What I learned about direct marketing on the 66 bus
Way back in the day when I started my career in direct marketing, I lived in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA. I got my haircut in Harvard Square Cambridge, and I took the 66 bus. Taking the trolley out of Coolidge Corner was what most people would do, but the 66 bus was quicker.
The 66 bus originates in Roxbury, the second most dangerous neighborhood in Boston. It travels through Mission Hill, then Brookline, through Allston-Brighton, Koreatown, then over the Charles into Harvard Square, through some of the most affluent neighborhoods in Boston. and would drop me right in front of Diego’s where I got my hair cut.
Now amongst the many things I learned on the bus were:
- How to be polite. Give up your seat to the old people. I once saw a gangster-looking young man, leave his seat, step off the bus to help an older woman with her groceries up and into the bus, then helped her find a seat. Such a gentlemen, and gave me a whole new perspective. I thanked him, he said, “gotta do for folks dude”.
- You can workout anywhere. I once saw a coupla dudes jump off the bus and race on foot to the next stop. Now that was impressive, until the driver wouldn’t let them back on after a coupla races. But hey, there’s always the next bus.
But what I liked most about the 66 bus was it was like taking a guided tour through Prizm segments, from City Roots, through Urban Achievers to Striving Selfies.
I also learned to think of direct marketing at it’s roots, at street level, one on one.
So, next time you’re brainstorming a project and need some inspiration, get on the bus, go somewhere out of your comfort zone amongst the people of your target audience. It’ll open your eyes, and give you focus, I guarantee it. And when you need creative that adapts to the demographic, call me.
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Dwight Ingram | Creative Director | IngramCS