Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Homeless chic

Some people have expressed concern that I have too many posts that sound like I'm belittling homeless people, but I had an idea that I'd like to share with you today.

The proposed idea would be mutually beneficial to homeless people and large corporations. Companies are always looking for new ways to advertise their products, why not use homeless people? They are a venue that in my opinion has not been explored enough. They're out there every day, trying to get your attention - why not use them as advertising space? Corporations could give them free clothing and food with their company logo and/or slogan plastered all over and get the free advertising they desire. Meanwhile, homeless people would have food and clothing. Think about it: you're walking down the street, kind of thirsty but have no drink of choice in mind, and you see a homeless guy drinking a Gatorade. You'd think to yourself, wow I could really go for a Gatorade, wouldn't you? I bet you 10 hobos you would. Of course there would probably have to be some kind of Hobo Contract. Homeless Endorsement deals. For instance, it would not be in Gucci's best interest if Tunnel Bob was sporting a Gucci jacket and wearing DKNY pants, because they are competitors. So Bob might have to be an exclusively Gucci homeless guy. They'd be warm, they'd be full, and they'd be in sync with the latest fashion trends.

Of course I recognize a few downfalls to this otherwise brilliant idea. It might have the opposite effect, which is that people would start to associate Abercrombie and Fitch with homeless people and sales would actually decline. Also, people with homes might pretend to be homeless just for the free loot. Of course these are all just kinks that have to be worked out.

*You might be wondering how I thought of such an original, insightful idea that has never been thought by anyone, ever before. I mean I wasn't even formally trained in marketing. Today as I walked past the same homeless guy I walk past every day to work, I thought about giving him the lunch I had brought. But then I started thinking, well how is he going to warm up an aluminum can of soup without a microwave? And won't he need a spoon? Which leaves him with an apple that has not been washed yet and a South Beach Diet granola bar. But what if that's not the image he wants to portray? Maybe he doesn't want people to assume he's weight-conscious, or that he subscribes to that whole bunk about Low-carb dieting. Or what if he's just more of an Atkins kind of guy? All these thoughts got the gears churning. And then I saw a homeless guy drinking a Sprite and I headed to the 7-11 to quench my thirst.

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