Lost Ad Secrets

on the sofa arm.) "See the ink?" (Rubbing it off) Now the ink has gone -with just a Handy Wipe." (Cut to Wendell kneeling beside a leather recliner) "Just feel the quality of this leather on this Flexsteel Recliner." (Cut to Wendell kneeling beside an occasional chair) "Why buy Flexsteel?" (Wendell flips the chair over exposing the springs. He reaches in and grabs one, pulling on it) "It's just about indestructible. You can't wear it out, and you can't break it." (Cut to full showroom, large Super with sig: "15% TO 20% OFF FLEXSTEEL FACTORY AUTHORIZED SALE") "At 15 to 20% savings, this is the time to purchase your beautiful Flexsteel furniture, exclusively at Wendell's Furniture" (Cut to outside store shot with address and phone supped over.)

There is more product information, more consumer benefits, and more unique selling features in this 30-second commercial than most big boxes use in an entire copy-starved flyer! Yet there is nothing difficult to execute and nothing spectacular. This is the kind of Branding that you can adapt and start doing now. The big boxes are too busy being big to let the human side of their story and their desire to serve show through. I should emphasize again, though: Wendell's delivery in his commercials is exceptional. His sincerity, and his Brand, shine through in how he talks, his body language and in his appearance in the ubiquitous Wendell's "blue shirt." It is worth a trip to wendellsfurniture.com to see him do his thing.

There's more. Wendell has a "Shopping Guide" tab. If you open it, you are able to access general information about buying furniture and mattresses. (This one could be improved with a couple of additional streams or clips featuring Wendell.) Also, you can click on "Our Suppliers" (Better would be "Our Famous Brands") and immediately access the websites of Wendell's key brands, such as Flexsteel, el ran, Berkline, Benchcraft, etc. Berkline has an excellent site, by the way, with an option-

For High Impact Promotions, sell your product quickly and directly with an " irresistible" offer on the envelope. Then, expand on the offer inside.

al virtual human being "guide." Benchcraft had one too. But, I wonder why these huge companies can't use the CEO to deliver some kind of a short personal message to the consumer in the Wendell fashion? Using only slick pros and carefully crafted scripts dampen the authenticity of the presentation. Wendell uses no dazzling graphics, etc., but the Brand, the story, and the personality of the store are projected through and through. When Wendell uses his photo and introduces his associates in print advertising, it is especially effective because he has already established a Brand with the community.

There are weaknesses in the site, I know. I could nitpick. But compared to what the big boxes do, this one connects. It is real, believable, and human. Not so with the big boxes. One big box, claiming to be mattress experts, shows nothing but sizes and prices. No personal connection, no benefits, no unique selling propositions, no arresting concepts about the expertise of the associates or ease of selection (the mass of tiny mattress illustrations and prices are overwhelming). Moreover, the assurance of satisfaction has almost as much small print as a real estate contract.

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