Small Business Reading Room

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Should You Star in Your Own Advertisements?

I remember the gravely voice of Thomas Carvel coming on the radio while riding in the backseat of the family car. I was four or five years old, and we were visiting my grandmother during the summer. And there was a Carvel icecream store next door to where she lived.

I didn't understand some of the words at first, coming out of the speakers, but I listened harder, cause he was talking about icecream. And he was talking to me. About icecream.

Carvel didn't have a voice for radio, but that didn't stop him. He had the right demeanor and used the right words. "Wednesday is Sundae at Carvel. Every Wednesday, you can get a free sundae for every Sunday that you buy." I'm less than five years old, and I get the pun. And I know that it's Wednesday.

And there's a Carvel next door to Grandma's house.

Laura Ries talks about the characteristics of Perfect Pitch People in a post on the Origin of Brands Blog. The characteristics she lists are:

Screen Presence
Story (as in having a good story)

She uses real examples to explain these characteristics. Dieter Zetsche of DaimlerChrysler comes up short when compared to Dave Thomas of Wendy's or Frank Purdue.

How well does this translate to smaller businesses? For many small businesses, the person in charge is the face of the business.

I always wondered why they had that guy doing those radio advertisements, when he was so hard to understand. But he always convinced me to ask my parents if we could go get icecream.


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