I recently spent a week at the beach with my family, and one of the things that I noticed was that airplanes are still flying up and down the beach pulling banners with signs for Wings or Eagles or Big Kahunas. Here they would come every few minutes dragging a banner with just enough information to give a website and a t-shirt deal or to let you know the drink special at the nightclub that evening. And then we could see them circle around and head back down the beach for another run.

This got me thinking about how I have been watching these planes pull these banners for about 40 years now. Yearly trips to beaches between South Carolina, Georgia and Florida have stacked up quite a few hours by the ocean. And as I think back, I can’t remember a time when those planes weren’t flying. Why is it that planes have been flying these ads up and down beaches for at least 40 years, maybe more? How effective is it really? Well, in doing some research myself, I found one thing to be quite interesting. While there is limited local exposure, studies show that within customers that see the flying banners there is a very high recall and retention rate. And one of the primary reasons we believe this is the case is the unique nature of the tool. The fact that consumers are viewing the message in an unfamiliar way is very instrumental in helping them to remember the message instead of allowing it to simply become white noise with all of the other messages they take in every day.

So what does this mean? Well, for one thing, if you live near the beach, consider using planes to advertise your product. But more than that, consider doing something in a different or unique way that will give people cause to remember. Make your product or your company or your skill stand out. Don’t just become another one of the same. Those are easy to forget. The ones we remember are the ones that stand out, the ones that are not like what we usually see. I remember that Big Kahuna’s waterpark was having a special deal our last weekend, and I remember the website url for Big Kahuna’s. That’s more than I can say for most of the other places I actually went while we were at the beach. Are you unique? Do people have a reason to remember you?