Advertising

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Advertising - Which Way Do You Go?

By Rich Unger

In the bar, lounge, nightclub and restaurant business, you are inundated with reps from radio, newspaper, magazines, placemats, direct mail, TV, cable, free publications, airplane banner flying, bus stop benches... All wanting your valuable advertising dollars.

The key is which do you go with?

The answer is not easy, it depends on your locale, are you in a major city, the suburbs, a rural area, lets take each, one at a time.

Radio. The easiest way to find out who is listening and when they are listening and how old they are and what their listening habits are, is to ask your radio rep for a copy of the latest arbitron ratings book for your market. Not a breakdown as complied by the station to make it look good. I mean the "hands on" book so you can look over the demographics and the diary responses and see for yourself first hand what stations have the age group, the sex, the hours of listenership that you need to reach. This rating book is the only key used to measure audience response. It is what national advertising agencies use as their research and it sets the station's national rates.

If a radio station will not show you the arbitron book, do not advertise on it! This book is the universal bible of the radio industry.

Remember, people listen to radio two times or more a day. On their way to work and on their way home from work. These times are called "drive times." Mid-afternoon and nights are a waste of money. Only certain people are listening. Don't believe me? