In Spain, the last Wednesday in August is when the messiest festival takes place – just about 40km west of Valencia, in Buñol. La Tomatina is a festival that consists of tomato-throwing, and it draws crowds of more than 20,000. If you are planning to attend this festival, all the information that you need to know is below!
What Happens During La Tomatina?
Buñol’s main square, along with Calle del Cid, is where the festival takes place. At about 9 a.m., a ham is hoisted into the air on a large greased pole, and people begin to struggle to pull it down. It is rare for someone to achieve this. At 11 a.m., a cannon is fired, and about 120 tons of squishy tomatoes are tipped from trucks into the crowds. The following hour is filled with people throwing tomatoes and engaging in cheerful battles. The second and final cannon is fired, which signals the end of the play. This is when everyone races to the local garden hoses.
The History of the Festival
The La Tomatina festival began in 1945, but it is unknown why. There are theories from the locals that included one popular tale regarding unhappy townsfolk attacking the city councilmen during a celebration. There is also speculation that it was some anti-Franco protest. The point is, the townsfolk in Buñol enjoyed it and decided to repeat it every year. It was officially recognized in 1952 as a celebration.
How to Join the Fun
You can choose to participate in the fun for only €10, or you can pay €750 if you want to pour the tomatoes off the truck. Many people come for just the day by taking a morning train from Valencia, and they go back in the afternoon. However, you can stay for the week-long celebration and enjoy the dancing, music, parades, fireworks, paella cooking competitions, and more.
40 Creative Marketing Ideas By Store Owners Who Wanted to Shake Things Up
A big marketing budget isn’t strictly necessary if you want to shake things up in your store. Sometimes, a bit of imagination, a dash of artistic talent, and a touch of humor go a long way. These low cost – or no cost! – displays take customers by surprise, and hopefully, have them coming back for more. Let’s take a look at some of the most creative marketing ideas by store owners who wanted to shake things up.
Pick Me, I’m Single
This local grocery store decided to draw its customers’ attention to the plight of the lonely banana. Beside their bountiful bunches of bananas in-store, is a pile of loose bananas, with the sign ‘Pick Me I’m Single’.
This creative marketing idea not only draws the attention of people looking for a healthy snack, but is super cute too. After all, who would want to leave a pile of lonely single bananas? This store owner is an amateur marketing pro.
The cheese section at this store has some serious skills when it comes to hooking customers. Perched above the brie, their pun-tastic sign reads ‘Sweet dreams are made of cheese/Who am I to diss a brie?’ A round of applause ladies and gentlemen.
Whether you know that the original is by The Eurythmics or not, we’ve all sang and danced along to this popular tune. This cheeky in-store sign is sure to be in your head all day.
Dragon Egg Avocado
We don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but millennial favorite avocados look quite a lot like dragon eggs. Now this might sound strange to people that never got obsessed with Game of Thrones, but really. Dragon Eggs.
This local supermarket has certainly noticed, and made its own poster featuring the dragon queen Daenerys. Encapsulating the feeling of finding the ideal avocado, it reads: “That moment when you find the perfect avocado at the supermarket.” Dracarys!
This creative marketing campaign gets us right in the feels! Perched underneath the carrot section in the grocery store is a small yellow sign. It lets customers know that for just 88 cents they can take home a whole 1 lb bag of Snowman Noses. You read that right – snowman noses.
This idea is just super sweet, and is bound to put smiles on the faces of so many kids at Christmas time. This simple sign turns the humble carrot into something magical, and that’s worth more than 88 cents.
This is the first pair-up on this list of Whole Foods grocery store and online memes. The health-based multinational supermarket chain really leans into using memes creatively in their stores, and who better to start with than Grumpy Cat?
The frozen foods section of this Whole Foods features a blackboard with a message from our favorite online grump. It reads “Frozen. Like My Heart.” The dearly departed cat left us in 2019, but she lives on in supermarkets across the land.
