I'm not sure about you but I have been the victim of at least one advertising campaign this month. I know this for a fact and here's why... you know that commercial on television where they show a grilled cheese sandwich being dipped into a cup of steaming tomato soup? Yes... that's the one and you remember it don't you? Aside from reminding you of when you were a kid, it reminded you of just how yummy grilled cheese sandwiches go with tomato soup. Not any soup. It has to be Campbell's Tomato Soup.
Why does it have to be Campbell's? Because that's the one we grew up with and it's the one we love. That yummy red tomato broth brings back good memories and a warm feeling about life. Then there's that cheese sandwich. As a person who lives in the capital of cheddar it's highly likely that I'll be run out of town on a rail but that commercial screams Velveeta to me. To the rest of you, it'll demand American Cheese or Tillamook Cheddar (see? I'm trying to get back in their good graces). Which ever combination you choose I can guarantee it'll be good and you'll feel better when you have checked that combo off your grocery list.
How did this happen to all of us? I wish I was still in marketing so that I could see the numbers this simple television commercial produced. So far I've asked everyone I know and the answer is always the same... they are hungry for grilled cheese and tomato soup. That would be Campbell's Tomato Soup. This commercial is advertising gold. I know because I saw Velveeta at the end of the soup aisle. I also saw lots of folks stocking up on tomato soup. Coincidence? Nope. Advertising.
Who has an Emu in their commercials? Liberty Insurance is banking on you to remember that it's them. I have to admit that I am more inclined to like their Liberty Biberty commercial on the waterfront. Either way, I don't buy insurance from them but I know who they are so they've accomplished at least that much. Stanley Steemer lost me with the barfing baby but I'm an old woman and have seen enough barf to have lost the humor in it.
Junk mail is a type of advertising that I am trying very, very hard to get rid of. I hate to see that much paper wasted on such a grand scale for no reason at all. Having said all that, I will admit that somebody hooked me this week. I NEVER fall for this stuff but Violet Kay will be getting Highlights Magazine from her great-grandparents next year. Oh what a sucker I am and please just keep this between us because the great-grandpa doesn't know. It's a surprise.
What happens next? Every direct mail advertising company on the planet will get my address... or should I say our address. They will begin drowning us in grandparent bait. This bait will come in the form of special offers for all sorts of stuff we don't want. We will also get truckloads full of catalogs that we don't want which are filled with things we don't need. What was I thinking? Let's start with not thinking clearly. I know better. I spent more than 30 years of my life studying and practicing the art of advertising.
Advertising in a small-town newspaper is a whole different matter. It was a business I loved because of the people I did business with. They let me use humor in local advertising and many of them let me experiment. Without them life would have been so dull. I miss those creative days when we worked to find ways to motivate a woman in Nehalem to come to Tillamook to buy shoes and jewelry. I miss the mistakes I made which turned into successes by accident. Maybe that's why I find Liberty Biberty so funny. It reminds me of braiding and braining. One little letter can pack a lot of power.
We stopped the press one time when a giant CLASSIFIED ADS advertisement turned into CLASSIFIED ASS. One little letter. One mistake by a weary typesetter and it got right by a cameraman, pre-press and pressman. Finally when it rolled off the press it was not only very scary but very funny. Stop the presses after you stop laughing your classified ads off. When all this was explained to me I couldn't help but laugh and wish I had a copy of the boo-boo for my funny file.
So, if you haven't had your tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwich by now, you'd best get out there and get your supplies. They might just run out if that danged ad keeps running on the telly. Be careful out there... you never know if you're doing what you want or what someone else wants you to do.
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