Chapter 21

CHAPTER XXI.

MONEY IN ADVERTISING.

More Money in Ink—Millions Paid for it Every Day—New Devices to Catch the Eye—Exposure of Advertising Tricks—Cupid on the Counter—What “Bargain Day” and “Below Cost” Really Mean—How an Advertising Agent Made a Fortune in a Day—“Delivering” 5,000 Customers—A Line that Every body is Sure to Read—A Great Advertising Success—Playing With Mystery—A Sure Way to Draw a Crowd—Novel Ways of Advertising in Paris—Almost a Street Fight.

Do you realize what an important part advertising plays in trade? The men who succeed are those who let the public know what they have and at what price. The great newspapers contain every day vast mines of advertising matter. There are many merchants who pay over $100,000 a year in letting the public know the cheapness and value of their goods, and one enterprising company, the proprietors of a celebrated baking powder, expend $1,000,000 a year in advertising their product. These merchants are constantly seeking the best means to get their wares before the public eye; also manufacturers, builders, real estate agents, railroad companies, and in fact all persons doing business on a large scale, are seeking to let men know how and what they do. Owners of proprietary medicines have been known to expend $10,000 in a single advertisement in order to secure the attention of ailing people. All these persons will pay you well for any ingenious suggestions whereby they can increase their patronage. The following are some of the methods suggested:

  1. Money and the Muse.—Select some liberal advertiser and note what he has to sell or what he has to do, and embody his peculiar merit in a poem. The poem should be short, spicy and humorous, and not be more than eight or ten lines in length. Let it hit off some of the fads of the day. If it be headed by some catch-word of the hour, so much the better. An ingenious person who can write a verse or two of this kind will find a ready market for his muse.
  2. Cents in Nonsense.—If you have artistic talent instead of poetic, you can do still better with a drawing. Let the cut be as original and humorous as some of the cartoons in our daily papers.
  3. Word Puzzle.—A puzzle to some minds will be still more effective. Many will be disinclined to use their brains to work it out, but those who do will remember it, and that after all is the merit of an advertisement. A puzzle which may be patented and sold to the advertiser promises much greater profit. See the “Chinese-Get-Off-the-Earth Puzzle.” A puzzle of this kind is commonly sold exclusively to one firm, and ought to bring quite a sum of money to the inventor.
  4. Tracks to Wealth.—The inventor who can produce a scheme to cause the customer to become his unconscious advertiser has found the very highroad to success. Such a scheme might be a word in raised letters on the heel of a shoe. Thousands, especially in country towns where there are no sidewalks, would constantly be leaving impressions in the mud, and people would be astonished to find advertisements stamped on the very earth.
  5. The Story Advertisement.—Write a short story which ends in an advertisement. This is one of the best methods to gain the reader’s eye. Everybody likes a story, and will read it if it be short. The narrative should lead up gradually and naturally to the advertisement. This requires some ingenuity and skill in writing.
  6. The Fictitious Bank Bill.—A piece of paper which at first sight looks like a ten-dollar bill, but turns out to be a clever advertisement, would be picked up and read by everybody.
  7. The Pocketbook Find.—A clever imitation of a pocketbook would be picked up by every pedestrian, and when it is opened with the expectation of money, one finds instead an advertisement of Pluck & Company.
  8. Everybody’s Eagle.—A gold (?) eagle with the name of a firm in the place of the usual inscription, will be readily pounced upon, when the lucky finder will learn that “all is not gold, that glitters,” but will also learn where and what he can buy to advantage. The firm’s name, of course, is not stamped until the sale of the golden bird is effected. Millions of such eagles could be sold.
  9. The Witty Dialogue.—Few things in literature are more attractive than a witty dialogue in which the questions and answers are very short and the denouement is a surprise. If the last word is the magical one of a certain kind of business, such as “Ozone,” “Electrophone,” “——’s Baking Powder,” “——’s Stove Polish,” etc., the maker or merchant will be sure to appreciate it and pay for it.
  10. The Stereoscope Bulletin.—It pays to give a large sum to the proprietor of a paper who makes a practice of flashing election returns on screens. There is commonly a long wait between the reports, and the vast crowds will meanwhile have nothing to do but study your advertisement flashed between the successive returns.
  11. The Arc Reflector.—Have a reflector with an electric light arranged to throw a bright, round light, like the dial of a clock, on the depot platforms, the pavements of crowded streets, or other places where many people congregate. On the background of this strong light let your magic word appear. This is an expensive but very effective way of advertising.
  12. The Last Scene.—Tens of thousands of persons every night are looking upon scenes depicted by the stereoscope. After the “Good Night,” which generally closes the entertainment, immediately, and before the lights are turned on, have your advertisement flashed upon the sheet. As the programme is concluded, the manager would doubtless for a small sum grant a privilege which would be worth many dollars, as no one in the audience can fail to see the display.
  13. The Red-Letter Bat.—For a consideration, the manager of a baseball team would probably let you furnish the players with an excellent bat stamped with your design in large red letters. Your advertisement would flash with every stroke of the bat, and even if many in the crowd were too far away to read the letters, their curiosity would incite them to inquire, and curiosity is the very emotion advertisers seek to arouse. The idea might perhaps be extended to the ball, which is the center of struggle in football matches.
  14. The Restaurant Fan.—Waiting men will read anything to kill time, but a fan with your enterprise stamped upon it will attract attention, whether one is inclined to read or not. By the hundred thousand these could be produced extremely cheap, and should be presented free to the restaurant keeper. They might also be used in theaters and music halls.
  15. The Cigar Wrapper.—It is estimated that 3,000,000 cigars are purchased in New York and vicinity alone every day. For a small sum, say five cents a box, you could doubtless prevail upon most dealers to permit you to wrap each cigar in a piece of paper; especially if the latter were pretty and very attractive, as in the latter case it might even help his sales. The wrapper might contain an alluring picture, but, of course, it contains your advertisement. A small additional sum must be paid a boy for the work of wrapping. As an advertisement, the method would be exceedingly effective, and the idea is certainly a novel one.
  16. The Growing Word.—In a reserved space of a daily paper begin with a single glaring letter. Over the letter announce, “Watch this space to-morrow.” The next day another letter is added, and curiosity is excited. If you can get a name for your advertisement similar to the name of a man in the public eye, the success of the scheme is assured. For example, the first letter is G. Is it Grover Cleveland or Garfield? Two letters are given—GA. Is it Garfield or Gage? The third day GAR appears. Is it Garfield or Garland? But in the end it proves to be neither; it is GARLOCK, the name of your invention or brand of goods. Ingenuity can play endlessly upon words in this way, and the curiosity aroused makes it one of the best, forms of advertisement.
  17. The Polite Stranger.—This is a French idea. In Paris a lady is astonished to see a handsome, faultlessly dressed man, generally an elderly person, step directly in front of her, make an extremely polite bow, turn and walk away, when instantly the mystery is solved. On his back appears an advertisement.
  18. The Funny Quartette.—This also is from Paris, with adaptations. Four odd people—a little, shabbily dressed old woman, a splendidly attired and pompous gentleman, a country youth in blouse and overalls, and a man in the garb of a priest, make up the queerest quartette imaginable. They at once attract attention, but when they begin to sing a crowd gathers instantly. At the conclusion of the song, one says in a loud tone, “Where?” All reply, “At ——.” “When?” “To-night.”
  19. The Street Brawl.—This is on the same line and even more exciting. Readers of “Sherlock Holmes” remember the detective’s ruse to gain entrance to a forbidden house. In the same way, let two men engage in a wordy quarrel. Nothing draws a crowd more quickly than the prospect of a fight. Of course, on a city street the quarrel must not come to actual blows, and the participants must keep an eye open for policemen, but the climax should be the advertisement in the mouth of one or both of the disputants, and the crowd should be dispersed with a hearty laugh.
  20. The Box-Kite.—The box-kite presents almost unrivaled opportunities for advertising, and the wonder is that it has not been utilized for that purpose. By a clock-work arrangement and at regular intervals, while the eyes of all are turned skyward, the box releases a host of white leaves, which, floating to the earth, are caught by the crowd. Every leaf contains your advertisement. This method would be especially effective at ball games, horse races, and before election bulletins, while the crowds are waiting for returns or exciting events.

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