Coffee is Importanter
Lots of coffee shops and bars have got in on the chalkboard act. The roadside blackboards pop up all over our social media feeds, and wink at us from the sidewalk. In a busy market, store owners have to be witty or insightful to draw customers in.
This store makes a bold point, claiming that “education is important but coffee is ‘importanter.'” Hey, if you like your coffee with some grammar-bashing, this is the place to go.
Now here’s a pun we can really get behind. Fans of the hit crime drama Breaking Bad are familiar with the chemical signs and menacing stares of Albuquerque. This Whole Foods store has gone all out with a beautiful chalk advertisement for ‘Breaking Bread’.
For customers looking for some artisanal French baguettes, you’ll also get to look deep into the cold, dark eyes of Walter White, better known as Heisenberg. With some chalk and some good old fashioned artistic talent, this simple bread display is turned into a pop-culture reference.
Truth be told, these little characters made out of ground beef make us feel a little uncomfortable. There’s just something about crafted mincemeat that gets under our skin, and that’s not what we want to think about when buying meat.
Regardless, this local Asian supermarket entertains its customers by crafting characters from its produce. If you look closely you’ll see that the parchment reads Mega, making this officially Mega Meat Man. We’re sure there’s a fan club somewhere.
Another quirky chalkboard, this one says ‘Pilates? I thought you said Pie and Lattes’. We’re not so sure if that’s a regular combination but it sure should be. This creative marketing idea is both attention-grabbing and memorable.
This chalkboard has a nice touch with a friendly heart drawn in chalk at the bottom. Some chalkboards are snarky, but this one encourages you to skip exercise and enjoy pie. Who wouldn’t look at this delightful and creative sign and want to go inside?
Admittedly, this creative marketing sign requires a little basic Spanish. The sign tells us it’s Valentine’s Day and then gives us the word ‘te’. You might have already learned from the Rihanna song that ‘te’ means you.
The options we get next are two tick boxes, one saying ‘amo’, and one ‘quila’. Of course, this means that the answer is either Te Amo, meaning ‘I love you’, or Tequila! For a bar ad, this is a pretty good multi-lingual wink.
This help-yourself buffet has come up with its own creative way of describing their food. For example, they’ve kind of stretched the concept of ‘boneless chicken’ here. Rather than being a nice battered chunk of chicken thigh, these boneless chickens are actually peeled boiled eggs.
We suppose that eggs are technically boneless chickens, but we aren’t sure this is the best way of enticing customers. Regardless, at 35c, these boneless chickens are an absolute bargain.
This one is a must see for all Harry Potter fans. Now we can pick up our own invisibility cloaks, and they’re half off the original price! The question here is whether this bookstore is actually selling hangers, or just having a laugh at their customer’s expense.
Seriously though, this is a really creative marketing idea, and well-suited to the clientele of the store. We just hope they’re keeping count of inventory, so no invisibility cloaks go missing.
Soup of the Day
Now here’s a chalkboard that would really pique your interest in the soup of the day. No need to ask the wait staff at this place, because the sign up front lets you know that the soup du jour is ‘the tears of our enemies’. Delicious!
This creative marketing idea is bold and hilarious, and gives off an aloof and audacious vibe. The fact it’s drawn in an old fashioned font, using chalk, just makes this sign work even better.
This chalkboard is so great that the design could easily appear on a T-shirt or a tote bag. On one side we have a cartoon taco, asking his tortilla chip friend ‘why don’t you wanna taco bout it?’ Get it? Get it? Then, his pal replies ‘cause I’m nacho friend anymore’. Boom!
This hilarious cartoon advertises both the menu and the brand. The sign instantly puts future customers in a good mood, and tells them they have tacos inside.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen bananas on this list, as they make fertile ground for all manner of jokes. This time around, the bananas in a grocery store have a handwritten sign in front of them, reading ‘organic boomerangs’.
And really, who are we to argue with handwritten signs in supermarkets? Bananas are indeed biodegradable, and they are boomerang shaped. Right? However, despite this observation, we do not advocate throwing bananas around your neighbourhood.
