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Benchmarks: Radio Ads




BY JOSH WIMMER | Published in INSTORE’s April 2013 issue


"I often get the question from jewelers: Does radio still work?" says Bruce Freshley of Freshley Media. "With all the ‘new media,’ who still listens? Well, the answer is about 92.5 percent of all persons 18 and over, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau." Some markets are stronger than others, Freshley says, but radio remains a cost-effective medium where a well-crafted creative message can reach a lot of people near your store. "I was just reviewing one of our clients’ sales growth since starting our program," he says. "Bridal sales alone were up over $800,000 in just the last two years!"



LUISA: In football, you get a penalty for excessive celebration. No whooping, hollering, or dancing, no matter how excited you are. Hi, this is Luisa. At Luisa Graff Jewelers, there are no penalties for excessive celebration. On Christmas morning, that’ll be a very good thing, because there will be some dancing going on when your baby opens up that jewelry box from Luisa Graff Jewelers. You’ll be dancing, knowing that you received great savings with our after-Thanksgiving specials. A diamond bracelet that’s $549 now only $249. Diamond earrings that were $899 – special: $499. And pearl strands from $79 down to $39. Avoid the traffic! Come to Luisa Graff Jewelers and surprise her with incredible, game-winning gifts. Luisa Graff Jewelers: Helping you be her favorite Santa.

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“Personal Homecoming”
Davis Jewelers

Here’s Hank and Ashley Davis from Davis Jewelers.

The greatest gift of all is the gift of ourselves.


So when Luke called us from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, all of us at Davis Jewelers went into action.

Luke’s girlfriend Becka had searched high and low for her engagement ring, and she found it here at Davis Jewelers. The challenge for Luke, of course, was buying the ring from halfway around the world – and then keeping it a secret.

You see, Luke was coming home and wanted to surprise Becka, so between emails and phone calls, we got it done.

Fresh off the plane, Luke came to Davis Jewelers, picked up Becka’s ring, went to her apartment, and decorated it for his own homecoming.

Becka came home to find Luke on one knee holding the ring of her dreams.

You see, he was her homecoming gift. Thank you, Luke and Becka. It really was our honor.


Because at Davis Jewelers…it’s personal.

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Good Sportsmanship

Luisa Graff Jewelers, Colorado Springs, CO

Luisa Graff’s “Excessive Celebration” spot does a nice job of approaching jewelry advertising from a different angle: By highlighting football from the outset, it catches the attention of guys who might otherwise tune out. And the simple play on words reminds men how happy a gift of jewelry will make their women come Christmas morning.

A Warm Welcome
Davis Jewelers, Louisville, KY

Freshley Media produced this spot for Davis Jewelers, which tells the true story of a customer serving overseas in the armed forces and returning home to surprise his girlfriend with a ring. It does a great job of showing how happy the store is to accommodate clients and tugs at the heartstrings to remind listeners why jewelry matters.

Award Winners
Randy’s Jewelry,
O’Fallon, MO

"That’s just one of my favorite ads we’ve ever done," says Randy Hudson of this spot, which opens with a portentous drumroll, before the announcer gives the "Award for Best Shoppers of the Year" to the customers of Randy’s Jewelry. The store has been named best jewelry store in the county 12 of the last 13 years, and the ad was Hudson’s way of thanking the clients who voted for them.



Female announcer
And the award for Best Shoppers of the Year goes to … Randy’s Jewelry customers! [Cheering]

They know the staff at Randy’s Jewelry sets the standard for the best prices on high-quality jewelry in St. Charles County. Randy’s Jewelry customers have exquisite pieces and enjoy impeccable customer service on every visit. Three generations of smart shoppers can’t be wrong. Head to Randy’s Jewelry, where they make quality affordable.

Randy’s Jewelry, on Main Street in O’Fallon.

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Argumentum Ad Absurdum
R.F. Moeller Jeweler, Minnesota

Mark Moeller has appeared in a series of ads over the last two decades arguing with his stores’ spokesperson, Minneapolis radio personality Tom Mischke. Their absurd exchanges are unforced, articulate and hilarious — more entertaining than most actual radio programming — and create a sense that Moeller is the very opposite of a stuffy jeweler.

Mark: Tommy, these ads you’re doing for RF Moeller Jeweler, they’re just not working. You’re way too hostile. It’s not a recipe for success.

Tom: Not a recipe for success. You had one store when I started; you have
three now. You’ve been having record months this year. Best in your
60-year history. Don’t give me this "It ain’t workin’" crap.

Mark: See what I mean? You’re argumentative, OK? If this was your
jewelry store —

Tom: IF?! This is my jewelry store! It’s as much mine as yours.

Mark: What?

