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Newsletter: #978: The “Crazy Stuff” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d 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.]

A brewery with hip-hop albums, a noodle company with a cab service, and a restaurant with a TV series might seem crazy, but really, they’re just smart marketing disguised as weird side projects.

Here’s how some companies are using crazy brand extensions to do much more than just get attention by:

1. Geeking out
2. Educating
3. Making friends
4. Check it out: .gif hell

1. Geeking out

Pain Relievaz

Photo thanks to Definition Ale.

The Pain Relievaz is a hip-hop ensemble formed by Dogfish Head Brewery’s founder and lead brewer. Their albums include songs like “Check Your Gravity” (a song about not screwing up a batch) and “Pinching Pennies” (a song about saving money on brewing equipment). The Pain Relievaz are nerdy and they don’t take themselves too seriously, but beer enthusiasts love their stuff (and even write blog posts about it).

The lesson: A hip-hop group might be a weird extension of the brewery, but they show just how much Dogfish Head’s employees are into the nerdy brewing stuff that makes their beer great.

Learn more: Dogfish Head

2. Educating

Chipotle's TV show

Photo thanks to She Knows.

Chipotle is famous for making burritos from responsible sources. But they want you to know much more than that — they want you to know about all of the seedy practices behind the companies not using responsible sources. But instead of just making a commercial about it or putting it on a billboard, they’re working on a fictional comedy series called Farmed and Dangerous. It’s not often that you hear about a restaurant creating a TV show, and even if it’s not any good, it’s that kind of unique content that will get people’s attention.

The lesson: You can get your message out there above all of the usual noise when you go outside of where everyone else is trying to reach your customers.

Learn more: TIME

3. Making friends

Kabuto Noodles

Photo thanks to Kabuto Noodles.

London restaurant Kabuto Noodles offered a weird service during the holiday season: Kab-U-To-Work. The service claimed that since lots of customers have said their noodles are a hangover cure, they decided to lend a hand during the office holiday party season by giving people soothing rides to work. The cab rides include painkillers, sunglasses, orange juice, mints, and a cup of noodles.

The lesson: Imagine the conversation that customer will have at work that day about Kabuto Noodles and their cool service. Don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone to do something remarkably nice for your customers.

Learn more: Kabuto Noodles

4. Check it out: .gif hell

.gif hell

Photo thanks to .gif hell.

Abandon hope all ye who click here. This is the place where all of the currently trending gifs on Twitter are aggregated. (Prepare to see a lot of boy bands.)

Check it out: .gif hell

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