Pick Your Own Mushroom
Now here we have a seriously creative marketing idea. At this grocery store you can actually pick your own mushrooms. Mushrooms being mushrooms, this entails a counter area covered in dirt, with a variety of mushrooms growing from the earth.
Admittedly, this is another idea that makes us hesitate a little, if only because it mixes the outside and inside a little too much for our tastes. However, if you love freshly picked mushrooms, what more could you ask for?
Spooky Chalk Art
Returning to the wonderful world of chalk-art, we have a local grocery store with a seriously spooky masterpiece. This work of art was whipped up for Halloween, and features a very realistic looking werewolf, and an intricate skull.
Whoever drew these has some serious skill, and whoever hires them did a great job of utilising their talents. What better way is there to bring the atmosphere of Halloween into a store than with giant, finely drawn images of bones and monsters?
Lots of grocery stores have a bargain bucket area where you can pick up some deals that also may have passed their sell-by date. This creative store owner has made the leftovers sound much more appealing with a sign saying ‘not the best, but still good’.
With something so upfront and relatable, how could you hold the sell-by date against them? After all, lots of packaged foods last long after their best buy date, so why not lean into it? This sign is telling it straight, and we respect that.
Teenage Meatant Ninja Turtle
Here we are again, with ground meat molded into the shape of a character. This time around we have a Teenage Meatant Ninja Turtle, and the meat turtle is eating some meat pizza. That’s pizza made from meat by the way, not just topped with it.
These creative folks have bigger ambitions than displaying their meat characters for customers alone. In the picture you can see a sign that says ‘More Grinds?’ that points you towards their Tumblr for more meat masterpieces.
If you sell food in bulk, then doesn’t it make sense to somehow incorporate muscly green superhero The Hulk? After all, the two words rhyme, and The Hulk is definitely capable of picking up some bulk.
And so here we have it. Right above the bulk food section in this supermarket, we have a big blackboard sign featuring the Hulk holding some bulk. The image is rendered in a superhero comic-book style, and is sure to catch some eyes.
Grumpy Cat with Allergies
We’re back with internet favorite Grumpy Cat, this time selling allergy medication. The whole pull of Grumpy Cat, asides from them being a cute little cat with a permanently grumpy expression, is their bad attitude. Grumpy Cat doesn’t care how you feel. Grumpy cat is grumpy.
In this case, a sign of Grumpy Cat remarks ‘You have allergies. Good.’ Somehow, the pull of this rude internet cat works, and we can’t get enough of their snide bullying.
This one has our attention right away, and we have some follow-up questions thank you very much. The sign in this grocery store reads ‘Spinach for $1.oo!’ So far, so good, even if the exclamation mark seems a bit much. It then says ‘Buy 10 and have a Spinach Party’, and this is where our questions begin.
Just in case you thought it was over, the sign ends with ‘No Limit’ in a comically small font at the bottom. No limit! Spinach parties for everyone!
Inexpensive Pinot Noir
This handmade wine label is a creative twist on the usual chalkboard snark. The label, which is from a local wine store, reads ‘Good inexpensive Pinot Noir, which is about as hard to find as a good song by Nickelback. Drink it with a burger’. Not only do we get some well-deserved Nickelback shade, but a pairing recommendation too.
Personal and witty labels like this make great creative marketing ideas. They make customers feel spoken to, and included in the store brand.
This cheeky chalkboard speaks some truth, and puts our everyday world into the internet terms we all understand. This sign outside a bar says ‘3D Tinder’ with an arrow pointing inside. The sign uses the correct Tinder font, and is drawn just like its on-screen counterpoint.
This sign is seriously creative. It’s simple, and directs passing customers inside. Who can argue with its logic? Any Tinder user walking by could quickly see how entering this bar could bring similar results.
Taking a slightly different approach is this next sign. Rather than trying to entice you indoors, this sign outside a bar suggests that not coming in could be a mistake. With an arrow pointing inside their establishment, the sign says ‘Nice Drinks’. With a second arrow pointing ahead, past the bar, the sign reads ‘Dunno…Maybe Bears? Wouldn’t Risk It’.
