Smart Ideas 02/04

Pizza box advertising, tracking song trades and more

Think Outside the Box

What: A media company that puts ads in unconventional places like pizza
boxes, ice bags and coffee cups
Who: Eric Cohen and Joyce Shulman of Jump Media Ltd.
Where: Water Mill, New York
When: Started in 2000

Armed with fast-forward buttons and short attention spans, consumers are becoming harder and harder to reach with conventional advertising methods. Today, marketers have to find innovative ways to interest potential customers. Enter Jump Media Ltd.: Founded by husband-and-wife team Eric Cohen, 40, and Joyce Shulman, 38, the company specializes in placing ads in nontraditional venues.

A simple pizza dinner was the inspiration for their venture. They noticed the box and, says Shulman, "It was 16 inches of available space. Here's the place to start." Realizing pizza box ads would reach a diverse and captive audience, they began the challenge of finding the right partners-and set the distribution in motion before they even approached clients.

"You have to be relentless. You have to knock on thousands of doors," says Shulman, who targets local independent pizzerias. "You have to call the same people over and over [until] they develop a comfort level with you and with your product."

After some of their pizza ad campaigns made waves nationally, the pair branched out into other nontraditional ad venues, including coffee cups, ice bags and even a luxury coach that transports well-to-do New Yorkers to the Hamptons. They've also helmed ads for companies like The Boston Beer Company, Citibank and Warner Bros. Pictures, just to name a few. With sales of about $2 million annually, the pair shows no sign of stopping their advertising revolution. "I really think the ad industry is due to reconsider the way their message is connecting with their audience," says Shulman. "It's exciting to be part of that."

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This article was originally published in the February 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Smart Ideas 02/04.

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