never thought I’d come across one looking around a farm in Fleetwood though.
Let me explain; a few weeks ago I took my family out for a stroll around Farmer Parrs. We love it there, a great day out and loads to keep our four-year-old occupied.
So when Ethan and his mummy were looking at something she’d picked up off the floor near a picnic bench I went over to see what the fuss was about.
In Mrs H’s hand was a beautiful rock, delicately painted with two young girls on the front, on the back a simple note, “You found me! Keep me or hide me and post pics to Facebook @LancashireRocks.
Intrigued, I duly posted my pics on social media and discovered an online community of people who had found similar stones dotted around the red rose county for no other reason than the joy of finding one wherever they were “hidden”.
They are everywhere, in parks, underneath benches along the seafront, on churchyards, outside cafes and restaurants and anywhere else you can imagine.
It’s guerrilla marketing in its purest form and the brains behind this brilliant “campaign” is mum-of-three Natalie Greenwood who came up with the idea after finding a Beverley Rock from Yorkshire across the county border. Her family now mass produce brilliantly designed rocks – around 150 a month – and go out for no other reason than making people happy when they find one.
Lancashire Rocks clearly follows with same values as Happy Creative in spreading happiness in what they do but it is also a great example of a simple idea, with little budget spend, gaining maximum exposure.
The phrase guerrilla marketing was coined by Jay Conrad Levison in 1984 and has become widely used by companies hoping to promote their services through unconventional means.
Over the last 30-odd years (and probably before that too) guerrilla marketing had been used to great effect:
The Swedish geniuses toured Manhattan and Paris and used their products to decorate various settings such as windows on trains with curtains and bus stops with cushions and even a sofa in a park. The result increased their brand awareness.
Before Game of Thrones came along, a very different show was stunning audiences from HBO. The Sopranos marketing team used New York taxis to promote the show which involved a fake arm hanging from the boot and a sticker to grab people’s attention. It worked.
Need an eye-catching way of building up customer numbers at a city zoo? Simply wrap a bus in a snake so it looks like it’s squeezing the life out of it. Bit more budget spent but an increase in numbers meant it was well worth it.
There’s hundreds of examples of guerrilla marketing and you probably don’t even notice half of them, such is their simplicity. Without noticing, the creators of Lancashire Rocks have invented their own type of marketing with a simple aim, making people happy.
So, next time you’re out and about, be sure to keep an eye out for stones because you might just stumble upon something which will make you smile.