And seriously, who would risk it? Nice drinks are better than being eaten by bears, and we can’t argue with that.
In our first of many references to the doge meme, we have the candy stand at a local Trader Joes. For those that don’t know, this meme burst onto the scene in 2013 and features a picture of a Shiba Inu dog. The meme uses comic sans font and short phrases mimicking the inner monologue of the pup.
This sign is very close to the original, with multi-colored comic sans text saying ‘such tempt’, ‘wow’, ‘amaze’, ‘very taste’, and ‘many yum’.
We’ve had snowman noses, and now we have another creative renaming in the grocery store. Here we have a whole lot of garlic – bulbs, jars, and pastes – and a sign that says ‘Vampire Repellent’.
Garlic has been effective at repelling vampires for hundreds of years. The stinky substance, so beloved by human cooks, is far too pungent for a vampire. After all, vampires have extra strong senses, and garlic just gets in their noses when they’re hunting. Stock up!
Would you be surprised to learn that this picture is from a grocery store in Texas? Here, lucky shoppers can help themselves to a beer while they pace the aisles. The cooler is set up at the entrance to the store, and has multiple beers resting in ice. There are tins and bottles, lagers and ales, and lots of brands to choose from.
This is a creative way to get shoppers to sample and hopefully purchase some drinks once they’re in the door. Don’t mind if we do.
Back to the wonderful world of Whole Foods and memes, here we have the iconic Gene Wilder selling chocolate bars. How appropriate. Dressed in full Wonka gear, this popular meme featuring the legendary Wilder is known as Condescending Wonka.
Condescending Wonka has a look on his face, and leans sarcastically on his hand. He thinks you’re a joke, and he’ll let you know it. In this case. Wonka asks customers ‘Oh, so you like chocolate?’ Withering, as always.
It’s a hard knock life for some pieces of cheese, but this grocery store makes sure every cheese has a loving home. Someone working at this store had the genius idea of putting all the leftover cuts of cheese in a bin, and calling them ‘cheese orphans’.
The store tells us that our cheese orphans are perfect for snacking, and even shows us a cartoon mouse enjoying his own cheese orphan. Don’t worry Cheese Orphans! The sun will come out tomorrow!
This grocery store is out here living like it’s 2030. Not convinced by digital ‘like buttons’, this store has real-life button buttons. As we can see in the picture, if you like a can of homestyle chicken and dumpling soup, you can ‘like’ it via button and see who else ‘likes’ it with you.
This creative marketing idea brings social media into the physical grocery store. The real-life ‘like’ button adds interactivity to your shop, and you can see what products fellow shoppers enjoy.
Now this is a creative sign. Spotted in a local hardware store, this box of retractable saws is a must-have for any survivors of the upcoming apocalypse. The sign reads, ‘Just in Time for Christmas, $9 Retractable Saws, Sells on Amazon for $16, Perfect for Hunters, Campers, Ninjas, Gardeners, anyone who likes to cut stuff up!!’
Thank goodness there’s a place for both ninjas and gardeners to get their retractable saws this holiday season. Best of all, underneath this sign reads ‘perfect for post-apocalyptic looting’.
Not Sure If
Here we have the Not Sure If meme, featuring Fry from Futurama. In this case, a local hi-fi store uses Fry’s image along with the text ‘not sure if dreaming, or if JB’s prices are really this low’.
It’s a pretty straight forward use of the meme, but here JB’s is cleverly sharing pop-culture references with its customers. Even if you aren’t a fan of Futurama, the sign is sure to bring a smile to shoppers’ faces.
Now this is a niche joke, but a really satisfying one for those in the know. Fans of British comedy troupe Monty Python will be familiar with the Knights Who Say “Ni!”. Unsurprisingly, this band of knights run around shouting “Ni!” and refuse to let King Arthur and his followers through the forest without a gift.
The Knights of Ni want some shrubbery. This sign above the gardening section of this store shows the knights, and a big speech bubble demanding ‘Bring Me A Shrubbery’. Ni!
