Thursday, January 31, 2008
The Revolving Pies
If you hadn't noticed, I have a little Flash widget in the right hand column displaying advertising for my furniture business in the format I like to call "The Revolving Pies." Anyone who's ever eaten in a stainless steel diner knows all about the revolving pies. When you stand at the cash register, coming or going, there's a spinning display case with pie and cake. I don't eat dessert, (I told you I was strange)but I am not immune to the charms of spinning confections. It's like chanting in Latin in church. You might not know what it means, but its very existence is like a pleasant touchstone in an everchanging universe.
Advertising is hard. Well, commerce is hard. Composing the message and gauging the results in advertising is obscure and equivocal more than hard. It's like juggling. If you stare at any particular ball, you drop them all. You have to learn to stare out into the middle distance, trust to your instincts, and go for it.
How can I tell people I exist, and have things that they might like and need, without annoying them? That's a delicate task. But you have to do it. I always liked those restaurants that didn't have a sign, but everybody knew about them. But they're just advertising in a different way, really, not foregoing it.
If all advertisers treated the general public as if they were me in front of the pies, life would be better. I don't want pie, but I don't mind them spinning around there. Most advertising seems to consist of a pie with dubious ingredients being shoved in my face. No thanks, times two.
There's a Dutch retailer in Europe called Hema. I've never been anywhere they sell things, and it's likely I never will. But I like their revolving pies. That's half the battle. I bet you will too, if you are patient for a handful of seconds. (self-launching audio alert)