The new Fresh & Easy in Santa Barbara took to the streets with an acrobatic sign spinner to get heads turning at its grand opening this week. This “old school” style of promotion, with a new twist is now becoming one of the most effective forms of “on the spot” advertising in the nation.It comes at a time when hi tech, glitzy, social media ads are being touted as the most effective ways to reach customers.”It’s really fun. I love sign spinning,” said Chris Altamirano, a sign spinner with Aarrow Ads.From new housing projects to store openings, these free form sign spinners are being hired to get the public’s attention whether they are walking or driving by.When it comes to flipping signs with his hands, head, upper body and feet, Altamirano explains, “We do a lot of skate boarding tricks, we have 500 tricks. We have a tricktionary actually.” Altamirano is also a “spinstructor” as he calls it, with Aarrow Ads.If you want this kind of job, you have to go through a strenuous, full body workout.”We hold practices once a week. We make you do push ups, sit ups and spinning,” said Altamirano. And it’s not just some kind of public relations gimmick, or just a novelty job. He says, sign spinners also take on the best of the best in a national competition. One just took place in Las Vegas.”This year in February was my first year . It actually took me three years to get into it,” said Altamirano. He placed 22nd out of 80 competitors and was number two in Los Angeles.Even though he works at a dizzying pace…. when he stops…the public often gives him compliments on his moves.Altamirano has heard them say, ” ‘You’re so good at that . You look like you’re having too much fun. Were you born with that talent?’ I’ve heard it all. It hypes me up more. it makes me bring out more for them “”They see us, we stand out more than that guy over there (as he points to stationary sign holder). A smile is really contagious. We actually put our energy out on the corner for everyone but we made sure they can read the sign,” said Altamirano who often stops after a move to point at a passerby or wave to drivers in cars.KEY News Senior Reporter John Palminteri has our story.
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