Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Beer for Breakfast

The SJ-R is running an ad on its pages to promote home delivery of the newspaper. It show a glass of orange juice and a Sunday edition of the paper under the headline “Drinkin’ Buddies.”

First impressions count here, since in advertising that’s all you get many times, and my first impression is: Alcohol! Perhaps that orange juice is laced with vodka. Or champagne to make a fine mimosa. Curious, I read on.

The first line of copy begins “Start your day off right…” Hmm? Alcohol + Morning = Desperate Drunk. Why would the SJ-R be targeting subscriptions to chronic alcoholics? Did their market research show that this particular segment of the population is less likely to get their news online and as such are ripe for a home delivery pitch? I take home delivery of the SJ-R, should I be throwing back screwdrivers before church?

Besot with questions, I’m next given to wonder who exactly are the drinking buddies referred to in the headline. Is it the OJ and the newspaper? That would be like saying a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a bowl of pretzels are drinking buddies. The headline doesn’t work with the picture in this scenario. Maybe the target audience and the newspaper are drinking buddies. This would make sense in that the newspaper could be seen as a trusted source of companionship and insight. Not a bad way to position the SJ-R. But if the person the ad is targeting and the Sunday SJ-R are drinking buddies, shouldn’t there be a human in the ad to represent said person? Maybe the model they hired was too hung-over and missed the photo shoot.

It’s quite possible that as a result of the ad a legion of new subscribers are waking up to the SJ-R, the thud of the insert-laden Sunday paper rousting them from their front porch where they had passed out just hours before. Should the SJ-R decide to add radio to the marketing mix for this particular ad campaign, I might suggest the Replacement’s “Beer for Breakfast” as appropriate background music.

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