Listener to Advertiser: Stop Running That Ad!

  • The customer was obviously upset.  She complained to the supermarket owner:

    I was listening to news talk 1150 and heard your advertisement for "Fresh Atlantic Salmon".  I just wanted to let you know you are pushing a product that almost every educated consumer knows is garbage.

    It sounds funny that on the ad it says freshly harvested and flown into Spokane. You must think people are ignorant to what farmed salmon actually is.

    Please stop pushing farmed fish and go with sustainable wild salmon. You do realize the farmed salmon have up to five times the legal antibiotics in their fish meal than what is allowed by FDA for beef?

    Having ads like this really show marketing ignorance towards consumers.

    It was signed "Educated Consumer."

    Now, this store also sells wild-caught Pacific salmon - the "right kind" according to the complainant - on a regular basis.  So the problem isn't their failure to respond to their customers' preferences.  It's their failure to embrace this lady's particular worldview.  And how does one respond to that?

    (Sigh.)  You can't please everybody.

    I've been fortunate in that this advertiser has given me wide latitude in writing and producing his radio commercials from the beginning of our relationship.  And over the years his commercials have generated plenty of positive feedback from customers and peers in the business community (one of the advantages of doing business in a small town).  They also won awards and put him in the spotlight with his peers in the grocery industry.

    More importantly, his ads have brought him business.  Local shoppers know what sets Dissmore's bakery, meat, produce, fresh seafood, and other departments apart, because their radio commercials have effectively conveyed these distinctions.

    Variants of the commercial in question have aired on local stations for the past six or seven years. You can hear the current version here: DISSMORES FRESH SEAFOOD - SALMON.mp3.

    So, when the owner showed me what this particular listener (who may or may not be a customer) was complaining about, we discussed how he was going to respond to her.

    I asked him, "How well does Atlantic Salmon sell in comparison to the rest of your seafood items?"  He got on his computer and called up the department's sales figures for the last 12 months.

    In terms of overall unit volume, Atlantic Salmon is #2, right behind fresh Pacific oysters.

    In terms of dollar volume, Atlantic Salmon is #1.

    Imagine that.

    Evidently, consumers like farm-raised Atlantic Salmon - well enough to make it the most popular single item in the seafood department.

    I say again, you can't please everybody.  No matter how hard you try.

    But isn't it nice to know that your radio advertising is working?

1 comment
  • Diane Scarpelli
    Diane Scarpelli Apparently there aren't as many 'educated consumers' in the market as the complainant would like to think?  At least those educated to his/her way of thinking...
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