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by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

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Advertise Your Woodworking… It's Cheap!

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I absolutely cannot wait for the Presidential campaign to get into full swing. You probably think I'm getting political here, but not at all… I am simply looking forward to some different television ads. Some new advertisements that will crowd out the attorneys who promise to "get you money" for any injury, real or imagined. Ads that offer to "get you money" for a medical procedure, pill, or potion that made you sicker. Drug commercials that list 312 side effects. Memento mori insurance ads. Abused animal ads that seek to take your money by tugging at your heart… I cry every time those come on. These ads repeat ad infinitum and I need a break! So bring it on, Donald and Hillary, Bernie and Marco, Ted and whoever! Spend those dollars you've been begging for and the millions the special interest groups have funneled to you. Or in the case of Donald, your own hard-earned money. Spend it! Buy advertising time on television and give all of us a welcome break from the norm.

I woke up in a cold sweat the other night. It was a nightmare. Seems I was watching television and Hillary was promoting the Rose Law Firm as the attorneys that could get your tax problems straightened out. Ted was screaming about some drug that made people sick, and Donald was threatening to deport all the homeless dogs. Bernie was giving away something for free. Help! I can't take it anymore.

Bernie said, "It really is about the money," but he was talking about personal injury lawsuits. Marco was talking about insurance, but not the IRS punishable healthcare kind… he was selling death insurance that promises to pay your burial expenses… "I'm not talking about the lock on your door, I'm talking about a rate lock." "You can't be turned down, and there are no health checks… guaranteed!" Seriously, how much money do these attorneys, drug companies, and charities really make? How can they afford all these advertisements? Well, I got a clue the other day.

A local company advertisement appeared between a spot for home-delivery incontinence products and a sixty-second plea to support a hungry child in some third world country and I suddenly realized; advertising on television is cheap!

My epiphany came during an advertisement for firewood… yep, firewood. The company claims they have the best firewood around. They even gave pretty compelling arguments as to why their firewood is the best. But really? Firewood? Has cable advertising become so cheap that a company that sells firewood can purchase spots? Apparently so. And if that is the case, we woodworkers should consider advertising.

What might a woodworking advertisement look like? Well, here's one potential script…

Figure 9 - A TV ad for Down To Earth Woodworking?
Is that guy on the right covering his eyes???
That's just rude!

"If you suffer from stress, overwork, depression, lack of creativity, failing memory, or any of hundreds of other maladies, Woodworking may just be the medicine you have been looking for. There are no known side effects, although some users have reported an intense desire to acquire more tools. Woodworking is not for weight loss, but you may lose some weight. In depressed patients, a definite improvement in mood has been noted. Woodworking will unleash your creativity, drain away your stress, and sharpen your mind. Woodworking is not free, but its benefits far outweigh the costs and it is easy to get started. Woodworkers make beautiful things with their own hands and they are friendly, caring and compassionate people. Get started today!"

All kidding aside, I was curious enough that I checked with some different cable channels and looked at their rate sheets… television advertising is way less expensive than you might think. Of course, it is unlikely we will see one of your ads during the Super Bowl next year, but if you pick a channel or network carefully matched to the demographic you are trying to reach, you might be surprised how low the cost can be. If you build things and sell them, don't rule out television advertising because you think it'd be too expensive... You might be pleasantly surprised!

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