Swagger

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I pass this billboard every day on my way home. The first time I saw it, I reacted with a start. That’s gutsy, I thought. Arrogant, even. Does Peerless think it’s THAT good? Wow.

I had plans of blogging about this right away, but one thing led to another and I put it off for a while. Turns out, that wasn’t all bad. It gave me a chance to ponder the campaign and how I felt about it.

Although my first reaction tended toward negative, is wasn’t quite negative. Part of me thought that a business needs to possess that kind of swagger to sell itself well. After all, if it doesn’t believe in itself, how can it expect others to believe?

Then I found the campaign online and realized that the person on the billboard was a realtor. (The text on the bottom of the image above either wasn’t on the actual sign or wasn’t readable. I hadn’t noticed it driving by.) That made this sign make WAY more sense. Digging deeper, I realized it was part of a campaign featuring local businesspeople, tying them into the dry cleaner through clever slogans. Ah, clarity.

Then again, if I had to work that hard to “get” it, was it really successful?

In the end, I think it was–not because the message was so clever or the campaign so well thought. It was successful because it captured my attention for days. I remained engaged with that sign for days, maybe even a couple of weeks. Peerless Cleaners captured a portion of my mental real estate and stayed top of mind as I pondered and explored.

What say you? How do you feel about the sign itself? And do you think its swagger got the job done?

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7 thoughts on “Swagger

  1. Sheila Roesler says:

    Yep..my immediate reaction was the same as yours..HUH? Then..ah-ha! Clever! that said, I don’t choose dry cleaners for anything except convenience ( and keep them for price and service) and I don’t choose realtors by who presses their shirts! 🙂

  2. I saw the same billboard this weekend. But since I wasn’t doing the driving, I was more focused on who the guy was and saw he was a realtor. Then I wasn’t sure what the billboard was advertising – was it Peerless or the realtor’s services. Either way, like you, it made me pause and think about it.

  3. Jeffrey says:

    It appears I am the lone naysayer. I do web marketing for realtors across the country and know a little bit about that market. Dry Cleaners on the other hand I have no professional experience with but with 15 years experience in marketing I think I can pretend to have insight into that market. So first taking the cleaners…cleaners are more akin to gas stations, located near you is they key. In fact the ad actually perpetuates that fact by suggesting you need to move to use them. Perhaps the cleaner should spend their ad space on convincing you to drive a distance to them and why it is worth it. As to the realtor aspect of it, it is ludicrous (obviously) to think someone would impulsively move for any reason. So other than general exposure the realtor gets no benefit. Nothing about why he is a great realtor, his history, experience, expertise, etc. Most advertising should result in asking the viewer to take action. What is the suggested action here? It completely falls on its face and loses opportunity to build up either party (realtor or cleaner). I think its stupid. The cleaner does get some good general exposure and surely there are people who see it that do live or work in their service area. I think this is a case of the cleaner wanting to coop their ad space and the realtor just doing something because it puts his face on a billboard. Not a bad deal for the cleaner, really bad deal for the realtor. Just my opinion.

    • Thanks, Jeffrey. Excellent points, all, and exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping to generate. I received a comment that complemented yours on Facebook, and I suspect there is a silent contingent in agreement, as well. I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the tag line. My conclusion (though still in somewhat of a fluid state) is simply that I remained engaged with the ad for an extended period of time, which is good for the dry cleaner. I hadn’t at all thought of it from the realtor’s perspective–until now. Thanks again for your thoughtful commentary.

  4. Jeffrey says:

    I appreciate your comments. I suspect you are a marketing person, in fact i believe you were at Franklin when I was. However I do not believe the average person would be engaged by it. I think at best they would just be confused and bewildered which is never good IMO.

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