An Alternative to Superbowl Ads

By Valentine’s day, U.K.-based cartoonist and blogger Hugh McLeod will have visited 35 Tesco supermarkets from Inverness to Bournemouth as part of a roadtrip promoting the South African winery, Stormhoek.

McLeod is marketing strategist for the South African winery and designed their newest label. In each supermarket, McLeod will sign commemorative Stormhoek lithographs of his design. Plus, he and his collaborators will be posting daily video podcasts of their travels.

This is not the first innovative marketing campaign undertaken by Stormhoek under McLeod’s direction. Last year, the winery offered free wine to technophiles across the globe as part of its “100 Geek Dinners in 100 Days” promotion. In November, McLeod and Stormhoek created a national frenzy by — almost too effectively– spreading a liquor store chain’s “word of mouth” 40% discount coupon.

McLeod explains on his blog, Gaping Void:

We’re known for trying out relatively “out there” marketing ideas. We do that for a reason. When you are a small company in a relatively isolated part of the word, thousands of miles away from your main customer base, you frankly have no other choice.

For what kinds of businesses do you think this sort of direct promotion is most effective? As more and more people use TIVOs to avoid commercials, will quirky, smaller-scale promtions replace mainstream media advertising? Do you think the targeted nature of podcasts, blogs, and viral promotions compensates for what those media may lack in reach?