Dancing and pizza, good for business

By Ashley McNamee

August 16, 2011 Updated Aug 16, 2011 at 8:09 PM CDT

It's no secret that in a down economy, businesses get creative to get people through the door.

Little Caesar's is doing just that.

If you travel down North Knoxville Ave., seeing a dancing sign is becoming a common sight.

"I kind of like to dance a lot, move around, shake a lot, get people's attention," said Cameron Okeke, 18.

For Little Caesar's owner Tim McShane, seeing his employee Cameron Okeke's dancing is a welcome sight.

"We've been doing this "Hot and Ready" for eight years and we've had sign shakers from the beginning. I would say Cameron far exceeds anyone we've had in the past," said McShane, who owns four Little Caesar restaurants locally.

Okeke's unique form of marketing is attracting plenty of business to the Little Caesar's newest location.

"I'm sure it is hundreds of pizzas a week that I can attribute to Cameron in a way because whether they come that day, the next day, week from now, it is because of him," he said.

Okeke isn't just popular with pizza lovers and drivers passing by. He's becoming an Internet sensation, a video of him dancing on Youtube now has hundreds of hits.

"I have no idea what to say about it. I was in pure shock, I didn't think people would really respond this way," he said. "People stop, give me drinks, give me food, someone gave me a taco."

Others stop and give him tips.

"Yeah, I've got $100 before," said Okeke.

Most like Dan Fischer, who works down Knoxville Ave., stop in for a pizza.

"I have seen this done in other places around town, but that guy just doesn't stop. Pretty soon it's like okay, well I gotta stop and see what this is all about so, here I am," said Fischer, who bought a pizza for lunch.

For Okeke, who is going off to Chicago University in the fall to study bio chemistry and genetics, the reason he likes his job is simple.

"I do what I have to do to make someone smile, to make their day," he said, smiling.

In a down economy, a unique marketing trick may be doing more than selling pizzas.

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