From the Cobwebbed Corners of My Mind.

This post has nothing to do with faith, family or homeschooling it’s just something that I’ve been contemplating for awhile so I thought I would write about it.

Have you noticed in the past few years how Human Directionals (I just learned that that is the official name for people standing on the corner holding signs.) have popped up on just about every major street corner?  I do not get this at all!  I thought sandwich boards and human billboards were a thing of the past.  When seeing one of these Human Directionals, the first thought I have is why would anyone want to stand in 90+ degree Florida weather and hold, twirl and throw an advertising sign?  Then I think well maybe it’s the only job they could get.  I wonder how much they get paid to do that.  How much money would it take for me to be willing to stand in the Florida heat and do that job?  I think I would have to be pretty desperate, honestly I think I would rather scrub toilets in air conditioning than hold a sign and wave to people in the heat.

At one major intersection near me, there used to be an older gentleman that would hold a particularly large sign, wave a small slight wave to passers by and listen to something on a headset for hours on end.  It seemed he was constantly there.  I always wondered what he was listening to.  What if it was educational books?  Would I be willing to stand on the corner, in the heat and get paid to learn while I worked?  Still not sure, the toilets in a/c still seem more appealing.

Then I have this question, how much business does this form of advertising really bring in?  I’ve seen signs for buying gold, pawn shops, mobile devices and today one for the local emergency clinic.  There are also other businesses that think they are being clever by having their Human Directionals wear a costume.  Again, the toilets are still appealing, probably more so because I’m sure wearing a costume in the Florida heat is worse!

On one street corner down the street from my house there used to be a dancing banana that my brother was particularly fond of.  I can understand why, the guy was great!  It was a young man, wearing a felt banana costume and sunglasses.  I’m assuming he was listening to music because he was ALWAYS dancing and I don’t mean a little be-bopping, I’m talking some serious moves!  It was hilarious!  He was advertising for a smoothie place.  Not long after he appeared, he was joined by Mario and Luigi, advertising for a gaming store in the same shopping plaza.  On the opposite corner from the older gentleman with the headset sits a jewelry store.  There a young man is dressed to the hilt in a gold lame’ tuxedo, complete with a full gold glitter face mask and top hat.  This gentleman has class, he doesn’t throw or twist or shake his sign, he merely holds the sign and tips his hat to all the passers by.  He has this wild way of tipping it too, he snaps it off and down and then back up where he taps it back down on his head.  Once while waiting at the light I watched him do it no less then 25 times.  I can only imagine how hot that lame’ suit and mask are, seriously it has to be as bad as being a character out at Disney.  Although, they probably make more money and get a lot more breaks.  Again I’m going with the toilets!

So, back to the one really nagging question, how much business does this form of advertising really bring in?  Truthfully, I’m not drawn to do business with any one of those places because of their Human Directional on the corner.  It doesn’t matter how fancy their moves are either.   I might check out a new business that just moved in but beyond that I’m as drawn to them as a cat is to a bath.  Nine times out of ten the advertising is for a business I wouldn’t frequent anyway.  And if I was going to go, it wouldn’t be because of the Human Directional on the corner.  Actually, I find them annoying all that spinning and twirling, it’s distracting while you’re driving.  Plus, am I obligated to wave back if they wave to me?  I’m not super comfortable waving at strangers and is that a good example for my kids?  I mean isn’t it counter to “Don’t talk to Strangers!”?

I’m still plagued by the question, does this form of advertising work, especially in this downed economy?  I’m not convinced that it does work.  You see, the banana, Mario and Luigi, and the older gentleman with the headset are no longer on their corners.  It’s not because they’ve been fired or quit or even the Florida heat, they are no longer on the corner because the business they represented is no longer in business.


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