Last Wednesday, Jeff Turner, three of his sons and I were having lunch at Jerry’s Deli in Marina Del Rey, CA. Jeff’s boys were slurping down multiple chocolate milks and that meant multiple trips to the Men’s Room. If not for that, this story could not have been written.
On his third trip to the Men’s Room Jeff noticed a framed advertisement hung on the wall just outside the door. It didn’t register on his radar screen during his first two trips. Inside the frame were 6 listing flyers for nearby homes from a local REALTORÂ® team.
Each flyer was an 8 by 11 sheet, so you had to be within 2 or 3 feet from the page to read it. It was hung on a wall that was not visible until you were standing just outside the Men’s Room, an area visibly separated from the restaurant. If you didn’t need to use the rest room there was no earthly reason to go there.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I need to use the rest room, my mind is focused on my mission. Im not likely to be distracted by anything, much less a REALTORÂ®’s ad. And when I’m leaving the rest room, I’m not likely to want to jerk my head 90 degrees left to look at a flyer, throw my neck out of joint and require a trip to my chiropractor.
Jeff and I could not let it rest. We called the manager over.
“Do people have to pay to put up ads like that one?” I asked him, pointing to the REALTORÂ®’s ad.
“Oh yes,” he said. “Its all handled by the agency that prints our menus.”
“Do you know how much?” I asked.
“No, I dont,” he replied. “But its probably not cheap.”
Whether its cheap or not, the question for me is this: Why do REALTORSÂ® (or anyone else, for that matter) spend money on frivolous, ill-conceived, ineffective advertising gimmicks that don’t work?
Is it just ego? After all, Jerry Buss (the Lakers owner) sometimes shows up at that restaurant usually wearing jeans and a Laker Girl.
Readers, please help me understand why so many people continue to spend money senselessly while ignoring solid marketing programs that get good results over time.