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Stilt walker offers free sandwich board advertising to RISC OS companies

Published: 23rd Dec 2008, 00:05:45 | Permalink | Printable

Picture exclusive - An enterprising RISC OS fan is walking tall this season after offering free advertising to RISC OS companies and organisations - by wearing their adverts on sandwich boards around UK towns and cities while on stilts. And Advantage Six has got in first to use the service to plug its A9home computer.

Robin Hodson came up with the, quite frankly, unique marketing scheme to help raise money to fund other projects he's working on, which includes one RISC OS-related effort. Now he's offering free advertising to RISC OS groups within the south west area of the UK during the Christmas period.

Kitted out in his modern-day stilts and waterproof printed sandwich boards, Rob plans to hit the streets of Bath on December 22 and December 23, Bristol on December 24 and December 26 and Swindon on December 27 and December 29 and has set aside December 31 and January 2 for any additional runs. Rob's previous clients include a town council that hired him to advertise their Christmas lights switch-on.

Click here to see Rob in action


Speaking to Drobe.co.uk, Rob said: "I am now advertising RISC OS in the south west during the Christmas period. There is no charge for these adverts. They are filling space used to advertise the advertising service itself."

He added: "The first poster has been agreed with Advantage Six to advertise the A9home.

"I was planning to offer any RISC OS company free space but realistically it'll have to be limited to real hardware, emulation, and shows within reach. Currently, Birmingham, Guildford, Portsmouth and Cardiff are the limits of the 'free range' service, but this will extend as paid advertising increases.

"Service is limited by ice-free periods and staff availability. I have managed to avoid skating on ice on stilts so far, but skidded quite a distance downhill on mud infront of the Royal Crescent. It's not something I want to repeat."

Gallery
Here's Rob in action. Click on a thumbnail for a larger picture












Links


Rob's website
More photographs of the sandwich board advertising Photos by Martin Axford

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Discussion

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Great Plan, and cool Stilts! The only problem I see is the poster design,It looks so unprofessional and does not go straight to the point.

 is a RISC OS Userhighlandcattle on 23/12/08 8:14AM
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I like the image of the A9home in the fruit bowl surrounded by peppers :)

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 23/12/08 9:08AM
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Have to agree with highlandcattle, the poster is not ideal - too much colour - the message is lost amidst the spectacle of a man on stilts. In Bath.

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 23/12/08 9:35AM
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I have to agree with the comments on the poster. It took me a full minute to decipher the large amount of low-contrast, confusing typeface text on top of the textured background -- and that was the screenshot on my monitor, not the actual printed and laminated version.

The message is good, but I doubt anyone would be able to read more than just the headline before Rob has passed by on his stilts. A lost opportunity for RISC OS advertising, I'm afraid.

Perhaps if Rob carried a donations bucket as well, people may just drop in a few pennies for charity...

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 23/12/08 11:46AM
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On why the poster design isn't prettier: This is because it's designed to make people buy things, not simply to look good. These are not necessarily the same thing, and a lot of thought has gone into the designs. I don't know what you mean by not getting straight to the point: There is the lead-in bit to grab attention at the top, what it is in the middle, and how to buy at the bottom. Explaining to the layman what RISC OS / A9 is and why they should buy it could turn into an essay if put literally, so I can't put all that on a poster, but I would like suggestions on what they think "straight to the point" should mean. I have avoided Mb/MHz direct comparisons, as they are meaningless across processor families, and concentrated on what it can do where the PC etc is weak (ie, everything apart from internet use).

The contrast on the posters is sufficient when you look at the posters in real life. It doesn't show up properly in the photos for some reason, but then neither does the Currys.Digital sign, which is also very clear IRL.

If anyone would like to suggest alternative poster designs, I shall certainly consider them or elements of them for future use.

 is a RISC OS UserAnon on 9/1/09 12:10PM
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Yes, but the only adverts which actually work have a few vitally important things in common: not much text, clear design, simple colour scheme, and a *short* message which gets straight to the point. Look at any billboard advert currently on display for examples of this.

With the amount of (comparatively hard to read) text on the A9 poster, not to mention its small size compared to the 30-foot billboards around, I seriously doubt anyone walking or driving past would have time to notice much more than a man on stilts with a funny-coloured piece of cardboard strapped to him.

Adverts such as "Don't smoke" or "Buy this sofa" in massive lettering, black on white, in a clear typeface and with a single picture in the background, are far more effective. I'd suggest a similarly simple slogan such as "Treat yourself to a computer that works", a picture of the A9, and a link to a website where people whose interest is sufficiently aroused may find further information and all the geeky stats they could want, to peruse in their own time.

There's no point, as you say, writing an essay on a poster for the layman. The current poster is a visual essay.

I'd suggest having a read of the booklet which Richard Hallas (?) produced a few years back. I think it was sold via APDL. (Can someone correct me on this?)

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 19/1/09 5:07PM
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He looks so incredibly happy in every single photo. :-)

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 23/12/08 1:31PM
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This is partly because the stilts and boards are heavy and there is an effort to move, partly because it's quite frightening up there, partly I need to concentrate on what I'm doing, and mainly my ground phobia, ie not smashing into it. The photographer was always asking me to smile, but not an easy thing to do at the time.

 is a RISC OS UserAnon on 9/1/09 12:09PM
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Pic six , with the old women is great :) ha ha !

 is a RISC OS UserHairy on 24/12/08 1:00PM
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SO FAR

The full-day advertising runs in bath & Bristol went well, then I was clobbered by a nasty virus on the 25th, and went from 5hrs/day weightlifting to being unable to get out of bed. Two weeks of illness but fine now. There is too much ice & danger of further ice around to stiltwalk for the time being, so I shall simply sandwichboard without the stilts. I have no idea what the reaction will be (sandwichboarding is virtually unused outside London), so that will be interesting. (Paid advertising will naturally be at a reduced rate for that.)

Because I depend on free internet cafe's to connect, I have not been able to check my email or any forum comments between 24/12 to 4/1 inclusive. Additionally I was not able to respond to comments on Drobe due to problems with registering through Hotmail which Chris has worked-around for me.

No new dates fixed yet, as I have to provide sickness cover: All the volunteer leafleting people are off sick with a nasty bug. Only one other leafleteer is available, but he has lost his mind and currently believes himself to be Manchester Airport, which has not taken further leaflet supplies.

 is a RISC OS UserAnon on 9/1/09 12:11PM
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The Organisers of Radio One’s Big Weekend in Swindon have graciously permitted me a spot on the main gate as the crowd stream’s in.

The new A9 advert is on the front board, with a local charity exhibition behind.

Finished for today; back tomorrow.

 is a RISC OS UserAnon on 9/5/09 5:14PM
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