( Originally Published 1902 )
The best furniture advertising done anywhere today is that done by The Paine Furniture Co. of Boston.
Scores of people in Boston, in New York and in the West have told me that the ads of the Paine Furniture Co. represented the best in furniture advertising, which verdict coincides exactly with my own views. Inasmuch as this advertising stands at the top of the pyramid of good furniture advertising let us analyze it a little and see if some of its good points cannot be applied to other furniture advertising.
Pick up any Boston daily, morning or evening, and you'll find the Paine Furniture ad. It is missing on Sunday. Like the Wanamaker and O'Neil ads of New York, it takes a rest on. Sunday, but starts up fresh and forcible on Monday morning and stays right along in business until Saturday.
It represents a good example of the one idea in advertising. A single piece of furniture such as a sideboard, a dining-room table, or a lounge is taken. A wood engraving—showing exactly the article spoken of—stands at the head of the ad, and the talk following is a splendid specimen of the dignified, easy, and sensible style of advertising. The description of the side-board or whatever is being advertised is cleverly complete-the price is generally given, and room is nearly always found for a detail of the particular uses of the article. Every day, excepting Sunday, a fresh ad appears, and this sort of thing is kept up throughout the year with the exception of three or four big splurges in the line of " clearance sales " and " openings."
If you are a furniture dealer and wish to satisfy yourself as to the benefit to be derived from good advertising just drop in 48 Canal Street, and look through the warerooms of The Paine Furniture Co. the next time you happen in Boston. The immense business this concern does is a living, active demonstration of the power of publicity. Out of the regular retail district-in a region given to wholesalers and manufacturers of everything under the sun—but fortunately convenient to the depots of several railroads—The Paine Furniture Co. swings trade in its direction by carrying the right sort of goods and rightly placing this information before the public.
Boston is a city of good furniture advertising, anyway. Jordan, Marsh & Co., with their immense furniture store in the heart of the city, have built up an enormous furniture business in a very short period of time. Osgood with his "when in doubt buy of Osgood," is in evidence constantly with examples of good advertising, and McArthur and Atkinson also help along the advertising columns of the Boston dailies.
And when you are ready to proceed advertising you can gain many points from the advertising of such furniture concerns as The Paine Furniture Co., Jordan, Marsh & Co., Osgood, Arthur McArthur and Plymptons, of Boston—Tobey and Mandel Bros., of Chicago-The Adams Dry Goods Co., Flint, Cowperthwait, Little and Baumann of New York Wana maker of. Philadelphia, etc.
You will note that they nearly all use illustrations. I believe in illustrations in furniture advertising. A cut of an easy chair with a man comfortably ensconced in it smoking a pipe tells more in an instant about the virtue of an easy chair than a quarter column in type could in an hour. The picture, the story and the price combined make the winning combination.
The keys for furniture advertisers to play upon are:
THRIFT-the money saving opportunities in your store.
QUALITY—the good workmanship and materials evident in your offerings.
FAIR TREATMENT—courteous, intelligent clerks, prompt deliveries and "money back if you want it."
EASY SHOPPING—large assortments to select from, plainly priced goods, broad aisles, well lighted corners and interesting displays.
Play with the right touch upon these four advertising keys and if the store and merchandise back up the printed matter business must come.
Too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of a well-defined, well carried out plan of advertising. Week in and week out should this plan be faithfully adhered to—it should be as well observed as the opening of the store every morning. Spasmodic is not the adjective that qualifies the advertising of the intelligent. It is the continuous, cumulative force that fetches.
The furniture advertiser speaks to the impressionable member of the human family—woman—and she who is such an important factor in household buying is influenced not only by to-day's ad but by scores of previous ads. These past ads make the store stand out stronger in her mind. Advertising is but the public voice of the store, and the more constant, consistent and clear is this voice, the more will the household head think of that store when furniture, carpets, rugs, etc., are needed.
Just a word on circular advertising. A certain wide-awake carpet and furniture retailer scans the daily papers for engage ment, marriage and birth notices. To the newly engaged he sends a "printed typewritten circular letter," speaking of his ability to furnish a house, flat, or room at the right price. To the newly married he sends the same circular, supplemented with another, giving an attractive list of items that may be added from time to time after the house is furnished. To proud parents he sends his price list on baby carriages and cribs. He says the idea is a good one.