Here we welcome back our beloved Grumpy Cat, this time drawn on a chalkboard outside a pet store. This time around, Grumpy Cat laughs at our misfortune, saying ‘Out of Catnip? Good’.
This creative marketing idea combines the classic combination of a sweet famous cat and a cynical and mean message. Grumpy Cat’s success is in its meanness, which is always offset by its little paws and ears and nose. You can make fun of us any time Grumpy Cat!
One For the Road
One for the road… Or is it one for the walk? Shopping can make you tired and this grocery store helps its customers with a display at the entrance. And not just any type of display, but a cooler box to grab a drink for just 99 cents to enjoy while they are shopping.
Many shops do this lately and let you walk with a drink inside the store while you are doing the shopping. This will keep the customers in a good mood. Maybe this gets them to spend more money… Smart!
It is time for the big game, which means you need to stock up on the beverages that you will be drinking while watching. This grocery store reminded its customers not to forget to pick up the drinks for the upcoming games.
They organized the beer crates in the form of a Super Bowl stadium and even used some loose bottles to indicate the teams on the field. The imagination of some people never ceases to amaze us in so many ways!
This supermarket dressed one of their mannequins in a dress made from toilet paper to advertise a special on TP. They even made a closed off surrounding stage for the toilet paper model… out of toilet paper!
With the rolls of toilet paper draped around the doll, it actually looks like a nice evening or princess dress. We just wonder what mysterious character was represented with this work of art and what fairy tale she’s from.
The Original Version
Have you ever wondered what iPads would look like if they were designed in the Victorian era? There is no need to wonder anymore with this marketing in a shop where they sell small blackboards with the wording “Victorian i-Pads.”
Now we need to find out who is paying royalties to whom and did the Victorians register the trademark. It will be very interesting to know if Apple will invest some money in this. Probably not… We chalk it up to outdated technology!
What Are You Saying?
With a set of coffee mugs that have letters on them, there are so many things you can spell. Someone thought it would be funny to spell out the name of the king of lies starting with the letter S.
And to make things even more complicated (and funny), they are selling the mugs for $6.66. We can see that the trickster switched the sign from $6.99 to $6.66 – touché. But is it safe to buy these mugs if you are a little bit superstitious?
A Serious Conundrum
At this gas station, they decided to display contraceptives and baby diapers on the same shelf with the sign to choose which one to buy. This is a smart hint for whoever wants to buy these that they must make sure they have enough of the correct one.
And if you do not have one, the other will be the consequence in 9 months’ time, and you will have to buy the diapers. Let it be a warning to be prepared and protected.
What You See Is What You Get
This might be straightforward advertising of a dragon selling dragon fruit at a local grocery store, but it could send the message that you are buying the fruit of the dragon… dragon’s eggs!
Are these fruits from Game of Thrones? On a serious note, it is quite an expensive fruit. And the skin looks just like that of a dragon – a tough skin but soft flesh on the inside. Seems like an apt albeit confusing name for some.
This tea is organized to read like a sentence that is trying to seduce you to take it home. This was found in a shop where they sell these exotic teas in many different flavors and with funny names.
Imagine a tea with the name “Talk to Me” or “In the Mood” – these names are just to get you to buy it. And that is why it was displayed in that order – so you can read the lines and between the lines too.
The Game Is On
When it’s game time, everyone gets into the mood or the spirit of the moment. And that is exactly what happened in this store. The two rival teams are displayed with the Coca-Cola display to remind all the shoppers of the game to come.
At the same time, it will remind everyone to get their drinks for the game at this store. We reckon it is safe to say that this is where all the supporters bought their drinks for the game… especially with that “FREE” sign at the bottom!
The Loooong Cat
This was a display at a Swedish shop where they sell Kattstro cat litter in a box with different colors. But the boxes were displayed using the image of the cat on the box to make a very, very long cat.
This will definitely remind you not to forget to buy a fresh box of cat litter and bring it home to your (hopefully normal length) cat. Well done to whoever had the creativity to do this!
Did They See It first?
