Early Summer Advertising
( Originally Published 1902 )
This is the season of the year when the thrifty housewife looks about her for a chair or two, or maybe a dozen, for her summer residence. She is also likely to need some window curtains and screens, some rugs, carpets, pictures and a whole lot of other household needs that almost every general store keeps, and her thoughts in this direction should be met by vigorous, sensible advertising of her needs.
Summer silks and dress goods also occupy quite a bit of her attention. All the details of her summer wardrobe—and they are many, ranging from ribbons to outing suits—should be further impressed upon her memory by a series of special sales of these goods.
This is a season of special sales. The bloom of freshness has worn off the spring and summer stocks, and following in natural sequence come price reductions with their attendant advertising.
The wide-awake advertiser at all times adjusts himself to seasons and conditions. He keeps his eyes well peeled upon his neighbors' movements and he aims to anticipate the immediate wants of his customers. Advertising is a mighty factor in this. It tells the tales of his store happenings from day to day, from week to week, and just now it should be interesting with details of mark-downs in the spring and summer stocks.
Inaugurate a special sale of dress goods and silks. Add to this your semi-annual sale of notions and a drive in ribbons. Keep this up for a week or two and you will be sure to capture considerable custom from the women of your vicinity who are thinking of summer dresses. And where is the woman who is not at present thinking of that important subject?
This is also a good time to boom your suit department, especially those handsome outing and cycling suits which recently arrived. Give them a good show in your local papers.
Get up a rousing sale of shirt and silk waists. Have a series of them for the next six weeks, anyway. Shirt waists are more in demand this season than ever before, and you ought to be able to meet this demand, not only in your stocks, but by letting the public know the stories of these stocks.
Oxford tan and all the various styles of summer shoes should be well advertised now. Advertise your summer hosiery.
Use cuts in your ads. I have always preached cuts, but this afternoon, after looking over a full-page ad of a Southern dry goods concern, wherein not a single cut was used, I am again tempted to emphasize the necessity of cuts. A half-dozen cuts run through the page would lighten it up wonderfully; a dozen would not only make the page attractive, but would be a most potent factor in selling goods.
Another thing in early summer and all-summer advertising. If possible, let your ads take on a vein of lightness and brightness. Remember the summer novel on this. The summer novel does not flourish much through the long winter, because people are full of business and are intent on capturing the almighty dollar, but in summer their thoughts take a lighter turn. They turn to leisure and light literature, and the advertising that is crisp and bright and pleasing stands a much better show in summer than does the heavy, solid kind.
Here is one point where many advertisers are lame, and that is they stop advertising the moment warm weather sets in. I do not consider this good policy. I believe in pounding right along-blow hot, blow cold—and if you notice the methods of the greatest dry-goods advertisers in this country you will observe how persistent they are all the year round.
Keep the ball of special sales rolling all the time, even through the dullest summer months. If your competitor is napping on this, so much the better for you, as you then have a clearer field in which to work.