres are on the tacky side, however they do help to create a mood, especially for the kids. It’s not a bad idea to rev movie-goers up a little just before they enter the theatre. You’re preparing the experience – setting the stage and loading up short term memory. That’s smart Just in Time marketing and the whole premise of any POP strategy – capturing them and committing them to buy your brand or switch to your brand at the Point of Purchase. It’s where all brands are vulnerable.
Check out cardboardcutouts.com to see a host of cut out standees featuring celebrities like John Wayne, Michael Jackson, Mitt Romney, Captain America and Johnny Depp.
The demand for cardboard cutouts is primarily by consumers who might use them for kids parties, and rec rooms. Video stores, movie theatres, music stores, teen clothing stores and other retail outlets use them to create a theme or experience, or just to waken sleepy shoppers.
Do you think cardboard standees are a good promotional technique? Is this just a sample of how creative product marketers and merchandisers could get? Are you impressed by celebrity and do these standees catch your attention? Which are your favourite?
The Bieber Phenomena
The Bieber standee seems to stand out from the rest. They’re considered a collector’s item. It’s probably his age and incredible musical popularity with the younger crowd that sets anything Bieber above the rest. I suspect the Bieber standees do more for Shoppers Drug Mart than sell a few bottles of Bieber perfume. I’ll bet the Bieber standees help to differentiate the Canadian pharmacy giant and add to the experience of shopping there, particularly for kids. With a kid all hyped up, the parent is no doubt going to be under more pressure to buy something. I suspect Shoppers is just trying to leverage some Bieber brand equity, but could all this just be Bieber’s doing?
Is it a smart move and proof that the Shopper’s marketing crew is on the ball? I think these types of innovative marketing tactics should be done more often. The fact this particular Bieber tactic is so visible shows that retailers and manufacturers are being too conservative in their POP campaigns and budgets. There’s no prize for being invisible in retail stores, so isn’t aggressive just intelligent marketing?
Most shoppers are bored with their retail experience, and retailers will have to continually come up with new ways to catch attention and drive sales instore.
And if you didn’t catch my 2012 POPAI Shopper Study review, they discovered that in-store promotion is a positive factor in brand lift and sales. Those brands which had their own POP displays or advertising in store, saw sales increase.
Read up on what makes the best displays, POP marketing trends, and how retailers are using SMS messaging and QR codes to boost sales. Are you having POP campaign problems? Find out more about display design, copacking and fulfillment and the value of POP display. Are you using digital printing for your displays? It does make a difference.