Well, since it’s been 8 posts and 15 days since I wrote about anything remotely associated with bars or marketing, I am happy I chanced upon this topic the other day while listening to the radio. It was the perennial discussion about how people get depressed in the winter months because there’s less daylight, and Xmas is over, and the bills are rolling in, blah, blah, blah.
They had on a psychiatrist who I thought had a surprisingly good idea for folks that are feeling down. In December, before you get all bummed out, schedule some periodic activity – preferably exercise-related and preferably outdoors – that you have to commit to. This breaks the vicious cycle of: too tired/bummed to go out, so you stay in and marinade in your misery, which makes you sadder and less likely to go out, etc.
My first reaction to this was, what a great marketing angle for the Theatre! Classes at the Theatre School would be a great weekly activity that would also be fun, energetic, and social. Or simply take advantage of a seat sale or value pack and getting tix for one show every few weeks throughout the winter. Wrap a dinner around that, and it’s a great night out for friends or lovers. Call it the Winter Blues Beater combo or something.
Then I thought a bar would be an even better venue to promote that kind of periodic excuse to get out of the house. Of course you’d have to get some of your patrons’ skin in the game. I mean you could say that having Monday Night Football on the big screen is a great weekly draw, but no-one is committed to attending – they might not come because it’s snowing or whatever and the vicious cycle begins.
So make them “promise” in some way that they will come. Perhaps you organize a bi-weekly ski-day package bus trip that begins and ends at the bar but requires a 50% deposit – that way everybody will show up (and après ski at your place!). Or some kind of friendly team competition like darts or pool that team members will peer-pressure each other into coming out for.
And don’t even hide what you’re trying to accomplish: come right out and say that this will help your winter depression. Your customers might appreciate it.