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Tips for an Effective Sign-Spinning Campaign

Are you ready to put a little spin into your promotional efforts? Consider these six tips if you’re considering an advertising campaign using hand-held signs — also known as “sign spinning.”

6 Quick Tips tips

  1. Grab the attention of motorists with motion — and then give a strong, succinct call to action. “What you’re really striving for is that immediate response,” says T.J. Bobay, marketing adviser for Fireleads Media in Asheville, N.C. “Use messages that really make people stop and pull over.”
  2. Target impulse buyers. Snatch those on-the-go shoppers from your competitors. For example, a lunchtime sign spinner in front of a restaurant increases the chances new customers will walk in on impulse, Kee says. Larger purchases, such as automobiles, typically are not impulse buys. Even so, sign spinners may entice those already shopping for a major purchase to pull into a dealership and peruse the dealer’s current offers, he says.
  3. Skirt the local sign code. Signage regulations often do not apply to hand-held signs, because many cities have not yet passed sign-spinning ordinances, Bobay notes. “It’s a wonderful way to get around the sign code enforcement issue,” he says. Even in places with sign-spinning regulations, a crew of people smiling, waving, and wearing promotional T-shirts can get around many restrictions, Bobay says.
  4. Treat sign spinning as an art form. Use artistic expression to draw attention to your business. “What we look for are performers. We’ve had tap dancers, acrobats, and people who are into karate,” Bobay says. “We play to their strengths and let them perform.”
  5. Tailor your promotion to a specific market. Are you after weekday commuters or weekend travelers? Bobay says home construction companies tend to run weekend promotions, whereas a deli serving the lunch crowd will likely plan a sign-spinning event on weekday mornings.
  6. Weigh the risks of using employees to hold signs. Check with your insurance provider to make sure that your small business has sufficient coverage in case a mishap occurs. “Let’s say you’re a pizza restaurant owner. You have part-time employees, and not many pizzas are being ordered. If you send your guy out on the corner to hold a sign, you’re responsible for him while he’s out there,” Kee says. Employees may also find the experience humiliating, whereas professional sign spinners willingly choose to spin signs, he adds.


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