18 March 2019
Chinese firms are using innovative tactics to grab the attention of consumers. Photo: Chongqing Morning Post
Chinese firms are using innovative tactics to grab the attention of consumers. Photo: Chongqing Morning Post

The latest in guerrilla marketing: Roly Poly leaflet beauties

It’s familiar scene in many cities across Asia. Step into a busy thoroughfare in a commercial or shopping district, and one is accosted by a bevy of people trying to hand out leaflets, peddling everything from a soothing foot massage to hot dining options.

The job of those street marketers is anything but easy, as most pedestrians either ignore the pitches or walk past hurriedly pretending to have more important work on hand.

So, in this situation, how does one snare a potential customer? Well, how about having an attractive sales girl or a model perched atop a chair on a two to three meter high pole and make a neat swoop on any passing prospect?

Seems outlandish? Maybe so, but this is exactly what some innovative mainlanders are doing as they seek new ways in cost-effective leaflet marketing.

High up in the air, the leaflet girl becomes a human Roly Poly, swerving to reach her target and returning to her pole position once the task is accomplished — all this without setting foot on the ground.

Given the amazing performance, can any passerby not stop and gawk? The answer is obvious. Rather than avoid the sales person, people have been flocking to experience the novel way of being handed the leaflet and having a close encounter with a pretty girl. Even those who are not interested in buying anything usually take photos and share it on the internet, giving free publicity to the vendor.

Roly Poly beauties have proved to be a great way of attracting eyeballs and cameras, and this is prompting a growing number of businesses to deploy them in shopping malls, exhibitions and trade shows.

Some observers have raised concerns over the models’ work safety, but organizers say the steel pole is designed to handle up to 180 kg of body weight, or more than three times that of an average model, and that the strong base will ensure its stability.

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EJ Insight writer

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