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Best of the Best: TV Ads On The Cheap



[h3]David Hayman Jewellers, Orange County, CA[/h3]

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[dropcap cap=T]eri and David Hayman opened their custom design store in California’s toney Orange County in 1981. David is the main jeweler while Teri handles sales and marketing for the 2,400-square-foot store. Teri describes her customers as not quite the gorgeous, young wealthy things who populated The OC, but who are still “fairly affluent, medium to high-end.” Custom design work accounts for about 50 to 60 percent of sales.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]The Idea[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Small-screen ad action ahead of Mother’s Day[/contentheading]

In particular, Teri wanted to target a younger demographic. But television? As effective as the medium is at reaching broad audiences, it historically has not been particularly discriminating, while the cost is notorious (think of those 30-second Super Bowl ads for $2.7 million a spot). Well, not anymore; technology has turned the old paradigms on their heads. The Internet and new-age ad agencies are allowing small businesses to effectively target TV viewers who are a good demographic fit, at a relatively minor cost. The use of customizable pre-produced ads also means production costs are much lower. Teri chose market leader Spot Runner as her ad agency and worked out a campaign to run two to three spots a week on the Oxygen network and Food Channel in the run-up to Mother’s Day last year.


Best of the Best: TV Ads on the Cheap


[contentheading]$6,000 TV Ad Campaign[/contentheading]

The campaign cost $6,000 — less than she’d previously spent on mail-outs. The ad Teri had personalized was produced as part of a Diamond Promotion Service co-op program. That the spot couldn’t reflect David’s unique designs didn’t matter, she said. “In the end, we’re still selling romance, and that’s what the commercial we picked was about.”


[contentheading]100% Jump In Sales[/contentheading]


“I was shocked we were able to double Mother’s Day sales (from $42,000 to $84,000),” Teri said, adding that customers commented on the quality of the ads. Teri tried another Spot Runner campaign in the holiday season. While not as dramatically successful, it allowed her store to outperform other jewelers in the area.

[componentheading]Try It Yourself[/componentheading]

1. Pick the event you want to advertise.  
2. Contact Spot Runner or another agency offering a similar service.  
3. Opt to buy ad time directly through the agency’s website or use its media consultants to plot a campaign. 
4. Choose an ad, for which you’ll get exclusive rights for a limited period.  
5. Personalize the ad with your logo and store contact information. You can also use your own script. 
6. Finalize your air-time booking plan. 
7. Pay. Spot Runner recommends retailers in small markets budget about $750 a week to ensure an effective plan. In mid-sized markets, budget about $1,250 a week. Most larger markets run about $2,000.



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Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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