Representation In Advertising
( Originally Published 1898 )
If an article has any value or any utility at all it can be sold by letting people know about it. It is a mere question of price and of telling enough people.
A good demonstration of this fact is given by the street "fakirs" in the lower part of New York City. On Park Row, Fulton and Ann streets are hundreds of these men with pushcarts. They sell everything conceivable, from shoeblacking to books. The goods are displayed on the cart and thousands of passers-by see them. Maybe not one in a hundred buys, but somebody does, because each day you will see some new thing on the carts.
Sometimes the "fakir" makes a mistake. He gets something that nobody wants, or else he puts his price too high. If his goods do not sell he marks the price down a notch or two. If the thing will not sell at loc. he marks it 5c. and then 3c. and finally lc., and he sells it by advertising.
He places his goods where people will see them and learn about them —that's advertising. A great many pass him without looking, but a certain proportion stop and purchase.
It is the same way with newspaper advertising. A business man represents his goods in his advertisement in the paper. Thousands of readers pass the ad, but those who want his goods just at that time will stop and they will buy.