Building The Wall With Marketing

DISCLAIMER: Regular readers of this column know I look at everything in the world through a marketing filter in search of lost opportunity. Recognizing how divided the world is today, I pose the following suggestion strictly as an intellectual exercise. Allow me to apologize in advance if I offend your sense of decorum or your political leanings.


“What I do best in life, I build. I want it to be so beautiful because maybe someday they’ll call it ‘The Trump Wall.’”

These words bounce around my mind while watching the government remaining shut down. My friends are hurting, the Wall/No Wall partisans are firmly dug in, and there’s no end in sight.

The impasse: President Trump demands a 2000-mile, $5.7 billion southern border wall, which Speaker Pelosi refuses.

Consider using marketing to resolve this thorny matter.

President Trump claims to be worth $10 billion and to know more about building than anyone. He’s also frequently described as “Transactional.”

Perhaps these dots can be connected to solve the problem:

  • Have President Trump finance the wall himself. This eliminates Speaker Pelosi’s objections while allowing 800,000 government employees to start getting paid again.
  • Carve the wall into 422,400 25-foot sections and sell advertising.

Now stay with me. You could sign a long-term contract with Pepsi, Starbucks, or countless others to pay for the wall AND make a profit for everyone. All you need is the seed money and the resolve.

At $540/linear foot, this wall would provide five-year advertisers with a high-visibility platform, steady audience, and low costs. Cumulatively, over that time you’d generate $28.5 billion in advertising revenues…and much more if you sell ads on both sides.

To be fair, the first $5.7 billion must go back to President Trump, reimbursing him for his investment. Another 20% ($1.14 billion) would provide him a generous return on that seed money.

Then throw in another 25% ($1.425 billion) to cover sales commissions and advertising production costs. This leaves $20 billion+ of “found money” for the general treasury.

Furthermore, that number only increases over time, since $6.84 billion only needs to be repaid once.

Whether or not there should even be a wall is an argument for people wiser than I. But given his wealth, experience, and commitment to the idea of the wall, this should be a risk-free investment for the President.

Indeed, I’d argue that with this solution everyone wins and nobody loses face. And with annual costs of roughly $100/foot, the marketers of beverages, clothing, transportation, etc. have a great opportunity to expand their markets while standing by their beliefs regarding immigration and global relationships.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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2 Replies to “Building The Wall With Marketing

  1. I always admire how your mind works !
    You do think Outside the box!
    Not sure of the visibility the ads would garner….and they would need to be bi-lingual…..but a great concept

    1. Sure, you’d need to tweak the concept a bit. You’d want to charge more in high traffic areas and less in the remote sections, for example. But at least this provides a framework for a serious conversation.

      And thank you for the kind words.

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