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Michael Fruchtman: Paper Chase

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Newspaper ads can work ? if it’s the right ad, in the right paper, in the right section. Michael Fruchtman helps you sort out the ?ifs’.

THERE’S ONLY ONE THING jewelers do wrong when advertising engagement rings in the newspaper. They advertise engagement rings in the newspaper. 

Just as in real estate, the most important consideration in placing print media is location. No message, no matter how powerful, can be effective if it goes unnoticed by the people who you are trying to reach. Therefore, selecting the correct publication, as well as the correct section of that publication, is crucial.  

Statistics show newspaper subscribers are aging, and do not match the primary demographic for engagement ring purchases. That’s not to say jewelers shouldn’t advertise in newspapers, but they must carefully consider what part of the paper their target audience is reading. For example: 

Young men are active, not sedentary. If they pick up a paper at all, it is generally to check sports scores. Therefore, placing ads for men’s jewelry, timepieces and even engagement rings in the sports section could score big results. Remember, you are trying to reach men, so tailor your message accordingly. For example, one of our jeweler’s print ads announced: ?Hey, guys! SHOP is not a four-letter word.? 

Women (no matter what their age) have a powerful say in where their men buy their jewelry, including engagement rings. They shouldn’t be ignored. To reach them via newspaper, ask for placement primarily in lifestyle, family and health sections. Again, a clever ad that speaks to young women ? perhaps offering tips for how to drop hints about their jewelry likes and dislikes to their special man ? can help make your store the lady’s choice. 

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Want to reach affluent consumers (and who doesn’t)? Target your newspaper’s financial section. Even those individuals who don’t read this section regularly will still notice an ad that is centered in the middle of the stock reports. All those thin columns of tiny numbers and letters make a perfect backdrop for an ad featuring lots of white space, a product photo and a financially-oriented headline. One pair of store owners was astounded at the number of people who caught their diamond jewelry ad announcing, ?Watch Your Stock Rise in Her Eyes.? Obviously, the jeweler’s stock took an upturn, too! 

It’s important to note that while location is a key factor, not every newspaper will allow you to choose where your ad runs. And those who do may bill you an up-charge for preferential placement. Bottom line: you never know until you ask. If you can secure a hot spot such as in the middle of the stock report page, or on the top right-hand corner of a right-hand page, or even in the same spot in the paper every time, that well-chosen exposure ? and the extra cost ? could be worth its weight in customers.  

One final reminder: Newspapers are cluttery by nature, filled with long columns of copy, numerous photos and lots of ads. The more information a jeweler tries to cram into a print advertisement, the more that ad blends into the surrounding mass, becoming an easy-to-miss blur. We’ve said it before in previous articles, and we will say it again and again: Keep it simple! Lots of negative space, one centrally placed product shot, and minimal copy will turn your newspaper ad into a bull’s-eye ? no matter where you place it. 

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