With 2014 having gone even better than 2013, The Gentlemen’s Expo was looking like it was on track to be huge. Budgets were bigger. The initial talent list would be unbelievable. We started work right away on evolving the marketing elements to match where the brand had gone in 2014.
The Gentlemen’s Expo Sales Brochure
We initially put together a revamped sales brochure with updated data points, and the plans for the expansions and new segments we were going to push, like more sports simulators and more video games. More alcohol sampling and bigger names. One of the big fish we hooked right away was boxer Manny Pacquio.
With two years of material under our belts and so much promise in our line-up, we made the decision to abandon the old ads with the mustache’d man, and push the guests and events we had planned.
Manny Pacquio Initial Push
Because of the weight and pull TGE figured they had with booking a name like Manny Pacquio, we started some early advertising. Small posters for in store display (along with a write-in area for custom promo codes for each owner), a life-size standee for the Fillipino festival for photo ops, and magazine ads in targeted fitness and sports magazines.
Stemming from that name, we were also promised that Spike Lee, Mariano Rivera… and not long after, Chris Rock. It looked like things were going from great to amazing.
And that’s when things went south. After we started pushing those names out to radio and print, the calls came in. From the agents for Chris Rock and Spike Lee. And it turned out that TGE had been catfished by an experienced con man who had loose connections to Spike Lee, and had pulled this stunt in a number of places in recent months. It was a disaster. We had already created newspaper, outdoor and transit ads all featuring Manny Pacquio, Chris Rock and Spike Lee. Some great stuff. Hours had gone into the digital and social media properties pushing those names.
With half the talent budget down the drain, and barely enough time to redirect the artwork for the advertising budget we had left, we had to entirely redo most of what we had. We reverted back to our ‘Eat. Drink. Be Manly.’ tag line and pushing whatever we had left. I think, considering how little time we had left, and with the little resources that were left, it was a pretty solid recovery.
In Store Revamped
This year, we branched out and launched the first vestiges of a merchandising branch in conjunction with New Era caps. The Original Gentleman.
The Gentlemen’s Guide
One of the new segments for the show was the Gentlemen’s Guide – a connected series of smaller lecture sessions with special guests.