Launching an Aarrow: Marketing via Sign Spinning
“The beauty of this type of advertising is that it’s very customizable, and every campaign is different.”
The concept behind Aarrow Advertising was born in 1999, when founder Max Durovic had a summer job as a sign holder. Bored with just standing there, he began spinning and tossing his signs. In 2001, Max turned his pastime into a guerrilla-advertising company that provides “sign spinners” with arrow-shaped, digitally printed signs for promoting events for a variety of clients, including Taco Bell, Vitamin Water, Verizon, Staples, Subway, Jenny Craig, Harris Teeter, Dunkin’ Donuts, the McDonnell for Governor (Virginia) campaign, and others.
“The great thing about an arrow,” says Joe Ambert, Aarrow vice president of business operations and director of marketing, “is that it’s a universal symbol – it means the same in every culture. ‘Go there, do this.’ It’s the perfect shape for what we’re trying to do”
Over the past few years, Aarrow has been working with the Fresh & Easy chain of supermarkets in California, Nevada, and Arizona. “They’ve been opening a couple of stores a month for the last three years or so,” recounts Ambert, “and they hire one of our Aarrow sign spinners to promote every grand opening. They’ll have the spinner out there for the entire week. We’ve probably done about a hundred store openings in those three states. And we’re getting ready to help them launch fresh bakeries in all their existing stores.”
The Aarrow signs themselves are printed on 10mm Coroplast. “Some of our franchisees are existing printing businesses that have their own digital printers,” says Ambert. “Others outsource their printing.” The print provider for the region that includes Southern California and parts of Nevada and Arizona uses an HP Designjet Z5200 44-inch printer.
After printing, the signs are laminated and wrapped with a padded border. “The border is a cut vinyl strip – sometimes it’s printed, sometimes plain,” says Ambert. “We apply a special padding to the edges, and the vinyl strip holds the padding in place.”
The vinyl border also acts as a frame for the message itself. “When you’re out there on a street corner, we’ve found that having a border around the sign helps visually. The guys are doing tricks, and then they ‘freeze’ the sign. You want to make sure that at that point the message is very clear, and the border really helps frame the message after it’s been moving.”
“The beauty of this type of advertising is that it’s very customizable, and every campaign is different,” explains Ambert. “Sometimes we have just one sign spinner at an event, and sometimes it’s 10 sign spinners out in the middle of Manhattan.”