Friday, July 9, 2010

Street Advertising

What I don't get is why certain companies think that hiring some poor shmuck, handing him or her a sign and putting that person on the edge of the road to wave and dance like a goof is considered good advertising?
Ok, run-on sentence aside, has anyone, I mean, anyone ever driven past one of these poor people and said to themselves, " You know, I didn't realize how much I wanted a $5 medium pepperoni pizza until I saw this person holding a large orange sign. I'm going to stop and get one!"
I only bring up the major pizza chain as an example because I see these people pretty much every day on my drive home.
I find it amusing to say the least that there are two categories that the people who do this for a job fall into. The first is the person (probably the first and only time they do it) that actually stands and waves the sign like they're trying to swat a bee: the second type stands there with the iconic white headphones sticking out and try their best to imitate a telephone pole.
These jobs can't possible provide much in terms of income, which is why typically, though certainly not always, it seems to be high school students that do it.
I remember trying to get my first job and the whole paradox everyone frets about regarding needing experience to get a job, but you can't get a job to get experience. I get that this is (possibly) something to put on the resume. But what, may I ask, are the skills that one picks up doing this?
Interviewer: "So, I see here that you worked as a sign holder for (big pizza retailer name here) for...3 days. What do you feel this taught you and how do you think that experience will help you with the duties that you've applied for here at (insert typical major corporation beginning job)."
Interviewee: "I, uh, learned to hold a sign, drink lots of water, keep my iPod charged and wear sunscreen. Oh, also, you need a really good text messaging plan to kill boredom that I'll surely feel at work."
Interviewer: "I see. Well thank you for coming in."
I don't mean to be a jerk, but seriously, is there not a major hamburger distributer hiring somewhere? At what point do you have to realize that you've exhausted all the other typical starting places and figure, "I'd be a really good sign holder!"
Perhaps it's not a matter of intelligence or aptitude but one of attitude then? "What is the one job out there where I can get paid to do the least amount of work possible?"
The answer dear readers (if there happen to be any) is not sign holder, but sign up for a government job. There you don't have to do a damned thing, get benefits and can't get fired no matter what you do.
Having said all that, I don't hold it against young people that they take that job. What I don't get are the adults holding the signs for Golf Liquidation sales. Again, it must pay like crap and surely a part-time gig at any fast food restaurant would give you the same (or better) income and a starting off point for your resume. I seriously don't get it. Especially because, at least to me, this kind of advertising is just so ineffective. Really how is it any different than renting a stationary sign (or buying one)? Hell get one where the lights circle on and off. At least the sign won't slack off and talk with friends and you don't have to worry about giving it breaks.
If someone could please explain this marketing to me I'd be grateful.

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