For over fifty years, Cubans have not seen or heard commercial spots on TV or radio, likewise for website banners, billboards and newspapers. President Raul Castro has allowed limited free market reform but one thing is to have your own business, but how do you let customers know you even have a business is the new problem.
Small business owners on the island nation are using unconventional low cost advertising. One restaurant owner said it has been difficult to advertise and get the word out about you business. She described it as running a race with just one leg.
Store and business owners are taking to advertising on their cars, of which there are not many to begin with. They are also printing coupons and putting them on windshields of cars. Specialty advertising has hit the island. Patrons of beauty salons return home with lighters and pens with the salons phone number and log emblazoned on them.
A burger restaurant owner has pioneered bumper sticker advertising in the country. He has convinced over 1,500 motorists to put his bright yellow bumper stickers on their vehicles for a discount on their burgers of 25%. The owner has been more successful than most since he also offers patrons, tiny straw hats that have his logo on them.
High-tech is also starting to make inroads in the business world in Cuba as advertisers are also spamming cell phones. Advertisers are sending text messages to cell phone users to get them to try their services through discounts. One cell phone operator sends out mass text messages of sometimes 3,000 to possible clients.