Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Step Right Up



Every night on television there is a slew of advertising that makes me wonder about the process of creating advertising.
You know the kind of ad I'm talking about, barker ads. The broadcast equivalent of fairground sideshow. I won't name names, but I'm thinking sports goods, 'everyone gets a bargain' and Australian automotive accessory retailers.

I recently read an interview in Herald with Rod Duke, the owner of a Briscoes and Rebel Sports - some telling remarks from one of New Zealand's most canny retailers:

"Rebel Sport, in particular, had suffered from competing relentlessly on price and bombarding consumers with "50 per cent off" advertising. Research showed the chain was the "most preferred" sports outlet, but the marketing strategy had backfired as brands were devalued in the eyes of consumers. Briscoes Homeware was also suffering from its reliance on price-driven marketing and Tammy Wells - the brand's face.
Duke said offers needed to focus on ranges, quality and brands rather than just price."
Herald Article

To get back to my point: what goes through the minds of the people responsible for pumping this garbage into my living room? It seems the key question is "How loud can I shout?" or perhaps what dim-witted cliche can I deploy to name this week's sale. How many times can we hear 'March Madness' without wondering about the sanity of it all?

How can a retailing organisation employ The One & Only™ strategies? Well, for one, stop shouting. In a room full of people waving their arms it is the individual who is calm that stands out. And I seriously suggest finding some other way of connecting with me other than price.

End the madness now.

The One & Only™ Tom Waits

Here's a Tom Waits lyric that kind of sums things up. Great song. Great artist (The One & Only - unmistakeable sound, unmistakeable lyrical style and complete ownership of the subject matter).



Step right up
step right up
step right up
Everyone's a winner, bargains galore
That's right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on
One-tenth of a dollar
one-tenth of a dollar
we got service after sales
You need perfume? we got perfume
how 'bout an engagement ring?
Something for the little lady
something for the little lady
Something for the little lady, hmm
Three for a dollar
We got a year-end clearance, we got a white sale
And a smoke-damaged furniture
you can drive it away today
Act now, act now
and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colors, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills
you're tired of kitchen drudgery
Everything must go
going out of business
going out of business
Going out of business sale
Fifty percent off original retail price
skip the middle man
Don't settle for less
How do we do it?
how do we do it?
volume, volume, turn up the volume
Now you've heard it advertised, don't hesitate
Don't be caught with your drawers down
Don't be caught with your drawers down
You can step right up, step right up

That's right, it filets, it chops
It dices, slices, never stops
lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn
and it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair
it gets rid of embarrassing age spots
It delivers a pizza
and it lengthens, and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that's been at large
under the chaise longe for several weeks
And it plays a mean Rhythm Master
It makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar
And it's only a dollar, step right up
it's only a dollar, step right up

'Cause it forges your signature.
If not completely satisfied
mail back unused portion of product
For complete refund of price of purchase
Step right up
Please allow thirty days for delivery
don't be fooled by cheap imitations
You can live in it, live in it
laugh in it, love in it
Swim in it, sleep in it
Live in it, swim in it
laugh in it, love in it
Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets
that's right
And it entertains visiting relatives
it turns a sandwich into a banquet
Tired of being the life of the party?
Change your shorts
change your life
change your life
Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy
get rid of your wife
And it walks your dog, and it doubles on sax
Doubles on sax, you can jump back Jack
see you later alligator
See you later alligator
And it steals your car
It gets rid of your gambling debts, it quits smoking
It's a friend, and it's a companion
And it's the only product you will ever need
Follow these easy assembly instructions
it never needs ironing
Well it takes weights off hips, bust
thighs, chin, midriff
Gives you dandruff, and it finds you a job
it is a job
And it strips the phone company free
take ten for five exchange
And it gives you denture breath
And you know it's a friend, and it's a companion
And it gets rid of your traveler's checks
It's new, it's improved, it's old-fashioned
Well it takes care of business
never needs winding
Never needs winding
never needs winding
Gets rid of blackheads, the heartbreak of psoriasis
Christ, you don't know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
'Cause it's effective, it's defective
it creates household odors
It disinfects, it sanitizes for your protection
It gives you an erection
it wins the election
Why put up with painful corns any longer?
It's a redeemable coupon, no obligation
no salesman will visit your home
We got a jackpot, jackpot, jackpot
prizes, prizes, prizes, all work guaranteed
How do we do it
how do we do it
how do we do it
how do we do it
We need your business
we're going out of business
We'll give you the business
Get on the business
end of our going-out-of-business sale
Receive our free brochure, free brochure
Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions
batteries not included
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available
Step right up
step right up
step right up
You got it buddy: the large print giveth
and the small print taketh away
Step right up
you can step right up
you can step right up
C'mon step right up
(Get away from me kid, you bother me...)
Step right up, step right up, step right up
c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
Step right up
you can step right up
c'mon and step right up
C'mon and step right up


If you don't have any Tom Waits music in your collection I heartily recommend that you get some:

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