Even if your customers see your advertising, will they remember it? Thousands of advertisements inundate consumers and business owners each day, making retention of your marketing messages difficult. Novelty advertisements can help your message stand out from the crowd, and with a little ingenuity, can be much more effective than traditional advertising.

Branded Items

Businesses spent about $20 billion in 2011 creating items with corporate logos on them, the New York Times reports. Because there’s almost no limit to the number of items you can use for your corporate logo, finding the perfect item is a challenge. It requires you matching your budget to an item that correlates with your product or service. For example, barbershops frequently advertise with imprinted combs, and a coffee-service business could advertise with branded coffee mugs. Avoid the tried-and-true – pens and notepads – to make your item stand out. Similarly, the more lavish your branded gift is, the more likely its recipient is to keep it around – and remember your business’ name.

Car Wrapping

Outdoor advertising space is often at a premium in cities, and rather than waiting for space on a billboard or the side of a bus to open, consider car wraps. Car wraps place clear vinyl shrink-wrap around personal vehicles, which then serve as mobile billboards that advertise your service. Car owners receive several hundred dollars per month – the amount depends upon the city, the number of wrapped cars in the area and other factors – for the space on their car. Because wrapped cars are still unusual in most areas, they attract eyes because of the novelty factor.

Adopt-A-Highway Programs

Although attaching your name to one of your state’s Adopt-A-Highway program isn’t the largest or flashiest roadside ad available to you, it can be one of the least expensive. In many cases, you’ll be able to affix your company’s name to a stretch of highway simply by agreeing to maintain the roadside by picking up garbage and controlling vegetation. In many cases, you can hire a highway crew to do the work for you. Not only does this promote your business, it benefits your community and helps cast your company in a good light.

Stranger's Word of Mouth

Anyone who says you can’t buy word-of-mouth advertising isn’t thinking outside the box. Hire a person to dress normally for your area – business attire if you’re downtown, jeans and a T-shirt if you’re next to a college – to wander the area, randomly ride elevators and strike up conversations with strangers to casually endorse your business in the process. Many modeling and talent firms can provide workers well suited to this form of advertising.