Marketing expert, George Torok helps businesses gain an unfair marketing advantage over the competition. A bestselling author, he consults with business owners and is available for speaking engagements. Power Marketing is a registered trademark.
Enjoy the marketing insights, tips, and strategies on branding, media relations, promotion, networking and personal marketing. Add your comments.
Is this lawyer lying or innocently stretching the truth?
This ad in the Yellow Pages is titled “I Can Address All Of Your Legal Needs”.
The quotes imply that the words come directly from the lawyer. The lawyer’s name is in the ad but I’ve blocked it to protect the guilty. This appears to be a solo lawyer firm because there is no firm name – only the lawyer’s name.
The point is that this individual lawyer claims that he can address all of your legal needs. That’s simply ridiculous. No individual lawyer could possibly address ALL of the legal needs of every viewer.
A major law firm might justifiably claim that because they have hundreds of lawyers specializing in all aspects of law.
The three bullets list real estate, family law and civil litigation. Then there’s a strange stew of commercial litigation, wills, powers of attorney, corporate and commercial law…
My questions are:
What do you specialize in?
What are you really good at?
Who is your best prospect?
What problems can you fix?
The nagging question is “Why did you lie to me?” “Why did you claim that you can address ALL of my legal needs?
Would you hire a lawyer whose first message to you is a lie?
This Yellow Pages ad is as believable as the yard sale notices that claim “something for everyone”.
You might remember the old advertising jingle, “Harvey’s makes a Hamburger a beautiful thing”.
It seems they’re not so good at producing beautiful or even truthful advertising.
I’ve been a fan of Harvey’s for more decades than I care to admit. So naturally I was interested in the flyer that arrived with the newspaper. When I’m riding or driving around in the summer I often look for a Harvey’s to grab a bite.
This flyer was a four-page insert. Look at the front page and notice what messages stand out the most.
The first message that might grab you is $1.99. Why? Because it is the near the top left of the page and more importantly it’s the largest font on the page. It’s also orange with a white online on black - which is attention grabbing. Nice colour scheme.
As you scan the page, the next message that might grab your attention is “2 Weeks Only!”
It’s heavy font of black on white and emphasized with an exclamation point. When you look under that heading you’ll see the time frame of June 27 – July 10, 2016.
Before you open this flyer you might be thinking “I only have two weeks to take advantage of these specials.”
The top of the second page features “Summer Drink Deals”. Under that heading, it states, “All Summer long”. But what does that mean? If you read the previous page you’ve been programed to expect only two weeks of specials.
If you examine the fine print with a magnifying glass you’ll discover that the All Summer Long” ends on Sep 11 even though you know that summer really ends on Sept 21. Apparently Harvey’s definition of summer is different than the rest of the world. That means “All summer” was a lie. Ouch!
Below the summer drink deals are eight coupons. Naturally, based on what I read on the front page, I assumed that these coupons were only valid for two weeks. However, if you are persistent enough and pull out your magnifying glass you’ll discover that these coupons expire on August 21, 2016.
I was confused at this point so I understand that you might be as well. Apparently Harvey’s didn’t consider the downside of confusing or lying to their customers.
The coupons are difficult to read because it’s tiny black font on orange background. There are more difficult combinations but this is onerous enough to discourage people to read it.
Under the tiny print about expiry date was even smaller print which I was unable to read with my magnifier. Who knows what it said.
Top of the third page features “Three Cheese & Bacon”. The middle of the ad states “Limited Time Only” but it didn’t define the time frame. You might wonder “When is this available and when will you tell me?”
Bottom of this page features another eight coupons. At least these are on a white background which is much easier to read then on an orange background. But the font is tiny again. The expiry is Aug 21, 2016 and under that is the nano-font that wasn’t meant to be read by regular people. Where is Ant Man when you need him?
The back page was a repeat of the Summer Drinks Deal – claiming to be all summer long – but not really all summer long because it ends on Sept 11. Do the people at Harvey’s know when summer starts and ends? Do they know that most people know when summer ends? Why are they lying?
Perhaps we can look forward to their pseudo “All Fall” “All Winter” and “All Spring” promotions.
Well Harvey's, good thing I still like the hamburger. But, your marketing stinks. It's annoying, deceptive and confusing.
As Dr Phil might say, "How's that working for you?"
These flyers with coupons arrived in my mailbox last week, (early August). Often we immediately discard these flyers. We kept these because there are the occasional summer jaunts and we might enjoy a sandwich, burger or breakfast.
When I examined them I discovered that all the coupons expired months ago.
And yes, I did need to examine then with a magnifying glass while also wearing my reading glasses. The fine print was that tiny. Imagine my embarrassment or indignation if I had presented one of these expired coupons to the cashier at the fast-food restaurant.
When I pulled them out of the mailbox I remembering thinking, “These promotions usually arrive in January or February.”
There were at least two flaws in this promotion. The first is the timing which I will address in this post. The second issue is the design of the flyer, which I might address in another post.
These coupons expired May 8, 2016 – three months ago.
These coupons expired April 24, 2016 – more than three months ago.
At least you could read the expiring date without a magnifying glass.
These coupons expired Feb 28, 2016 – more than five months ago.
These coupons expired February 7, 2016 – six months ago.
What are the questions that might pop into your mind while examining these coupons?
Did the flyer distributor screw up? Did they hold on to these flyers for at least six months and then decide to distribute them six months later?
Did A&W, Mr, Sub, Burger King and McDonalds discover that they had left over flyers – then decide to distribute them even though the offers had expired?
Where those fast-food restaurants using the same ad agency that was trying to get an extra bump from this promotion?
Why didn’t any of the parties notice that the coupons had expired? Did they even consider the backlash of those embarrassing exchanges?
You might even wonder, “How could the people at A&W, Mr Submarine, Burger King and McDonalds have been so negligent?
never easy to take advantage of someone’s disaster. But sometimes that might be
the right moment to reach out to your market with an important message.
was a half-page ad in the Globe and Mail on May 29, 2015. It’s bold, provocative
bold and provocative because it shows images of the devastating fire that
consumed a construction project and the neighbouring condo complex in Langley
BC 12 days earlier. More than 150 people lost their homes.
bold because in a case like this there is the possibility of negative blowback
– from the public, media or social media. Those are the chances you take when
you act boldly and embrace controversy.
believe it’s effective because it’s visual, emotional and simple. The photos of
the flaming buildings sear us emotionally.
message is effective because there are only three elements to this ad:
headline with the location and date
two photos of the burning buildings
message from CCMPA which is clear to understand…
is why you should build with Concrete Block
wonder how much debate ensued at the office of the Canada Concrete Masonry
Producers Association before placing this ad.
marketing is more difficult than business marketing because:
usually isn’t a measurable return
association members will be unhappy no matter what you do
ad is a good example for marketers to pay attention to the news. Look for
opportunities to tell your message. Always be prepared to grab opportunity when
this case it could have been a matter of watching the news and asking the
question “Could our products, services or expertise have prevented or mitigated
messaging is dependent on relevance. Before the fire this ad would have been
meaningless and long after the emotional proximity would have been lost. The
biggest challenge is to decide how close to tragedy to send your message.