BRANDING

Are 'Booth Babes' an Effective Marketing Tool?

Many companies are still hiring eye candy to staff their booths at trade shows. What do you think of this widespread practice?
'Booth babe' at CES
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For decades, the high tech industry, the computer game industry, the car industry, the tool industry and numerous others have hired "booth babes" to draw customers into their booths at trade shows.

While the booth babes at high-tech shops aren't as scantily clad as in, say, the automobile industry, there was plenty of cheesecake on display at the recent CES show.  Here's a video from the BBC showing some examples, along with some unintentionally hilarious commentary.

I'm curious what you readers think about this. On the one hand, the whole idea seems both distasteful and, frankly, a bit unimaginative. Can't these highly paid marketing geeks come up with something better? Is this just an example (as a friend of mine put it) of "guys thinking with their secondary brain"?

On the other hand, if the so-called booth babes weren't a good marketing investment, would so many companies still be hiring them?

Leave a comment with your opinion.

IMAGE: Screen shot/BBC News
Last updated: Jan 13, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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