Live Action

Flipping Out

Let's get right to the point. Even a spectacular sign and an eye-catching storefront start blending with the scenery over time. As promotional innovator Phil Ramsden, owner of Eventz Extraordinaire in Irvine, California, puts it, "We all get in our ruts, driving down the same streets day after day, until we don't even notice what we're seeing anymore."

Unless, of course, you see 6-foot arrows flying through the air. Unless you see signs flipping and spinning and grooving around. We're not talking about a hallucination here. We're talking human directionals--men and women who use large, arrow-shaped signs to point the way toward new housing developments, grocery stores, car dealerships or any other business that can use a visible boost.

The human arrows may not be high-tech, but they are high-energy, dancing with their signs and tossing them high. "They generate a lot of excitement and smiles," says Ramsden, whose business supports a database of close to 800 professional arrow pointers.

Worried that paying for one of these marketers could be pointless? Ramsden maintains that human pointers take their job very seriously. Says Ramsden, "We look for people who project a positive attitude," to say nothing of raw energy. Then there's training and constant drive-by supervision to ensure that no arrow goes astray--or at least that each one's pointed in the right direction.

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This article was originally published in the December 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Live Action.

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