Scarves On The Slopes

I caught a review of the latest annual Davos shindig. It investigated (with a mixture of surprise and pride) how S Africa apparently made the biggest impact of any country for decades at its World Economic Forum, and all despite the worldwide abhorrence its president’s polygamy engenders. Apparently, in polling at the event for instance, the place came in 4th of all countries most desired to visit (interestingly, both the UK & US were in the top three).

The chap answering the questions was “acting-CEO” of The International Marketing Council of South Africa, Paul Bannister.

The one quirky point that stayed with me was almost a throwaway line. In his 40 years of experience, he’d never seen a more cost-effective piece of marketing as the scarves they gave out. (See lots of pics of them here.)

A triv question that all S Africans seem to know is ‘which country’s flag has the most colours’, mainly because it’s theirs. The marketeers took the six colours, plonked them as stripes on wool and it became a must-have accessory.

Salespeople are always looking for gimmicky handouts that help keep their prospects thinking of them. Huge websites devote themselves to emblazoning logos onto pens and mugs and mousemats and anything you can imagine.

Yet here’s an idea so simple it is brilliant. Davos in winter is a chilly snow-covered town. Everyone could do with a scarf. Why not a scarf in the colours (and style) of your flag? Genius.

It makes you think twice about that biro you gave away last week, doesn’t it?

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