What’s Wrong With This Picture
This is a picture of what we commonly refer to as a “Bandit Sign.” I love these little guys and for generating buzz on little budget they are worth their weight in gold.
Bandit signs are great to create excitement around an event that is being advertised in other media.
This is a sign that was positioned in front of Taco Bell/Long John Silver’s Combo. A place Travis and I frequent for lunch. I must have driven past this little stinker about a hundred times and with every pass I got sicker and sicker. If the patrons of Taco Bell were into marketing as much as you and I were – they’d be losing their lunch.
To top it off, in true Bandit Sign fashion these were all over a 5 mile radius around my house. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore…so I had my 20 week pregnant wife jump out of the car and snag this sucker for my private collection of small business marketing waste.
Here’s why this little stinker gets the big THUMBS DOWN (can you guess?).
Let’s break the sign down into 3 parts (headline, body and call to action) then we’ll examine each part.
Headline: 1/3 of the ad taken up by a headline that states the ridiculously obvious and delivers no value, benefit or reason to take notice. A better try would have been Cleanest Carpets Ever Or You Don’t Pay or 1 Room Cleaned FREE or Dirty Carpets Gone Guaranteed.
I like the reverse on the headline. This is a great tactic and works really well to make a block of text stand out and get noticed.
Body: The body of this sign is LOADED with junk that nobody cares about. Cliché, run of the mill, me focused bullet points that don’t give the prospect a reason why they should care or take notice – let alone call or purchase.
Truck Mounted Equipment: Who Cares? Lay people don’t know why this is better or important and even if a small fraction does they don’t connect the benefit when they read the sign. Why should we care about this benefit?
Quality Minded Technicians: What the hell does that mean? This is worse than a claim of quality service. At least if you say Quality Service people understand what it means before they dismiss it for being an ordinary, boring and unbackable claim.
Some suggestions off the top of my head: Safer, Cleaner Environment for your family to live in. Your friends will envy your showroom-clean rugs. Remove unseen bacteria and sleep better at night.
The $5.95 offer is ok. It screams out to price shoppers, tire kickers and plate lickers. Plus, it says per area – what’s that mean? That sends a red flag up in my book.
The Jesus Fish and the line “family owned and operated” are the second largest selling points presented in this part of the sign. So they better make the sale. They don’t! I'm a Christian man but on an advertisement this small this really isn't something that belongs.
Call To Action: None. Well…that’s a problem. The phone number is good but call today would be better.
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