Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Penguins and mice, oh my!

Thankfully, it has been many, many years since I have had to look for an apartment to live in.  I hated the digging through the newspapers to find a place in a part of town you want to live in, that looks and functions in a way that is desirable to you and all at a monthly rental fee you can afford.  Then going to look at the place only to find out it is nothing like the classified ad stated.

Notice I said "digging through the papers" up there?  Apparently, now a days, you can just drive around and look for the waving mouse or the waving penguin who is holding a sign that says "Luxury Apartments - first month's rent free" or "Want to live here?  We'll pay your utilities!" or some other budget teaser.  I realize that in the 18 or so years it's been since I've had to apartment hunt, that things have changed.  I would have guessed the improvements would have been made with the benefit of techonology - online rental sites, online maps to see exactly where the place is located and even Google type searches where you can often find a picture of the exact property.  But waving penguins and mice?  I can't imagine being out one day, doing my errands and seeing a waving animal and saying "Wow, I think I want to live there" and pull in, sign a lease, make my down payment and then going home and getting my things.  Do these little gimmicks work?

And really, we don't have to just focus on the rental properties doing this.  What about the pizza places, car dealers, furniture stores.  Where does it end? 


  1. I see these guys all the time advertising for different businesses. I've never gone to one because of it.

  2. lol. I always wonder who stops to buy a pizza because some bored out of his skull (perhaps stoned?) kid is standing on the corner wearing a pizza box. Somebody must...
    And what about ginormous gorillas or acres of balloons to sell CARS?

    good post.

  3. okay, the penguins and mice are a little bizarre. however, the concept of which you write, is popular on the east coast, as well. there are people standing on every street corner holding such signs. my husband always wonders why they don't just stick the signs in the ground rather than have some bored guy, smoking a cigarette, lamely waving the "store liquidation" sign.

  4. The type of people that those ads work on, are people you DON'T want as neighbors.

  5. Here it's usually just a bored-looking guy listening to his ipod while he holds a yellow sign. Mostly it is for shops going out of business, there's not a lot to rent these days.

    At least it looks like you get a little diversity where you live.

  6. I hear "Hey Mommy! There's the hippo!" from the backseat every time we go near Kroger. He's also a fan of the giant hot pink bunny next to the post office. I don't get it either

  7. My kids are deathly afraid of all of these characters roaming the streets and flipping signs here in LA. I only hope they will get over their character phobia by the time they have to apartment hunt.

    Crazy world we live in.....

  8. Did you hop into my head? Because I've been wondering the very same thing. Why?

    I understand that its dynamic advertisement, in the sense that its moving, versus a static ad in a paper. But I haven't ever stopped in anywhere because some dude was standing on the corner.

    I've noticed it's always, always, a guy.

    Maybe chicks are too smart to stand out in the cold.