Main Street ain’t what it used to be – and that’s a good thing. At least 20 communities in the USA and in Canada will be revitalized, thanks to Benjamin Moore. The 130-year-old paint company has embarked on a “Main Street Matters” marketing campaign. The towns selected will each receive a Benjamin Moore revitalization that will include exterior painting of downtown businesses along a 2-to-3-block stretch in each location.
I absolutely love this marketing idea! In my opinion as a Boston-based marketing consultant, and creative writer, it’s smart marketing and it’s also civic marketing, which was discussed at length in the book I co-wrote with my business colleague, Nancy Michaels. Our book is called Off The Wall Marketing Ideas, and we defined “civic marketing” as helping your own business as you help others. In creating the “Main Street Matters” marketing campaign, Benjamin Moore is clearly setting itself apart by focusing on refurbishing towns across America and Canada.
And one thing they have in their favor is the actor Brad Pitt. The folks at Benjamin Moore have a long-standing business relationship with the famous actor, through his “Make It Right” charity, which builds “healthy homes, buildings and communities.” Mr. Pitt does a voice-over in one of the TV ads, in which he describes the factors that symbolize Main Street. In the ad, he observes, among other things, that “drugstores that still make milkshakes with real ice cream, matter.”
The TV ad was added to the stable of print, radio, online and social media, which encouraged people to vote for their favorite downtown area to receive the refurbishment. It resulted in nearly a half a million votes and a huge outpouring of stories on the website paintwhatmatters.com. The paint company also bought ads about the project, in small and medium-sized newspapers, in order to show their support for Main Street types of businesses.
“We’re thrilled about the enthusiasm and passion from local businesses and
communities around Main Street Matters,” said David Melançon, Chief Marketing Officer
of Benjamin Moore & Co. “The incredible response is a testament to how strongly
people feel for their community and we hope this movement continues to drive support
for local businesses as every Main Street has a story.”
Here are the 20 lucky towns that are the winners of the revitalization.
Ellicott City, Maryland
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Nyack, New York
Penticton, British Columbia
Sanford, North Carolina
Sea Bright, New Jersey
Westerly, Rhode Island
Benjamin Moore will provide all the paint, stain and supplies for façades, porches, railings, shutters and other exterior building trims. The areas to be painted will be determined with each town’s residents and representatives. In addition, Benjamin Moore experts will consult on color choices.
Because of all this, I know that next time I need to give my walls a makeover – there’s only one brand I will buy. That’s smart marketing!