In Massachusetts, where I live, I believe we could begin to solve the state’s tax revenue shortfall with the following.
1. Sell all the stop signs to Coca Cola. For a multi-million dollar commitment they get every intersection in the Commonwealth. The Coca Cola Company can place the “O” from Coca Cola right between the “T” and the “P,” smack their logo at the bottom, and integrate the design with a swirly wave between the two. It’s perfect for everyone. The signs are already red, and the word “stop” gives a nod to the famous old Coke campaign, “The pause that refreshes.”
2. Transfer branding rights for the Zakim Bridge to Lego and call it the Lego Zakim Bridge. We get millions over the length of the contract. Lego gets a really cool bridge to package in a boxed Lego set.
3. Change the Mass Turnpike to the Exxon/Mobile Turnpike. Again, an ideal partnership. It’s targeted marketing for Exxon/Mobile and a relevant brand tie-in as far as motorists are concerned. An exclusive long-term deal could yield tens of millions. Don’t forget it’s reaching Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York drivers. And the PR alone, for Exxon/Mobile, would probably justify it.
4. Modify the MBTA to the M&MBTA. Give the candy maker signage and exclusive rights to vending machines in all stations. Maybe even have the T operators dress up like those M&M characters in the TV commercials. We could charge M&M Mars the old way, for impressions; or the new way, taking a percentage of sales.
Are these crazy ideas or not? Maybe. But there’s a point. If Massachusetts, or any state, put an ad professional in the room, he or she might come up with an approach other than cutting services or raising taxes. Put a programmer in the room and the ideas will be different still. Include someone who understands the power of community and yet another solution will emerge. (See the Zeus Jones idea for Austin that won Phizzop at SXSE.) Why are we still trying to solve problems the same old way with the same old people when social networking, crowd sourcing, and the possibilities of co-creation continue to demonstrate the value of getting different people from different backgrounds with different perspectives to work together? Maybe it’s time to try some new approaches. Thoughts?