by Sarah Baird
While attempts at out-of-the-box guerrilla marketing tactics are a dime a dozen these days, investing in entire buildings for the purpose of advertisement is a whole new level of commitment.
Melba’s — a po-boy and wings shop* on the corner of Elysian Fields and S. Claiborne Avenue — has done just that, creating advertisement houses that are eye catching, three-dimensional billboards.
Two locations — one entire house on Claiborne and one long side of a building on St. Claude Avenue — have been washed in Melba’s soon-to-be signature blue hue thus far, with the same message at each spot in big, rudimentary white letters: Eat at Melba’s.com (which redirects to Melba's website). Owner Scott Wolf either purchases the houses entirely or works out an agreement for using the house’s exterior space, and doesn’t plan on stopping the expansion of his buildings-turned-ads anytime soon.
“We’re planning on buying houses and buildings all across the city for ads,” said Wolf. “We have our eye on seven or eight right now, and not just in the Seventh Ward. People are mobile, so they should know about Melba’s all over.”
Will this decidedly elaborate and expensive campaign pay off? Will folks soon be trading in the exterior of their homesteads for a lifetime supply of Melba’s po-boys? Only time will tell.
*The menu’s real standouts are the daiquiris, which have names like The Panty Dropper and Player’s Passion.