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Marketing Buzz 2/03

Advertising on pizza boxes; getting your business in the world record books
February 1, 2003
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/58900

I'll Take That Ad to Go

Americans eat 100 acres of pizza every day, and that pizza acreage often comes in boxes--boxes business owners can blanket with advertisements to reach the pizza-eating public.

According to Joyce Shulman of Jump Media Ltd., a Water Mill, New York, company that sells this kind of nontraditional advertising, businesses can use either large pizza boxes to target families in the suburbs or smaller, personal-sized boxes to reach the urban 9-to-5ers.

If pizza boxes won't work for your ad campaign, consider other nontraditional venues--such as ice bags or coffee cups. Though heavies like Samuel Adams beer have used Jump Media's ice bag ads, Shulman notes a growing business with a local clientele can also benefit from the strategy. Prices range from about $12,000 for a small campaign to about $200,000 for a larger, national one.

Are you wondering which venue will suit your business? Ice bag ads work best for food and beverage businesses, says Shulman, while coffee cup ads are a natural fit for companies in financial services, electronics, high-end consumer goods and other industries that target professionals.

For the Record

Does your business make the tallest, biggest, smallest or fastest widget in the world? If so, you might have a shot at having your name immortalized as a Guinness World Record holder.

Patty Keagle, owner of a Paul Revere's Pizza franchise in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, did just that in 2001 when she and her ex-husband, Joe, created the largest commercially available pizza, measuring 4 feet in diameter.

Although the feat took a year for the Keagles and employee Steve Gholson to accomplish, the effort was more than worth it: Sales increased by 20 percent after a local TV report and national coverage on CNN and Fox News helped spread the word. "It put us on the map," says Patty, 38, who's sold 65 of the enormous pizzas to date, "and it was fun for us to do."

If you're an aspiring record-breaker, make the Guinness Web site (www.guinnessrecords.com) your first stop. There you'll find rules, FAQs, previous records and a form for declaring which record you want to break. Guinness spokesperson Brian Reinert says people can also submit new records and categories for consideration.

Don't despair if you don't have the biggest or grandest product--Reinert notes that a service business can hold a record, too, citing the fastest haircutter as an example. So start thinking about how you can claim Guinness immortality. "Where there's a will, there's a way," says Reinert. "If you can dream it, most likely you can do it."