( Originally Published 1902 )
These cool days and chilly nights impress upon the house-wife's mind the virtues of good stoves, ranges, furnaces and radiators, as well as the right sort of ironware, agateware, tin-ware and other wares that wear in such a manner as to be a lasting advertisement for the hardware merchant who supplied them.
In advertising hardware the same general rules that apply to other forms of advertising, of course, prevail. In brief they are:
1. To say something definite about the good qualities or price-cheapness of the article advertised.
2. To be timely—for each advertisement to be nicely adjusted to weather conditions.
3. For the advertising to be sincere, honest and succinct liberal enough in space without being extravagant, and brief enough without being stingy.
All of which, although self-evident, are important enough to be here repeated.
From a certain daily, not so many thousands of miles away from this city, I have clipped two advertisements on stoves and heaters. One shows the right way to advertise
the other the right way not to advertise. The advertiser who pays his good money can take his choice.
This advertisement tells what the radiators will do and cost. With a cut it took up a space of forty agate lines (double column wide). Variety and additional information could be given in the succeeding advertisements by telling whether or not they would be put up free of charge—how much room should be given them in certain size rooms—their different styles of finish, and testimonials from hotels, public buildings and prominent private dwellings. (Testimonials are always good, whether for articles of household use or personal requirement.)
Here is the other style ad which —strange to say—is still the style used by many merchants not only in bucolic sections, but in many good-sized towns.
Although October is turning forests into bright visions of kaleidoscopic colors—although the haying season is well of the past-there is an advertisement (?) that covers a great variety of articles and says nothing about anything. The upper portion reminds one of mid-winter needs—the rake and hoe part of planting and harvesting seasons, and the scythe section of July and August. It stands for twelve months in the year—it aims to be good every month in the twelve, but is not useful even a minute. It takes up the same space as the sample pre-ceding it. Through the lines you. can almost see the weary local editor persuading the local mercantile magnate to advertise, which the latter does after repeated promises and much wrestling with a lead pencil and a piece of brown paper.
While touching upon store advertising, I avail myself of the opportunity of presenting the subjoined clever advertisement which serves to give a very pointed illustration as to what may be accomplished by reasonable application.