Tom: It’s like having a foster kid for 15 years. Someone can come along and
say that’s not really your kid, but who are they to make that claim?

Mark: Where did you get foster kid?

Tom: RF Moeller Jeweler is bigger than you. You’re a cog, Mark, a cog in a
larger machine. I’m a key piece of that machine.

Mark: No, no, no, Tommy. You’re finished.

Tom: You think I’m finished. You wanna take it from me? Pry it from my
cold, dead hands.

Mark: Boy, you need some psychiatric help.

Tom: Been there, done that. You wanna hear the story?

Mark: No, not really.

Tom: When I was a little boy, I got a puppy. It was crushed by an ice cream
truck during my birthday …

RF Moeller Jeweler. Best spokesman? Maybe not. Best diamond, best price — guaranteed. Edina, Highland Village and downtown Minneapolis.

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A Stern Talking-To
Steven Singer Jewelers, Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia jeweler has a reputation for being edgy — his slogan "I hate Steven Singer!" invites men to resent his success and how their girlfriends and wives expect them to patronize Singer’s business — and he has been advertising with Howard Stern since well before the shock jock moved to Sirius satellite radio. The on-air shout-outs from Stern and crew reach precisely the young male market Singer is targeting.

[Howard Stern]
The fact of the matter is, everybody from the show goes to Steven Singer Jewelers for jewelry, including Robyn —

[Co-Host Robyn Quivers]
Every crazy one of us.

Ronnie, Gary, Will Murray, Jason Kaplan, and even Richard Christy. Everyone can shop with him, too, either at the corner of Eighth and Walnut or online at Listen up! This is real important. Steven Singer’s famous gold-dipped roses are now available. Why Valentine’s Day already? Because! These things sell out.

They are beautiful and they do sell out —

Every year.

before Valentine’s Day every year.

Every year, these gold roses sell out. So order early. Can you imagine a real long-stemmed rose dipped in 24-karat pure gold? They last forever, they come with a lifetime guarantee, women love them and display them proudly year-round. Robyn even has a few roses from Steven Singer. It comes shipped in a free beautiful gift box, personalized with your free card from Steven Singer Jewelers. Don’t forget: Steven offers every customer free shipping in the United States. All just $59. It’s so easy. Order your roses online at, or call 1 triple-8 I HATE STEVEN SINGER and have a personal shopper assist you for only $59. You’re gonna get the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. Most women collect them into a beautiful bouquet. This is the number one Valentine’s gift.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Texas Jeweler Knew He'd Get Only One Shot at a GOB Sale, So He Wanted to Make It Count

Most retailers only have one GOB sale in their lifetimes. This was the case for Gary Zoet, owner of Shannon Fine Jewelry in Houston, Texas. “Wilkerson has done thousands of these sales,” says Zoet. “I’ve never done one, so it’s logical to have somebody with experience do it.” The result exceeded Zoet’s expectations. Wilkerson took care of everything from marketing to paperwork. When it’s time for you to consider the same, shouldn’t you trust the experts in liquidation?

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6 Websites Setting a High Bar for Jewelry Retail

Personalize your website to drive more sales.



TODAY, THE CONSUMER experience starts online. Make your customers feel welcome in your virtual store, and they are likely to show up on your threshold, too.

“Websites are the cornerstone of any small business,” says Shane O’Neill, VP at Fruchtman Marketing. “It must be designed as a sales tool and method of communication.” Showing photos of merchandise with prices is a good start. E-commerce is the next step. And communication can be had in real time with a live-chat feature. Even social media strategies should reflect back to the website.

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’

Podcast: A Jeweler Learns the Internet’s Weaknesses, and His Own Strengths
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Jeweler Learns the Internet’s Weaknesses, and His Own Strengths

Podcast: How to Find Good People and Avoid Employee Nightmares

Podcast: How to Find Good People and Avoid Employee Nightmares

What makes a solid website goes beyond the technical bells and whistles to reflect the personality of your store and the customer experience that can be found there. Include attractive photos of the store itself, so that viewers know what to expect – in terms of atmosphere and interior decor, when they do cross your threshold.

Julie Gotz, chief marketing officer for Freshley Digital, works with her team to custom design clients’ websites. While they are all clean, upscale designs that are easily searchable and can accommodate e-commerce, each has its own personality; the team doesn’t use one-size-fits-all templates. Her job, she says, is to do a deep dive into what the client likes and doesn’t like, what their aesthetic is, what their competitors are doing, and then producing a website design that will help them gain market dominance.

