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Post Written By Sandie Glass, Owner of Innovation ROI

A Strategic Full Service Ideation & Research Company

Ideas are really solutions to your problems or issues. Every day we encounter something that needs to be fixed or improved upon in order to stay competitive in the marketplace. Sandstorm has developed marketing strategies tools, techniques and tricks to easily help you come up with new thoughts and ideas. We have been showing you how to utilize the dictionary – something everyone has readily available at home or at the office – and have been providing our perspective on these idea letters in this blog (if you happened to be a new reader).  We are now up to the letter “O” in our A-Z of Creativity. “O” stands for OVER-THE-TOP, so let’s get going!

OVER-THE-TOP is defined as “exceeding the normal bounds” or “extravagant or immoderate.”

It is very subjective as to what constitutes an  OVER-THE-TOP marketing strategy to each of us, but I tend to look at it as “ridiculously exaggerated to the point of being obvious” or put another way “causing uncontrollable hall-talk due to the extreme nature of the item.” It’s almost like these products or things are poking fun at themselves because they are so extreme and OVER-THE-TOP. There will always be someone that is amused by it, may possibly even purchase it, but honestly, I think it is primarily done for the PR it generates.

Some OVER-THE-TOP marketing strategies are easy to find when it comes to restaurants and food. The first thing I immediately thought of is the Man Vs. Food TV show starring Adam Richman. Adam eats his way across America competing in extreme food challenges, hoping to defeat these edible “beasts” – I mean “feasts.”

The OVER-THE-TOP approach seems to work well for performers. Recall Madonna’s early days and the current phenomena of Lady Gaga. Their OVER-THE-TOP dress, music, and theatrics differentiated them easily from other artists and gained them media attention they may not have gotten otherwise.

Here are a few other examples of the OVER-THE-TOP

Marketing Strategies
  • The “Champion Dog” 1 Pound Hot Dog – Yes, it’s true, everything’s bigger in Texas, and Texas Rangers’ fans can pay $26 at the concession stands for a 1 lb. hot dog that’s nearly two feet long. By the time you add shredded cheese, chili, sautéed onions and fries, the entire plate could weigh two pounds – not to mention the weight you will gain eating it!
  • The Lizardman – Erik Sprague altered his physical appearance as part of a transformation project while a college undergraduate working in body based performance art.  He wanted to explore the idea of what it means to be human from a linguistic standpoint. Now a freak show and sideshow performer, Erik is best known for his body modification, including his sharpened teeth, full-body tattoo of green scales, bifurcated tongue, subdermal implants and green-inked lips.  Believe it or not, despite his unusual appearance, he is happily married (with no plans to have children).
  • Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bras – These blingtastic bras are adorned with precious gems amounting to millions of dollars and are featured at the yearly VS Fashion Show. This year, Miranda Kerr modeled the $2.5 million Fantasy Treasure bra. It’s hard to imagine anyone would buy one of these – this is definitely done for the PR effect.
  • Garden Fresh Gourmet Scream’n Hot Salsa – Whether it’s salsa or hot sauce, some of us just can’t get enough heat. If you are yearning for more, this salsa is the ultimate challenge. You can find this OVER-THE-TOP hot stuff in the refrigerated section in the produce section of your grocery store.  The package even calls it “Wicked Hot!”
  • Warheads Candy – This extreme sour hard candy is determined to make you pucker! This candy has many different layers and levels of sour. You first get hit by the outside coating of malic acid that creates an OVER-THE-TOP, intense sour taste that fades after about 20-40 seconds. The hard candy itself contains less sour ingredients. At the center of the hard candies is a small pocket of more malic acid. If you’re up for the challenge, you might want to try them out.

So what about your product or service? Dissect your brand and list out each attribute line by line. Then take each attribute and push it to the extreme to come up with new ideas. Trust me…this isn’t a waste of your time, it’s always easier to bring a wild, outlandish idea “closer in” to something more realistic than attempting to stretch the concept into something totally different.  When you’ve worked through your list, start a new one. Think about other OVER-THE-TOP products and services and start writing them down. Begin listing out those product attributes and add one of these attributes into your product or service to create something totally different. This is definitely an exercise worth doing to get you to some very new and different ideas. Good luck and let us know how this works for you!

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