I dread Memorial Day weekend. To tell you the truth, as I got ready for work this morning, I was relieved it was over. No, the family barbeque wasn’t a disaster, thank you for asking. It was the ads. The all-pervading, all-annoying Memorial Day weekend ads.
Even if I’d been in the market for a new loveseat or a used pickup truck I’d have been bothered, because every Memorial Day it becomes clearer to me how many advertising dollars are being wasted in this country, how many companies are paying good money to look absolutely ridiculous in front of countless consumers, 2-3 times every hour.
Retailers advertise their lowest prices ever – their once in a lifetime sales – again. They dress up as veterans, beer bellies camouflaged under brand new fatigues, and proceed to yell through bullhorns, shout commands into the camera, and stomp all over the furniture customers are now supposed to be enticed to buy.
It’s insulting really, that these businesses think consumers are so easily fooled, or, worse yet, entertained. They don’t understand what people really want, and they’re unwilling to consider that perhaps finding something “free” or “on clearance” isn’t what’s most important to today’s buyer.
Participants of focus groups I’ve conducted admit that although they might be fooled once by antics ads, after they’ve gone into a store and seen how few bargains are really available, they make a promise never to return. In fact, they often leave with a bit of animosity and proceed to tell their family and friends where not to shop.
So what do they care about? Here’s a start – saved time, not money. Most people understand that they’re going to have to spend a bit to get something of worth. They’re okay with that, in fact they’ll view it as an investment, if they can shop at a store that caters to their need for real convenience, good service, and a commitment to take their business seriously. People hate headaches, and they’ll pay to avoid them.
Which is why I quite happily return to the agency every Tuesday following Memorial Day, more than willing to exchange a three day weekend for a little relief from Joe Jr. slapping reduction stickers on black and gold Kias.
Jaci Russo, Senior Partner/Account Planner
The Russo Group