Last year, an Albuquerque marketing company named Boomtime launched the Make Em Boom campaign, which included setting up eight fiberglass bombs around Albuquerque.
Boomtime is a digital marketing service company that specializes in helping local small businesses market themselves for an affordable price.
Boomtime is a company based on word of mouth marketing. It helps companies attract customers by doing things like building their websites and managing their pages on Google Places. Boomtime works with a couple hundred customers including Scalo and Armed Response. As a rule, they only work with local companies.
“We won’t do business with a business that we can’t take a picture of the owner,” said Boomtime CEO Mark Canon.
Canon has worked in marketing for an extensive amount of time. It has been 20 years since he launched Switchboard, an online phonebook. He held several different positions until Bill Bice, the founder of Boomtime, convinced him to help build on to the business.
Boomtime has been around for about 10 years. The company was originally primarily focused on spas and restaurants, but it was difficult to expand. When they needed to expand and become more well-known in the community, they launched the Make Em Boom campaign.
“We didn’t feel like we were well enough known in Albuquerque,” Canon said. The company decided to take a stab at guerilla marketing and do something that would generate a large amount of likes and posts.
This campaign raised money for local charities. Each bomb was decorated by a different artist. All the artists were hand-picked by Canon. He interviewed 60 different artists and narrowed it down from there.
The company encouraged people to take photos and hashtag #makeemboom on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The bomb with the most votes would win. Mandy’s Farm ended up winning the contest. This bomb was decorated with a Breaking Bad mural. Canon said they generated about 1.5 million likes and posts.
The company received a lot of attention for this campaign, both good and bad. By coincidence, the bombs went up almost immediately before the bombings in Paris last year. People found this insensitive and a few of the charities who were participating in the project pulled out. Canon said that the idea was supposed to be all in good fun. He said that he did address the criticism, but there were a few charities that dropped out of the campaign.
Now that the contest has come to an end and all of the bombs have been removed, Boomtime is now looking for a place to house the pieces of art permanently. They are currently being stored at a farm. They plan on doing the same contest next year with new charities and new artists to partner with. The company wants to get even more charities and go after more key influencers in the city.
With the controversy that took place during the past competition, Canon thinks it may be a bit of a challenge to do it next time.
Canon said that it’s unpredictable as to what will take off and become popular. He says that while the bombs were not meant to be in bad taste and it generated some negative press, there’s “no such thing as bad news.”
The amount raised has not been determined yet, but Canon estimates that it will be around $40,000 to $60,000. The cost to make the bombs was about $3,000 each, along with the cost of moving them around and buying artists the supplies to create them. The artists donated their time to the project.