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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Michalic selling from above

Monday, May 10, 2004

Traditional advertising it isn't.

Instead of buying an ad or renting a billboard, Jeff Michalic, owner and vice president of Tonus Home Sales of Brazil, will be taking the David Blaine route. His plan? To climb a 45-foot pole and live in a house attached to the top of it for seven days. The house, which is being manufactured by Tonus, is a mere 8 by 8 feet and will contain a single room.

For reference, Michalic said 8 by 8 is approximately the same width as two sheets of drywall placed side-by-side.

Plans aren't definite, but the house will likely have a sleeping bunk and a couch, along with necessary features like a toilet. Michalic plans to stay in the house for a week or until his company sells 30 houses, whichever comes first.

"If we sell that many in three days or so, I'll probably stay up there the rest of the week," he said.

There may not be much to do in such an isolated space, but Michalic plans to perform all of his work-related duties from his perch. Among other items, he will take his cell phone and probably a laptop computer to assist him in his daily tasks. He also plans to take some magazines and other reading material to combat boredom.

The idea came after he read a book on "guerilla marketing", the practice of using offbeat tactics to draw customers in.

"I'm kind of an off-the-wall guy," he said. "It just came from being short on funds and trying to find a creative way to advertise."

Michalic's initial idea was to have his brother live in the house, but his refusal didn't kill the plan.

"It was too good of an idea to let go," he said.

Reading and working probably won't be enough to pass Michalic's time, however. He said he hopes to see people watching his stunt all hours of the day. The promotion will begin at 8 a.m. May 17 and end at 5 p.m. May 23. Tonus employees will be available throughout the promotion to answer questions about modular homes and showcase the varities available, even ones sitting on the top of a pole.

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