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Thinking outside the box: Marketing with no budget

Marketing is essential to any successful business, but how can you do it with little or no budget? Take a page from this bar’s book: think outside the box.

bar stunt

bar stunt

It costs money to make money

Marketing is essential to any successful business. However, more often than not, this requires some sort of advertising budget. If your business is just getting started, scraping together enough funds to create an advertising campaign can seem overwhelming. Of course raising the funds isn’t the only way to go. Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box and tap into your creativity.


… or does it?

One bar in Russia is a great example of thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing. They wanted to promote their bar, but had very little money to work with, so they reached out to Red Pepper with an idea. Whenever they received tips, they would give 50% to the bartenders and invest the other 50% into advertising. The first day, they generated 54,350 rubels (approximately $847.12). This began their two week advertising experiment.

Risky marketing pays off

They decided to run their ads on outdoor TV screens (much like our billboards) and created a new ad each day from the tips they received. These ads promoted the bar, encouraged additional tips which would fund the next round of advertising, and thanked patrons and bartenders who had donated money to the current campaign via a tagline on the ad. At the end of the campaign, they had raised over 281,270 rubles (or approximately $4401.83). Every day the budget increased, due to increased tips. Pretty impressive given they started with nothing.

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Think outside the box!

What can you take away from this? Not everyone can start a business from nothing, but everyone can get a little bit more creative with marketing efforts. Strike a bargain for advertising space in exchange for your services. Share advertising space with someone else. Take your advertising old-school and use print media through a third-party that can help you get a steep discount. Every bit you can save, allows you to spend somewhere else and stretching your dollars is more important now than ever before.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.



  1. Ryan

    November 27, 2015 at 4:56 am

    good idea. dont think most employees around here would want to give up tips for ads really. people are greedy in north america

  2. Pingback: Kickass guerrilla marketing move: A car tracks real life views it's getting - The American Genius

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