Word of mouth math: $2 bill + 1 sticker = awesome

By March 25, 20099 Comments

On Monday, one of my colleagues handed me this:

2 dollar bill

This particular colleague had lost a friendly bet the week before, so at first I thought I was receiving partial payment for said bet. Then I remembered that I’m still in negative territory—I owe her $88 (I bet $100 I’d have my book done by Halloween of 2008), and that didn’t happen.

Anyway, she realized I had no clue why I was receiving this crisp, new $2 bill, and said, “turn it over.”

SAM promotion on back of a $2 bill

Alas, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) are using these $2 bills to promote their Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness exhibit showcasing 275 pieces of historically significant American art from the Yale University Gallery.

It’s must-see gallery if you enjoy history and/or art.

While the promotion has a few holes in it, the sticker on the $2 bill is must-see marketing: It’s unique. It’s interesting. The promo made the URL irresistible—I had to check it out.

And, of course, it made me want to tell you all about it.


So do you dig this as much as I do? Why or why not?

Subscribe to this feed.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Liz T. says:

    I think it’s great. You are much more likely to hang on to it because it’s real money and the fact that it puts some of the historical art in perspective (it’s on a bill) makes it more interesting. If I had one, I’d show it to others too, which is the power of word of mouth.

  • I think everyone has at least one $2 bill they’re hanging on to thinking it will be worth more than $2 someday.

  • To quote the irritatingly resiliant Irish Spring jingle: ‘And I like it too!’

    But ya know, not sure there’s room on our good old Canadian Toonie (…

  • Ann S says:

    I like it.
    Effective, puzzling, memorable, fun.
    And you can subsidize the latte habit with it.

  • I think the $2 bill + 1 sticker idea is neat. It definitely gets people to look at it and go to the site. The “Where’s George” viral campaign that started 7+ years ago immediately comes to my mind.

    But what about laws against defaming U.S. currency? Does the government ignore it in cases like these? Or can I just not complete Abraham Lincoln’s full-on beard with a marker?

    In any case, I think this is an effective, fairly low-cost way to promote an organization’s events locally. 🙂

  • Thanks for your comments, all.

    Joshue, I had the same concern as you regarding the treatment to U.S. currency. But the stickers are actually easy to pull off, so I think we’re okay.



  • I worked for a company whose business dealt with “incentive compensation.” During his presentations, the CEO would ask for questions and promise a $2 bill as an incentive to everyone who asked a question. It definitely got people participating, it demonstrated the power of incentives, and it was quirky enough to be remembered. I still have a $2 bill laying around.

  • Hey this is an awesome idea. Are there any legalities with creating a note where a real denomation doesn’t exist?


Leave a Reply