Don’t want to go extinct? Keep marketing!
Fun flamingo factoid…did you know that there are actually several different terms for a flamingo flock? You can call it a colony, or a stand, or a regiment. But our favorite collective noun is…a flamboyance. That one was obviously cooked up by their marketing department.
Surprised? Of course flamingos use marketing. They didn’t become the symbol of tropical fun by accident.
Believe it or not, flamingos were hunted almost to extinction in Florida in the 19th century. Ladies loved to put those pink feathers on their hats, and demand created a market that almost outstripped the supply. Things were looking pretty dim for those nearly-forgotten flamingo forefathers. What, you may ask, was the marketing miracle that changed their fate and saved their pink hides?
One word: Plastics.
When housing subdivisions started springing up in the 1950’s, blue collar workers became homeowners for the first time. Yet unlike their upscale neighbors across town, they couldn’t afford expensive landscaping or concrete lawn ornaments. A company called Union Products tapped into the glorious new material made from petroleum byproducts and produced two affordable lawn decor designs: Charlie the Duck, and the Pink Flamingo.
Never heard of Charlie the Duck? They actually outsold the first flamingos. But ducks don’t have a marketing department.
Those plastic flamingos rode a pop culture wave with their exciting new color (hot pink!) and their association with then-exotic Florida. Still, the snooty white-collar crowd wouldn’t touch them. Did flamingos give up and go extinct again? Nope! They turned that message into a gold mine.
When those white-collar Baby Boomer kids grew up, they rebelled against their bougie parents by embracing the glorious tackiness of the plastic pink flamingo. Movies were made. Merch was sold. Kids learned about them in school and visited them in zoos and slept with their plushies. Marketing painted the world pink! Now people rally to save flamingoes’ lives.
Am I trying to make a point here? Yep. When the going gets tough and it feels like your last feathers have been plucked, DON’T STOP MARKETING.
Crisis marketing means putting your core message to work.
Better yet, level up. A blue flamingo is even more memorable than a pink one.
Remember, out of sight, out of mind (and out of business).
Don’t think you have to figure it out on your own, though. Putting a trusted expert on your team will give you a leg to stand on.*
Let me hook you up with my FREE Messaging Survival Guide. It’s time for you to make a crisis marketing plan, no excuses.
Sometimes a Blue Flamingo has to put her foot down.
*That joke only makes sense because you know about flamingos. See?
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