When it comes to creative marketing, it’s hard to top the Express Clydesdale horses. “They are our ambassadors,” says Debbie Zettlemoyer, Event Marketing Specialist. “They represent Express Employment Professionals wherever they go!”
And they are on the go! Members of the team of 22 horses are on the road over 200 days each year. From large events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Calgary Stampede in Canada (where they chauffeured the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate) to small community parades with only 5,000 people in attendance, the horses are one of the ways Express has been able to connect with potential clients.
“The Clydesdales are magnificent animals to look at,” says Debbie, “but what makes them amazing in a marketing situation is how they create an emotional attachment with the people who attend the event. We have received business from many clients because of the connection with the horses and the work we do with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. People want to do business with people who give back to the community through a cause that is bigger than themselves.”
With over 600 Express franchises across North America, the award-winning horses are a popular request for local events. “Often times, we send the horses to a city where they might be giving wagon rides at the local Wal-Mart,” she said. “We have these adorable plush toys we sell at the events and a portion of the proceeds go to their local CMN hospital or charity of choice.”
While this has been a great way for Express Employment Professionals to develop strong relationships in the communities they serve, they recently worked with the SwagExperts at ROBYN to develop an online store to sell the horses and barn to a wider audience and help more children. This is not a moneymaker for either Express or ROBYN, rather a way to provide more donations to local communities.
“Bob Funk is an entrepreneur deluxe,” said Debbie, “and he has a giving heart. Without him, we wouldn’t have these horses or this fantastic way to help children across the country.”
The horses live at the Express Clydesdale Barn in Yukon, OK, which is open to the public (and can even be rented for special events!). “We encourage people to come and meet the horses, either at the barn or when we’re on the road,” she said. “It’s a wonderful experience and really builds a personal connection.”
Of course, you don't have to go to the barn or wait for the Express Clydesdales to come to your town to purchase these adorable Clydesdale plush toys. They are available now on the Express Clydesdales Store, and all proceeds benefit the Children's Miracle Network.
Posted on Mon, October 21, 2013
by Brian Blake