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Issue #807: The “What Are They Doing?” Issue

Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

When you see a trend that’s quickly becoming popular, sometimes it’s best to just join in on the fun. How a few smart marketers are doing it:

1> Looking for it
2> Spoofing it
3> Opening it up
4> Check it out: The Joy of Geocaching

1> Looking for it

One recent sport to come along is geocaching, where participants use GPS technology to hide and seek “caches.” Today, there are more than a million caches hidden in places like parking lots, under bridges, and in parks. When the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department noticed the trend, they didn’t try to shut it down. Instead they approached it as an opportunity to attract new visitors by hiding a bunch of their own official caches across several state parks and distributing passports that encouraged geocachers to find them all.

The lesson: If you spot a new sport or outdoor activity that’s getting people out and about, look for a way to get involved with your stuff too.

Learn more: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

2> Spoofing it

When Old Spice did their incredibly popular “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign, a few fast followers with clever spoofs joined in on the buzz. One of the best examples is Sesame Street’s take, “Smell Like a Monster.” They did such a good job, people actually spoofed Sesame Street’s spoof — giving their video even more attention.

The lesson: Done right, your clever follow-up can challenge the popularity of the original.

Learn more: YouTube

3> Opening it up

Online trends move fast. But timed right, you can thrill fans and earn a few new ones by joining in. “Unboxing” is a recent trend in which people film themselves unpackaging new products — often hi-tech gadgets and gizmos — and post the videos online. The folks at Coors Light recently got in on the fun with a video of one of their team members describing their packaging and opening a case of beer. The video might not have been a viral sensation, but it took less than 5 minutes to shoot and drew dozens of comments from fans and earned a whole bunch of “Likes.”

The lesson: You don’t have to invent the online trend, sometimes just joining in is all you need to get people talking.

Learn more: Facebook

4> The Joy of Geocaching

If you’re curious about geocaching, you should check out our friend Paul Gillin’s new book, “The Joy of Geocaching.” It’s a great guide on basic and advanced techniques of the sport.

Check it out: JoyOfGeocaching.com

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