The first thing that comes to mind when approached about a new advertising scheme is the concern over how much it will cost. That is a smart way to think right now. you have to spend less and do more to get ahead instead of deeper in debt. Advertising is so very ephemeral. You need something with substance. People hear and see so many adds all day long. If you put something in their hands then they have an actual item that they will remember you by. This is getting down to basics for sure. You will spend less because promotional products are cheaper than other types of ads. You will work more though because now is the time to get out and reach the community.
All you need for a simple outdoor promotion is some willing help and a sense of adventure. OK, you really do need more, but if you have those you are halfway there. A nice outdoor setup could be a table or maybe a rolling cart. There are an amazing amount of things that people will part with cheaply, like a refrigerated cart or maybe even a hot dog cart that has hot and cold storage. If you have access to something like this and a nice big promotional beach umbrella or two, you could be in business.
Once you have your area all set up the fun can start. You can have something refreshing for people at your little spot. The idea is to attract people as they walk by. If you have a big cooler and an ice shaver you will be very popular on a hot day. You could sell the shave ice for a quarter or give it away. You might want to check if you need a permit. when people walk up to check things out you can give them a small promotional item. A key chain would work.
Make sure that everyone is wearing the company logo. That can be any type of promotional apparel. There should be no doubt in peoples minds which company is providing the nice refreshments. You should have info so that people can check the company and its products or services out but that is not your main focus. You just want your name out.
You will spend some time on this promotion but the contact with the community will make it worth while. If you bought air time on TV or the radio you would spend more money, and you would not see any people face to face. This close contact is just the beginning of getting reacquainted with the community. It gives your business a face.