Was this an accidental discovery or did someone deliberately pack the shelf so this sauce can spell the “b” word? Or was this planned at the factory already to give themselves that sales edge? Must have taken some very clever planning.
This might seem like a prank, but it does spell that word if put in the right order. One of the employees or customers must have fancied themselves a prankster to come up with this creative joke.
With A Gift?
The sign used with this rack of knife sets might not be the best suggestion for your other half. It says “Surprise Her”… Did it mean to buy her a surprise gift or did it mean something else… Perhaps something more in line with Psycho?
In this day and age, we watch too many movies and this type of thing makes us think it means something completely different. Hopefully, the shop owner or manager saw it and changed the ad to read a bit differently.
An Error Was Encountered
You encounter the error 404 while searching for the item that used to be on this shelf and does not exist anymore. This clever display of the item not found when searching for a non-existing website is a clever one for the empty shelf.
Is this item out of stock or did they just not have anything to display on this shelf? Target cleverly used the cyber way to tell shoppers there is nothing left of this item so they need to try somewhere else. Pwned!
The Local Aquarium
Are the fish being entertained in this grocery store or are there fish entertaining the customers while they are shopping? Who knows? But something seems fishy here. This can be a bit confusing but is humorous when you are busy shopping and need some laughs.
Maybe this shop owner knows the stress of shopping with small children and wanted to lighten the mood of the shoppers. Maybe the sign means that fish for entertaining at dinner parties are sold here.
The Best Price Ever
In Walmart, this funny sign was found with plastic containers where the price tag depicted the item cost of $0.00. Was this intentional or did somebody make a mistake that will cost this shop some money?
And on top of that price tag, there is the caption saying unbeatable prices, and that really is the truth. Who will be able to beat that price? This means that it must have been a prank… or an error.
Much Amaze Ice-Cream
Here we have our beloved doge, this time selling us ice-cream. Inspired by the meme, this shop owner is offering 20% off ice-cream, with doge telling us ‘today only’, ‘wow such special’, ‘much amaze’, ‘much fresh’, ‘so cold’, ‘do want’, and ‘wow’.
What makes this meme so consistently funny? Is it just that this fluffy goofy dog could say or sell anything and we’d saw ‘awwww’? Or is it that we really believe that this is how dogs think? Much amaze!
All the Cider
The Allie Brosh online cartoon ‘Hyperbole and a Half’ became so popular that most people don’t know where it first came from. The characters are drawn with scratchy lines and distorted faces, and pop up in all sorts of memes and online posts.
Here, we see one of Brosh’s characters with its arm raised, shouting ‘Drink all the cider!’ If we weren’t sure exactly how much cider to drink, this creative sign would certainly convince us.
We return to doge! This sign, spotted in a DVD store, is particularly good because it’s hand-drawn. What’s better than a goofy-looking dog? Well a hand-drawn goofy-looking dog that isn’t quite right, of course. Our sweet doge doesn’t look 100% himself, but I bet he still brings a smile to customers’ faces.
This incarnation of doge, the meme dog, says ‘such bargain’, ‘many cheap’, and ‘wow!’ Even though this dog always says more or less the same thing, it never fails to make us giggle.
I Dare Ya
Here we have another Whole Foods meme mash-up, this time featuring the Success Kid. The Success Kid has been described as likely the most famous baby on the internet, after a picture of him eating sand went viral. The baby’s little chubby fist is clenched, and his brow furrowed. He will have success, he can do this.
Whole Foods have a chalkboard rendering of Success Kid, along with the sign ‘Cold and Flu Season?…Try Me, I Dare Ya!’
Sometimes, it’s not the best or most beautiful signs that bring customers through the door. Sometimes, it’s a goofy poem. This chalkboard outside an establishment says ‘Roses are Red. Bacon is Red. Poems are Hard. Bacon’.
This sign rings true on every level. Roses are red and poems are hard. And bacon, bacon, bacon. This creative marketing sign tells customers that the store owner doesn’t take themselves too seriously. It even has a cute chalk pig at the bottom.