Sign spinners turn heads

A USF alumnus is putting a new spin on advertising. Joed Hassani, president and owner of Advertising Performed, is putting his advertising degree to good use by bringing sign spinners to Tampa and using human directional marketing — with a twist.

Hassani was first introduced to sign spinning in California, where he saw arrow-shaped signs being tossed and spun on the side of the road to attract passers-by. The creative concept caught his attention and made the advertisement memorable, he said.

Hassani brought sign spinning to the Tampa Bay area with a little flair: His sign spinners entertain by incorporating dance moves and acrobatics into their routines while listening to headphones. Performers dance, flip and generate attention while spinning their business advertisement.

This high-impact marketing tactic is giving traditional marketing activities some competition. Sign spinning capitalizes on drive-by traffic in a way that billboards, commercials and direct mail cannot — and at a fraction of the cost.

The curbside performances bring in a lot of customers, Hassani said. Human directional marketing is a creative way to make a company’s message stand out and generate results.

Kristofer Goetz, store manager for Cort Furniture, said using sign spinners has increased profits by at least 20 percent.

Any storefront business looking to generate more walk-in business could benefit from sign spinning, he said.

Jenny Wallen, property manager for Arbor Glen Apartments, said that with sign spinners she was able to close on five leases in one weekend — setting a new record for her location.

Sign spinners must be high-energy, rhythmically inclined, healthy and coordinated, Hassani said. The job isn’t for everyone, so during interviews he tries to get an impression of the candidates’ personality. The audition process requires performers to learn and demonstrate dance moves and footwork.

Advertising Performed has no direct competition in the area.

“Sign spinning is in a league of its own,” Hassani said.

Other companies that hire employees to stand on the side of the road holding signs find it hard to compete with the novelty of sign spinning — sign holders are not energetic and typically aren’t a good representation of the company they’re advertising, Hassani said.

“There are other companies that claim to be sign spinners, but their performers don’t compare. I like to refer to them as ‘sign shakers,'” Hassani said.

Advertising Performed’s clients include a wide range of businesses — from apartment complexes to restaurants and a marketing sponsorship with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The performers draw attention to themselves and the business they’re advertising while making drivers smile and laugh.

“There is something to be said about a smile,” Hassani said. “The performers make people feel good.”