The animal is not a freak of nature nor is it the by-product of a hazardous waste dump. It’s made from old vacuum cleaner parts and is designed to promote Smitty’s Sew and Vac Shop, and independent vacuum cleaner dealer here.
The cleaning behemoth will be on display at the Northland Sopping mall during its annual Home Builder Show here.
The idea came from the recent Vacuum Dealer Trade Association (VDTA) Show in Las Vegas where Eureka, the VDTA and Eureka spokesperson and cleaning guru Don Aslett sponsored a vac animal contest for independent dealers. Now, Stuart Smith, owner of Smitty’s Sew and Vac Shop is challenging citizens of Sterling to create their own vac animals.
“We’re currently promoting the contests on local radio and in newspapers,” said Smith. “I hope to have all the entries registered by march 7th. The animals will be on display at the [Northland] mall from March 20th through the 22nd during the show.”
Smith said the Home Builder Show is an annual event for his company. The radio and newspapers ads not only promote the contest, but also offer people the opportunity to pick up old vacuum parts at his store for use in their creations.
“That’s helping to build traffic in our store before the contest even begins,” said Smith.
He added that the Eureka Co. has agreed to offer three Eureka vacuums as prizes in the contest; an upright, a Mighty Mite Canister and a Step Saver hand vacuum.
See more: Receipts assume new prominence
If this contest is successful, Smith said he hopes to have another vac animal contest in the fall. The fall contest will challenge elementary school children to create vac animals.
Like the current contest, Smith said he will offer old vacuum cleaner parts to children wishing to create a vac animal. That should boost in-store traffic before the contest.
Smith also said a second contest will depend upon the amount of interest and participation in the first contest. Interest and participation are the only ways to measure the success of the promotion. He added he does not expect an immediate increase in dollars.
“The success of this contest cannot be measured in dollars alone,” said Smoth. “What it does is keep my store’s name in front of the public.” Smith, who has been in business more than 28 years, said the vac animal contest is perhaps his strangest promotion, but not the funniest.
“Twenty years ago, I threw my back out and having trouble working,” said Smith. “I couldn’t afford an operation to fix my back, so I held a Bad Black Sale.”
Smith said he advertised the Bad Back Sale in local newspapers and even brought in a doctor from an outside town to examine his back. “People got a big kick out of it–I not only raised enough money to pya for the surgery–I even made a profit,” he said. “And when I brought in the doctor to examine my back, I’ll be darned if he didn’t buy a machine and take it home with him.”