Park your message here

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Advertising executives are always looking for new places to put ads. They've pasted them onto cars. They've hung them on bathroom walls. They've even paid people to tattoo them onto their heads. It's called captive marketing.

Golden advertising executive Greg Gorman, 46, has come up with a better idea. In 2003, he looked out his window at the Denver West office park and noticed all the safety-yellow stripes marking parking spaces. Why not turn those stripes into ads? he mused.

Why not print a logo or advertising message on a piece of adhesive tape and paste it right over those boring lines?

Gorman immediately called 3M Co. to see if it produced an adhesive tape that could be used to turn parking stripes into flashy mini billboards.

The manufacturing giant is a client of Gorman's marketing firm, Commotion LLC. But 3M officials abruptly postponed their conversation with Gorman to check whether they had already tried this.

"They spent three days checking with their attorney," Gorman said. "They sheepishly came back and said, 'This is embarrassing, but we've never even thought of that.'"

Gorman asked 3M for help developing his idea. He applied for a patent and trademarked the words "Parking Stripe." He also launched a company called Parking Stripe advertising, which has just begun contracting with parking-lot owners and advertisers across the nation.

-"Idea man hatches ads of new stripe," Al Lewis, Denver Post, September 25, 2005

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