It's always good to advertise
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:00 PM
I know you're not overly interested in a column about "Advertising"... but stay with me on this... I think you'll enjoy the ending.
First let me say... Advertising is a GOOD thing..... if it WORKS. Good for the advertiser AND the person it's directed to.
During my many years in radio and other advertising forums I can safely say my customers purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising.... and I never SOLD them as much as a dime's worth. You see... I was NEVER a SALESman... I simply let people BUY the advertising I had to offer.
Actually, I preferred to work WITH my clients... finding out what THEY wanted to advertise ... helping them put an advertising plan together... then taking that plan to the Radio Station (or wherever) and BUYING the advertising.. on THEIR behalf. Yes I felt I worked for the ADVERTISER.... my JOB was assisting with HIS advertising... not just SELLING him something to enable me to reach some kind of "sales goal"
Because of this relationship I was frequently allowed to sit-in on many local business strategy sessions to find out what needed to be done.... and more importantly... figure out how to do it. Most often in towns this size that session would consist of two people... the owner... and me.
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Such was frequently the case with Bill Zach... owner of The A&W Restaurant "On the Greencastle Road".
In a typical "strategy session" we would go to the south end of the counter... He would lean on it from the inside... I would sit on a stool... and we would "talk business".
I remember one day Bill said to me "Dick... y'know I been out to this annual A&W Convention in California... and one of the speakers was this advertising guy who had some good ideas."
"Y'know" he continued "I've been running "specials" every week. Free drink with a Papa-Burger purchase... Buy one - get one at half price.. 39-cent coneys (Yes I believe it was 39-cents then)
"Every week it would be something DIFFERENT" he said "and some weeks the special would be on Monday, sometimes on Wednesday, or Tuesday... we mixed them up...right?"
"Yep" I responded glibly.
"Well this guy says that's ALL WRONG. He says we should stay with ONE item... and do it on the SAME day EVERY week."
Bill and I talked about it a while... and HE finally decided coneys were his most successful special ... which he usually ran on Wednesdays... but (for some reason) he frequently had scheduling problems on Wednesdays, so he thought he would run his weekly coney special on Tuesdays.
Furthermore he said "This guy says in your advertising you should ALWAYS mention the DAY of the special. Don't say it's TOMORROW... or even TODAY... People can't remember if they heard it today or yesterday or last Friday.... Always mention the DAY itself"
We talked a little more and finally agreed to start it the following week.
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Have you ever heard the phrase "Tuesday is Coney Day... at Zach's A&W Restaurant"? I went back to the station and wrote up that short ad. Then WE hammered that ad on radio EVERY week... week after week... and even on Tuesday... it said "Tuesday".
Zach's isn't around anymore... and unfortunately neither is Bill... but do you think it's a coincidence that Uncle Smiley's runs their "Coney Day Special"... on Tuesday? (Oh... you didn't know that. Well... do they advertise it EVERY week?)
A year or two later I had a competing restaurant owner tell me "Well I can't run MY special on TUESDAYS because..."TUESDAY is CONEY DAY!" (I didn't tell him I was quite aware of that.)
So remember... Advertising is a GOOD thing... if you do it right it WORKS. And I would say... in Zach's case...if YOU still remember it... it worked.
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And now maybe you'll notice that... since the very beginning... I have ALWAYS finished this column with: "'Til next WEDNESDAY".... (Like others, I could say "next WEEK".... but I ALWAYS have mention the DAY) ... So choose to be happy... and keep smiling.
Dick Munro writes a his weekly column, By The Way, for The Paper. It appears each Wednesday in The Paper.