Friday, March 20, 2009

Rubber Stamp Post-It Note Business Cards: Recession Profit Stategies #4

Advertising, Business, Business Cards, Career, Creative Circle, Creativity,, Global Financial Crisis, H3, Marketing, Name Cards, Networking, Post-It Notes, Social Marketing, Rubber StampRecently I was on the way to a business gathering and I realized I was out of name cards. What to do? One of the main reasons we all go to these things is the ability to network and meet new people and in Asia, you look like a real dork if you don't have a name card. It's almost a religion here, and the titles one sees when attending an otherwise average gathering border on the surreal. "Deputy Chief Marketing and Information Technology Strategist", "Assistant To The Director In Charge of Other Directors", "CEO, Founder/CIO/UFO"... you know what I mean - but to show up without one means, essentially two things: #1) You can't afford the $6 printing fee, or #2) It's your first time in Asia. I myself was in a pickle - and so it was in a flash that was much more necessity than creativity I snatched a pad of Post-It notes and a rubber stamp I had made with this blog address and began to manufacture cards. The stamp fit quite nicely and they took all of five minutes to make a bundle. Voi la! But the problem of presentation remained. How was I, a guy who professes to be not only a Brand Provocateur, but a Fortune 500 Brand Provocateur going to pass off these pieces of shit as real cards?

"The Global Financial Crisis" and in a jiffy I had a clever opening line for the distribution of some pretty cheesy cards. Opening my card case slowly and casting my sullen eyes upon the soon to be recipients I recited, in a deadpan fashion, how tough the crisis had been on my company and how we had resorted to saving money on all sorts of things, including name cards as I peeled each card gingerly away from the next on the pad. Fucking hilarious. The shits and giggles were almost instantaneous, and a flurry of chuckles and ha-has ensued. It was an immediate hit. Throughout the remainder of the evening I passed them out to the same humourous response and was even prompted by people who had been told what I had to give them one. The next day, hits to this site were up dramatically.

A few weeks later, another opportunity presented itself at a meeting of geeks, designers, venture and tech people, and again, the response was tremendous. One fellow, Min Tran, a right fine graphic designer in his own right, said the card was
"better than design", because the idea was the design. Who knew? I guess necessity, being the mother of invention, knew. It just took me awhile to figure it out.

The moral of this story is not so difficult at all. Sometimes you have to let the situation dictate the terms of the creativity - letting go is sometimes so difficult - but worthwhile in the end. I could have showed up with no card at all and, honestly, nobody would have cared - but instead I took it a step further and ended up with a solution that worked for everybody.

For more
Recession Profit Strategies click below:

#3 The Recruitment Process
#2 Saving On Employee Costs
#1 Falling Economy

For more on time bandit idea & business concept filching, para-normal plagiarism, and all out spooky behaviour, check below:

New York Magazine Steals AsiaLife cover from the future!
Dr. Thanh robbed by Chinese Time Bandits!
SDM:Saigon Digital Marketing victim of para-normal plagiarism!
Bono and international do-gooders caught (Red)handed in idea heist!
Saigon Brand Provocateur steals idea from himself!


  1. This is guerilla marketing in it's best form. :D

    I have to remember this innovative trick of yours if I can't muster name cards for myself by the time I will be in Vietnam. Hehe.

  2. First, very creative job making those post-it notes as cards.

    Second, I'm not surprised of the outcome. The unconventional approach does work.


  3. I think there is something in particular about your charm, delivery, and Fortune 500 company (irony), that enabled you to pull this off.

    Excellent story.

  4. Tuukka, thanks.

    Business Cards Blog, you should worry, I'm stealing tons of your business.

    And Miss Havisham, love your blog! Thanks all.

    I remain faithfully, almost human.

  5. Sometimes the best designs aren't designed at all :)

    The world doesn't need designers any more.

  6. Remember Min, I have a design degree. The world needs designers more than ever...designers with ideas... I'm just a designer who didn't have an idea one I had one...


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