Advertising - Introducing Spring Millinery
( Originally Published 1902 )
When the advertising writer spins from the point of his pen a smooth, saccharine string of soft somethings after this order:
"The New Millinery blooms and blossoms with the genius of Paris, Berlin, Vienna, London and New York-giving forth ideas by the score, to be quickly absorbed by wise feminine heads upon which the new headwear will gracefully sit."
By such token will the gentle public know that gentle spring is in evidence, ready to shower her new merchandise up-on those with the wherewithal to pay for the privilege.
And as there is a goodly number waiting with cash in hand to invest in the new spring merchandise, it is well to discuss ways and means of making the right advertising impression.
Let us take millinery. Where is the woman in this broad land (or any other broad land) who does not desire an Easter bonnet or hat? Before she buys this head-covering she must compare—criticise-conform—talk it over with her friends. The millinery openings help her in this.
One of the greatest helps to a successful millinery season is a good opening. Start the spring and summer season right and the battle is half won. But how to start it right?
Invitation cards-dainty, delicate, fashionable in script or slender type—means a time-honored but still effective method. These cards should be mailed in envelopes addressed by hand to a select list of names. Many patrons of a store have a favorite saleslady. With such, it is politic for the saleslady to indicate, by placing her name on the card, her desire to give personal attention to the recipient at the opening. Floral displays-not alone the usual displays of artificial flowers—but arrangements of plants, roses, etc., heighten the effect at an opening to a degree foolish to neglect. Assuming that the window and department displays were everything to be desired, the next point is the newspaper advertising. A millinery opening is usually advertised for three days. The first ad is the largest-frequently as large as a double half column. New York's big department stores feature the millinery at the top of their large ads. Cuts are used that not only give an idea of new styles, but suggest their uses as shown by street, theatre or hotel scenes.
The second day's ad is not as large as the previous day It touches upon the success of the first day. (Between the gentle reader, this piece of paper and the writer did you—honor bright—did you ever know of an opening or sale that was not a shining success the first day, even if it snowed mountain high or rained oceans deep? That the elements never interfere with mercantile plans is a phenomenon as certain as it is inscrutable.) The third day's ad is still smaller, then the millinery advertising fades into occasional mentions in the general ad, unless there are—as there should be—frequent special sales.
The dress goods—the silks—the ready-to-wear garments for women and children—the clothing and furnishings for men and boys generally have separate opening ads. On Sundays, when the large general ad appears each of these departments will be represented in a manner befitting the new stocks.
Try and give information in your ads. When you speak of new silks, tell whether they are silks from Lyons, Japan or New Jersey. American ideas have so progressed in Japan that Japanese silk making is practically Americanized—much to the improvement of these fabrics. Silk manufacturers in New Jersey are as wide awake—if not more so—than their rivals across the water. The manufacturer in New Jersey is not alone prolific in ideas, but he also improves upon the foreigner's best. Not only that, but he can produce silks cheaper. Then sing another tune about the shimmering silks from sunny Southern France, where silk making is an heirloom that stays in families for generations, etc.
There is not an article of new spring merchandise about which an interesting bit of information cannot be twisted into the ads.