Although I know I’m not alone here, I almost cringe to admit the following: As a child, I was fascinated by infomercials. I was suckered in by the promises of the food dehydrator that could make fruit roll-ups, and the veggie chopper that could make slicing and dicing so idiot-proof even I couldn’t mess it up. I’m pretty sure I begged my parents for at least one gadget every week.

Even though I’ve become a much wiser consumer, I still find myself being lured in by some advertisements. Not cheesy infomercials anymore, but really good television commercials, print ads, direct mailers, all of it. And again, I know I’m not the only one who can be mesmerized or moved to action by a really good ad. I got to thinking about this yesterday after reading about a certain shoe company in the news, and its highly-crazed toning shoes. You know what I’m talking about – the shoes that promise to make you slim and trim just by wearing them and taking a quick jaunt around the block.

As an admitted skeptic of any fitness fads, the athlete side of me dismissed these shoes immediately. But the marketing side of me has to give major credit to this company – talk about a powerful advertising
message and one of the most successful launch campaigns in recent history. The ads were hard to ignore and the shoes have sold like hotcakes. This company achieved exactly what it set out to do with its campaign – it got a reaction from people, both in terms of word-of-mouth buzz on the street and actual purchases. Good advertising works. Period.

The equipment industry is no different. Take a tradeshow for example. If you’ve exhibited at a show, chances are you’ve sent out a pre-show mailer, enticing recipients to visit your booth. As a marketingprofessional, one of the greatest things to see is the firsthand reaction to those ads. I’ve been at a company’s booth and seen dozens of people show up each day with those direct mailers in hand – proof they caught attention and enticed a response. “Tradeshow season” in our industry is quickly approaching, so I’m looking forward to seeing all the new ad campaigns, direct mailers and websites that will soon be coming out!

What are some really good ad campaigns you can recall? Were they enough to sway your opinion, or make you buy that new piece of equipment?

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