A New Twist on Displaying Paper Icons

Paper icons can be a license to print money if all the elements come together right. But there’s always been the challenge of how to display them.

Paper icons, others call them ‘pinups,’ are small pieces of printed paper, oftentimes displaying the charity’s logo, sold for $1 or more, and benefiting a cause. Usually they’re displayed in-store, perhaps hung from fishing line, or taped to the store’s windows.

Twenty CiCi’s Pizza Buffet locations in Georgia have come up with a fun idea of how to display the paper icons for their charity of choice, Special Olympics Georgia.

Those Georgia CiCi’s locations began selling Special Olympics paper icons for $1 starting on July 16. On Monday, August 13, 2012 they had a kind of inflection point whereby they challenged their customers to buy enough paper icons on that day to cover a law enforcement vehicle.

Fun idea!

In addition, on Monday, August 13, CiCi’s donated 10 percent of sales to Special Olympics Georgia.

"At CiCi's we care about our communities and all the families that make them great," said Lauren Albright, CiCi's field marketing manager in a press release. "Special Olympics Georgia does so much for our neighbors and we're honored to engage our restaurant teams and guests to give back to such a worthy cause."

I like this approach on a lot of levels.

Month-long paper icon efforts tend to drag on near the end. A pizza joint probably doesn’t get that many repeat customers in a 30-day period. But the store staff sees it every day and they can certainly tire of it. This helps breathe renewed life to the campaign.

I assume that the local constabulary are supportive of Special Olympics Georgia, hence the goal of covering a police car with paper icons. But in that same vein you could do it with CiCi’s delivery vehicles (if any), a NASCAR race car, even a fire engine.

A paper icon-festooned police car is custom-made photo opp for both the regular media and the social media in ways that taping them on the window isn’t . For instance, CiCi’s could take pictures of the progress towards the goal throughout the day and post it on Pinster, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Setting a one-day goal like covering a police car is also smart because it’s so tangible. Everyone will understand it, especially if the car is parked on the premises.

Kudos to CiCi’s on this smart approach to cause marketing and paper icons.

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