How Unconventional Solutions To Marketing Can Really Work

unconventional marketing

Unconventional marketing can sometimes be the spice to attract customers to your brand.

Marketing is an important part of your business’ growth. However, with so many companies conducting campaigns every single day – consumers can often become bored. Therefore, the best marketing campaigns can be a little unconventional.

Unconventional Ideas That Worked

Cards Against Humanity are experts at unconventional marketing ideas. One year, on Black Friday, instead of following the traditional trend of lowering costs, they increased them by $5. This strategy increased sales on the day and for a period afterwards.

Another year on Black Friday, the company invited customers to buy nothing for $5. The campaign raised $71,000 on the day, with some customers making multiple purchases. The company split the money between members of the team; most of whom donated the funds to charity.

Rudy’s BBQ demonstrated that you don’t have to be a big or global business to be successful at unconventional marketing either. They regularly use negative statements to promote their brand. One billboard expressed they were the worst BBQ in Texas while another misspelt sauce. They also regularly engage audiences on social media – even when they are in one of their restaurants.

Despite these negative terms within their marketing slogans, trade is high, and they have numerous positive reviews online. It has also helped them grow from one to three sites.

Why Does Unconventional Marketing Work So Well?

The two examples show exactly how unconventional marketing can improve sales. Both present an inverse of an established trend such as a seasonal sale or the positive re-enforcement of a brand’s service.

Yet, both businesses succeed.

One of the main reasons for this is because unconventional marketing disrupts normal consumer expectations.

The human brain is conditioned to identify patterns, so people expect to see certain marketing promises and slogans. Therefore, audiences tend to ignore much of the marketing materials presented to them.

However, unconventional tactics break the familiar pattern. This forces the audience to examine the marketing literature presented more closely.

As they pay more attention; the audience remembers the brand more effectively.

In addition, thanks to social media, unusual and humorous items are shared more frequently. Therefore, the reach of such campaigns can grow organically. The more people that see your marketing materials, the greater the sales.

Finally, consumers sometimes want to test your assertions. If you claim to be the worst, they’ll want to see for themselves.

Unconventional Tricks You Can Make

The above two examples aren’t the only unconventional tactics you can try. There are numerous other tactics you could use; here are some examples:

Weird Discounts: You don’t have to increase prices to stand out in a sale. Most discounts are presented as a multiple of five (5%, 10%, 15%, etc). Instead, try for a different discount like 6.22% or 10.91%; something that is a little more unusual. These tend to work because the consumer concentrates more on the fraction rather than the whole number.

Market Another Brand: Create another brand and market that one. An excellent example of this would be Compare The Market. They advertised Compare The Meerkat instead, where a loveable meerkat would complain about all the people accidentally landing on his site instead of Compare The Market. The campaign took off so much that even after several years the characters are still around.

Send Them Cake: If you’re a local brand, and you have a marketing list, why not send a small gift. Cakes, doughnuts and flowers are typical options, but you can be creative.


Sometimes typical marketing tactics just don’t work. Instead, you have to be a little less conventional to grab the attention of your target audience. Unconventional marketing can take many forms and is only limited by your imagination.

What unconventional marketing tactic have you tried? What will you try next?

Let us know in the comments below.

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