The following questions and responses were posted to AskMe.com, where self-proclaimed experts share their knowledge.
Subj: SPECIAL $UPER-$ALE
My furniture dealerships are stocking up for their 25th annual Fourth of July $uper-$ale, and this being a big anniversary, we want to make it something special. We want a slogan (for print and TV) that will knock everyones socks off (and then knock them into our chairs!). One idea was Pay one-fourth on July Fourth, but we cant afford to sell perfectly good lawn chairs for one-fourth MSRP. Then there was, Sit back and enjoy your freedom as an Americanin a Mike Sloan love seat! We also had an idea for a commercial that might work: A Nathan Hale look-a-like (my brother-in-law Jerry is a dead ringer; ponytail and all) is about to be hung and says his famous lines (with a twist): I regret that I have but one sofa in my living room. Then I come in (I do all my own commercials) and say, I can help.
Does this work? What ideas do you have? We want this to be special. I really appreciate your time.
Response from garbo1 (expert in marketing)
You might have Nathan (standing with a rope around his neck) saying a couple of lines, like:
1) I regret I have but one life to give for my (pause, looking around) so-so-fa?
2nd line) I mean I regret I have but one sofa to give for my life?
Then you come running in, pushing a sofa in front of you and saying I can help, I can help and push it under him to fall on and naturally the rope does not hang him.
Close with the line: Just in time to catch you for the Fourth! and your tag line.
Response from littleg (expert in retail)
ok. a forth of july party is going on. there is hippies flopping down on the chairs and sofas. There is children dropping ice cream on the furniture. Teenagers making out, and spilling beer on the furniture. Old ladies smoking cigarettes and dropping ashes on the furniture. Very large people eating on the furniture. Anything that would be happening at a family 4th of july party. You choose.
And then the camera shows you. And you say its a good thing I got a great deal on Mike Sloan furniture. As you are streching out on the furniture. I think this would be an eye catcher. It would not only say you have great deals but great qaulity furniture.
Response from nancypilla (expert in marketing)
I am not familiar with Nathan Hale and if that person would appeal to your target market.
Response from hviens (expert in advertising)
Well Mike, normally I get $200 an hour for this kind of advice, and then only after Ive done a thorough analysis of the market, competition etc. How about staging a revolutionary event like the old north bridge, or Boston tea party, or Lexington green? Revolt against high prices, revolt against long delivery times, revolt against discomfort. Its more active, you can still do your thing and even get your brother-in-law in the spot as a dumb revolutionary (sort of a smother sborthers kind of thing). Hope that helps. (PS, that took me about 15 minutes, so I guess you saved $50., hope that helps too)
Response from citizenew (expert in advertising)
Maybe theres another event you could use from the Revolutionary War era that would work better. How about dressing Jerry in period costume as Paul Revere, put him on a stuffed horse as though hes galloping, and have him shout (on TV), The sofas are coming! The sofas are coming! He passes in a cloud of dust, and there you are, ready to give the pitch. Or perhaps you could parody the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware--except everybodys crowded onto a single sofa. Your headline could be something like: These are the times that try mens sofas.
And now, an Ask An Ekspurt bonus!
Subj: PATRIOTIC MOVIES
Every Independence Day, my block gets together and has this big party. Instead of shooting off fireworks at night, we set up a big white sheet and watch good American movies like Johnny Tremain and Run Silent, Run Deep Last year, we saw a newer one, The Patriot. Its excellent if you havent seen it yet. Anyway, today the Roberts boy recommended American Pie. Ive heard the name, but know nothing about it. We dont normally show newer movies two years in a row, but if its a good American movie, well do it. Should we show it?
Response from larrybergen (expert in television & movies)
If you consider Animal House or Porks good American movies, then its a good choice. But I wouldnt let any one under 17 see it, its rated R. Theres nudity, foul language and provacitive scenes. How about: Billy Joel: Live at Yankee Stadium (1992).