When the California Restaurant Association approached Broadway Plaza about hosting the Third Annual Bay Area Restaurant Olympics, Marketing Director Kaycee McKenzie saw the potential for increasing the center’s community goodwill. The association and corporate sponsors picked up most of the costs, and around 4,000 people attended the event.
Layton Hills Mall incorporated non-traditional Santas into its holiday set. Five Santas—traditional, frontier, Victorian, Old World, and Father Christmas—alternated daily from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. Shoppers were receptive: photo sales increased 26 percent over the prior year.
Pickering Town Centre and a local radio station sponsored the world’s first Turkey Bungee Jump, benefiting the local food bank. The turkeys were actually rubber chickens, weighted with sand and complete with a red neck ribbon and a rubber medical “bungee” cord, and were dropped from a 42-foot lift in front of 2,000 onlookers.
Londonderry Mall and a local radio station teamed up to present a weekend of sumo wrestling, North American style.
Ogden City Mall transformed its parking terrace into a public gallery of chalk art to draw attention to its lighting and security improvements.
Though baby races aren’t a new idea, they had never been seen in Huntington Beach Mall’s market. It hosted the First Annual Baby Olympics as part of a two-day expo, appealing to its family market. Merchants approved, sales were up, and 69 tots competed.
Hansen Planetarium set up an exhibit at ZCMI Center during National Space Week. For spending $50 in the center, shoppers could receive a ticket as a gift-with-purchase. Mall traffic was up, and the Planetarium achieved increased public awareness.
To keep kids amused over spring break, Whitby Mall allowed The Wildlife Museum to set up a display of 50 endangered North American animals. A guide supervised the display, answered questions, and conducted free tours.
Recognizing that much of its trade area is of Chinese descent, Markville Shopping Centre tied its January sidewalk sale into the Chinese New Year. A six-foot red rooster was set up in center court; shoppers over 18 could pluck a feather for a chance to win a $10 or $50 mall gift certificate. All pluckers received a fortune cookie and a ballot to win a $500 shopping spree. January sales were up 25 percent from the previous year.