Where There’s A Will – And Goose Poop – There’s A Way.

Black_Lagoon_Pond_Management_Away_with_Geese_AWG_Land+UnitEven the most confident of us wonder (in moments of quiet reflection or desperation) if marketing really works.  Publicity, advertising, direct mail, events, social media marketing, trade show exhibiting… all of it; does it work?

Yesterday afternoon, I was reading the Jan/Feb issue of BOMA Magazine, when a quarter-page ad on page 36 (back of book, left side) grabbed my attention.  “Away With Geese” read the headline,  “Geese Gone. Guaranteed.” read the subhead.  And just like that, I was hooked.

I have been tormented by geese my entire life.  As little boy they chased me down at Clague Park Lake to steal my popcorn, and they have been following me ever since. My dear, departed Aunt Ceil saved me on that particular summer day, but there has been no hero since… until now.

Away With Geese is a solar-powered flashing light system that promises and guarantees to drive geese away permanently. “That’s crazy!” I thought, so I went to the website for more confirmation. “Guaranteed Geese Control Designed For You.” Available in six convenient unit sizes – Land Unit, Water Unit, Roof Unit, Sports Unit, Sports Cage and Dock Unit – there is a solution for every type of landscape.

Then it occurred to me, “Why haven’t I seen this before?”  Our local rec center (Westlake Recreation Center) is filthy with geese. It’s so bad you cannot even walk on the paved walking trails. It’s dirty, it’s smelly and it is incredibly unhealthy. But even in my own backyard, every spring our inground pool becomes the temporary home of wayward geese looking for a new home. They eat the flowers, poop in the pool, shed their feathers and the honk you off at will. Even the local cemetery where my dear, departed Aunt Ceil now resides has become a haven for these rowdy, disgusting birds. In an effort to thwart them, the cemetery has covered its lake with a metal wire grid… and it was an epic fail. So watch your step and kiss your $20 flowers goodbye as you exit your car to visit grandpa’s resting place… the geese are in charge now.

So I dropped a quick email to Tom Wells, the inventor of Away With Geese and the patriarch of this family business in Cincinnati, Ohio. And I congratulated him on finding a sound solution to a disgusting problem. I also asked him for some literature that I could hand deliver to the Westlake Rec Center manager, the Holy Cross Cemetery Groundskeeper and couple of friends of mine who work for the Cleveland Metroparks.

And guess what? Tom calls me the next day and sends me the literature. He also shared his personal and sincere thoughts on helping consumers keep their properties “geese free” in an environmentally friendly and humane way.

In the end there are two truths I confirmed through this experience:  1. Marketing does indeed work. 2. Poop happens… but sometimes that can lead to good things!

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.