If you’re making the leap to e-commerce, remember that the point of much of that effort is to drive those sales into your store, too. “When I think of e-commerce,” says O’Neil, “I think of it as not just online sales; I think of it as sales.” Most retailers are marketing and targeting local shoppers, and so it makes sense that if you’re selling big-ticket items, they will still come to your store after shopping your store online. “Even with items that are $500 or $600, if you’re right down the street, they may still want to come in and look at it. Foot traffic is down, yes, but sales may not suffer if you have a high quality website and a great digital presence.”


Alchemy Jewelers of Portland, OR, introduced its new website with shopify e-commerce features in July 2018. “It’s updated, clean and romantic, and it incorporates the rich colors of the store’s interior, so people coming to the website know they’re in the right spot,” says marketing director Megan Walsh. Photographing fine jewelry and reflective diamonds was a learning experience, she says, but having the right equipment — a professional grade lightbox and a Nikon DSLR camera — helps. Walsh also blogs and updates product offerings and event information.


Belle Brooke

Although Santa Fe, NM, gallery owner Belle Brooke Barer believes strongly in the power of brick and mortar commerce, still makes a statement about the business by deploying eye-catching model photography to emulate the experience of walking into the distinctive Santa Fe boutique. Jewelry pieces are shown with prices and a selection of the core collection is available for online purchase. Each page displays information emphasizing the artist’s priorities.


Jack Lewis Jewelers

Jack Lewis Jewelers of Bloomington, IN, does an excellent job of personalizing the online shopping experience by featuring quality photos of each staff member, and, in particular, introducing their “superstar” custom jeweler, Jim Leeds, who can create the ring of the client’s dreams. Rather than announcing, “We do custom design,” this innovative introduction begins to create a relationship between the customer and the jeweler.

Croghan’s Jewel Box

The elegant look of this Charleston, SC store is reflected in its easy-to-navigate website. You can instantly buy (or gape at) a 1950s sapphire, diamond and gold bracelet for $14,950, or pick up a $65 pair of gold-plated “goldbug” earrings designed to look like Palmetto bugs. About half of customers live out of town. Standard shipping is free when shoppers spend $100 or more.


Walters and Hogsett

Walters and Hogsett’s website raises the bar in function by cross-marketing relevant content on other pages. For example, the jewelry and watch repair page refer back to the new watches page and also to the custom jewelry design page. So if a customer is considering repairing a piece of jewelry, they might instead consider repurposing it into something new. Doing this throughout a site keeps people engaged and on the site longer, says Shane O’Neill of Fruchtman Marketing. The business also provides clear opt-ins for their email newsletter, and uses sitewide banners for trunk shows or other events. They link to Instagram shopping options and have a loose diamond search tool.


Williams Jewelers of Englewood

Freshley Digital custom designed the website for Williams Jewelers of Englewood, CO, integrating Edge POS with the website and making it fully e-commerce enabled. “Every market is different; every client is completely different,” says Julie Gotz of Freshley Digital. Freshley Digital simplified the user experience while retaining the brand history of the store, one of the priorities of the Williams family. “It’s all about having a very clean, very upscale design that reflects the store. We only have a few minutes to grab their attention and lead them to the next step,” Gotz says.

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These Jeweler Direct Mail Samples Shine Bright for the Holidays

Use these direct mail pieces as inspiration to create your own attention-getting holiday promotions.




DIRECT MAIL is a great holiday marketing tool, as it lets you reach out specifically to your biggest and best customers, hitting them with invitations to swanky Christmas parties, wish lists to be filled out and returned, and discounts or gift cards for that perfect present. (You can also track it more easily than other advertising media, by instructing recipients to bring in the mailing to receive whatever the special offer is.) At the same time, we’re on the verge of the postal service’s busiest season of the year, so whatever you send needs to get noticed. And the examples we’ve collected here are harder to miss than Rudolph’s nose or, say, a bright star shining over a manger.

So Fresh, So Clean Shetler Wade Jewelers, San Antonio, TX

This snappy postcard alerts customers to a neat idea: a post-holiday “3-Day Detox Customer Appreciation Sale,” scheduled for the end of January, when things have settled down and it’s time to go through your inventory and get rid of some dogs. The layout is appropriately clean, signaling a new start to the year and nice deals for shoppers.

No Frills, No Nonsense Schmitt Jewelers, Phoenix, AZ

As Schmitt Jewelers reminds us, your holiday invite doesn’t have to shout “HOLIDAYS!” — it just has to snag the attention of your would-be customer. The strong, solid colors of the invitations for the store’s December “Shop Like a Man” promotion promised beer, food, and a straightforward gift-buying experience for red-blooded American guys.


This Christmas party invitation is strikingly gorgeous, stands out by not relying on a typical holiday palette, showcases some beautiful jewelry, and serves as three invites in one, for soirees at Gunderson’s locations in three different states. Plus, it conveys a ton of information, including the designers who will be present at the events, in a markedly clear fashion.

