Is it time for you to start advertising in lavatories?

SUMMARY: You’ve seen advertising in airports. Have you seen advertising in the airplane cabin itself? We can’t get away from advertising! Should you advertise inside airplanes? It depends. The trick with choosing the right media is figuring out if it’s effective and efficient. Have you considered giving away your product as a media? How about a joint promotion with another business? Think outside the box when choosing media.

It looks like we cannot get away from advertising. You’ve seen advertising in the airports. Now there is advertising inside the airplane itself inside cabin.

It seems like today’s commercial flights are truly becoming, well, commercial airlines… and the sky’s the limit for advertising. No pun intended.

A low fare carrier, Air Tran, charges companies as much as $50,000 a month to advertise on their napkins.

And Verizon Wireless and Saab have put their ads on top of US Airways fold down tray tables where there is a lot of room for ad copy.

Air Tran also sells advertisements on the paper protectors that fold over the back of seat back pockets making them impossible to miss.

One airline, Southwest Airlines, one time painted their entire plane to look like a basketball going through a hoop as part of a marketing deal with the NBA. In other words, it became a huge flying billboard.

What media is best?

Today, I’m talking about the media. The way you talk to your customers, prospects and suspects.

What’s the best media for your company? The short answer is the media that reaches your markets with the greatest effectiveness at the lowest cost.

If I wanted to reach travelers, I think that advertising inside the cabins is not a bad idea. I would look for anyway to get my message inside and on board the airplane. It’s a captive market and many fliers are usually a little more affluent.

Do you know the best media? Your product itself. If you have a product you can give away as a test, do it. If you’ve got a great product, it will sell. If you don, well, good luck.

Why do you think Costco brings in those people standing at the end of the aisles giving away samples? It’s because they know that sampling leads to more sales. It’s that simple.

Some companies understand this sampling concept. I heard that many high-end business such as expensive perfumes and chocolates are giving away from samples to first-class passengers on the airlines. The airline looks like the hero and the advertiser gets its products into the hands of customers who can afford it.

Again the rule of thumb is that you want to use the media that reaches your market most effectively and efficiently.

What is effective?

Effectiveness means it produces results and has an effect. It’s media that brings results.

What is efficient?

It produces a result with minimum effort, waste or expense.

One time I had a chiropractor client who wanted to give away a gift to all of his clients who came into his office. I suggested to him that he give away a free dinner at a local restaurant to any person that received an adjustment.

My chiropractor wondered how he could do this and keep his costs down. I told him that I would approach a restaurant who is already offering a two for one special and ask them if they would be able to give away free meals.

They readily agreed because they realized that nobody in the dining industry eats alone. So when the chiropractor gave away a free dinner, the restaurant knew that a paying customer would be coming with that patient.

The chiropractor looked like a hero and the restaurant got additional business because the restaurant always had more than one other person coming and paying for the meal.

When trying to choose the right media, always look for ways that you can cut costs and increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Think outside the box. If you have a product you can give away, give it away as a test or sample.

If you can do joint advertising with another business like my chiropractor did, do it and cut costs.

No matter which media you choose, always try to be effective and efficient.

THINK ABOUT IT: Should you advertise in “unique” places?

• • •

Know what your market really has on their minds

I don’t know the age of this ad, but the concept is timeless:

• Show your market

• Show your product

• Demonstrate it

• Be overly clear

This is a basic rule of advertising: you must know what’s really on the mind of your target market.

Then you must have the guts to talk directly to that market and what they’re feeling—and wanting.

This ad was directed at women who wear blouses and want a blouse you don’t have to iron.

Ship ‘n Shore knew what their market wanted: a wash-and-wear product.

The results were so successful that Ship ‘n Shore doubled it’s advertising schedule in Reader’s Digest.

Some people claim this type of advertising is boring.

I don’t. This straightforward type of advertising is what makes direct response marketing so powerful.

• Flag down your reader

• Put the headline up top

• Make a bold statement

• Use realistic models

In this ad, nothing is misrepresented or oversold.

You buy with confidence because you buy with knowledge. No surprises. All value. I love this ad.

(SOURCE: The Best Advertisements from Reader’s Digest, Random House, 1962.)


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