Fish Used As Bait -- And Dinner -- To Reel In Prospective Boat Buyers

If you catch it, someone else will prepare it. Should this campaign be subtitled BYOF (bring your own fish)? Beginning next year, Triumph Boats is moving a portion of its ad dollars normally allocated to large boat shows toward a smaller, more grassroots effort.

The company created a "Feeding Frenzy" package and offered it to roughly 75 East Coast Triumph dealers from Maine to Florida. If they choose to accept, the concept is simple: local dealers host an on-site open house where fishermen bring their catch of the day to be cooked and eaten alongside fellow anglers. Fishermen can talk to their brethren about the sport -- and Triumph Boats.

So far five dealers have scheduled events, the first on January 18, in Hillsborough, N.C.

Creative serves two purposes: to promote the event and illustrate the toughness of Triumph Boats. Dealer names are substituted into each set of ads, created by The Republik.

One print ad promoting the feeding frenzy leaves few leftovers. The "Game Fish Identification Chart" features the names and pictures of fish, although the only way to identify the fish is by their heads, for the bones are the only things left on the bodies.

Feeding frenzy T-shirts follow a similar path, with the front of the shirt sporting a whole fish and the back containing the bones and head of an eaten fish.

Triumph dealers use their promotional allowances from the company to run their own local newspaper and magazine ads promoting the open house.

Triumph opted to create this campaign as an alternative to advertising at large boats shows because the company believes that its core demographic isn't properly represented at larger events. In addition, many boat buyers are loyal to their local dealers rather than a particular brand, making this campaign a win-win for both the dealers and Triumph.

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