Two Eyes Not Made Out of Coal Wixon Jewelers, Bloomington,

With its strong, contrasting colors and clever mix of snowman imagery and jewelry, this postcard from Wixon is tough to ignore and easy to smile at. The reverse has simple messages pertinent to holiday shoppers: Extended hours, front-door parking (important during the Minnesota winter) and gift-wrapping.

A Good BetBrinker’s Jewelers, Evansville, IN

Brinker’s is no stranger to the Benchmarks page, and for good reason. Their marketing materials consistently set a stylish, sophisticated, but approachable tone. This men’s night invitation promises a good time for the recipient. The invites each came enclosed with a guest pass, and the aesthetic here and alluring casino vibe suggest an event most gentlemen would be proud to bring a friend to.

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7 Jewelers Share Their Fun Approaches to Dressing for the Holiday

In touch with their inner elves, jewelers dress the part for fun and profit.



This story was originally published in the October 2017 edition of INSTORE.

HOLIDAY OUTFITS appeal to some jewelry retailers and appall others, who consider them a slippery slope toward total tackiness.

To Jennifer Farnes of Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO, dressing up is just not worth the effort: “Too busy to worry about that! Take a shower, wear clean clothes, survive Christmas,” she says. But Nicole Shannon of Keir Fine Jewelry in Whistler, British Columbia, says wearing tacky Christmas sweaters from a shop next door actually saves time, since staff members can grab sweaters from a communal bin on the run, rather than worry about their wardrobes.

Others swear by a show-off-the-jewels approach. “I encourage my staff to wear our jewelry during the holiday season,” says Marc Majors of Samuel L. Majors Fifth Generation Jewelers in Midland, TX. “It’s much more personal when it’s on someone and not a prop, and 99 percent of the time it closes the sale.”

Read on for a range of wardrobe ideas intended to break the ice with customers and bolster staff morale.

Let the Tipsy Elves Break the Ice
Goldsmith Gallery Jewelers, Billings, MT

Edgy holiday-themed suits purchased from a company called Tipsy Elves make a statement on December Saturdays at Scott and Kelly Wickam’s store. “It actually made for a great selling day last year,” Scott,  at left, says. “It showed that we are not just stuffy jewelers trying to sell you something. We love what we do and we have fun doing it.” The suits cost $80 to $100 each. “For the money, they fit nice and look great,” he says.

The Tie Guy
Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI

For John Hayes of Goodman’s Jewelers in Madison, WI, it’s all about the ties. “I have a collection of holiday ties and wear a different one each day from Thanksgiving to Jan. 1. I always start with Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.” He has 38 and counting, although some have fallen apart after 25 years of collecting.

The Sweater Fest
Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT

Jennifer Hornik Johnson says the whole staff at Miller’s participates in the annual Ugly Sweater Party in December. The store offers a 10 percent discount to any customers brave enough to wear their own ugly items to the event.

Don’t Be Afraid to Live in the Past
Cornerstone Jewelry & Engraving, Palos Park, IL

At Cornerstone Jewelry & Engraving, owner Bryan Blaha and team believe “Old Jewelers Have Old Souls.” To enhance their theme, they ramp up their sartorial savvy for the holiday season with bow ties, vests, hairstyles and facial hair that evoke the early 20th century. “We tend to dress to the ‘9s,” says manager Ryan C. Karp. “Like the 1909s.” It leaves a lasting impression on clients, together with incense, old-school holiday music, classic decor and demonstrations.

Make a Statement With the LBD
K Hollis Jewelers, Batavia, IL

Black is never basic at K Hollis Jewelers, where Karen Hollis, center, and her staff feel confident wearing their little black dresses for holiday events. “It shows a level of class that makes my staff get noticed,” Hollis says. “Jewelry really stands out on black, and it’s fun to wear a bigger diamond or more expensive items for holiday parties.”

Family Morphs Into Elves!
Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC

“I made my sons dress up in elf outfits for an after-Christmas ad on TV,” says owner Alan Perry. In the commercial, Perry says he’s leaving the store till next year. His sons say, “We’ll show him! Come in now and get up to 50 percent off until Jan. 15!” Perry admits he had to pay his sons to be elves, though.

If You Are the Designated Elf, Be a Good Sport
Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA

Owner Andrea Riso isn’t above dressing up. “I look like a super giant idiot as an elf, but I’m a good sport about it because it makes sales spike and it’s fun.” Sales associate Becca Souders, pictured, picked up the elf outfits at Fredericks of Hollywood. “It worked, sales and morale-wise,” Riso says.

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 edition of INSTORE.

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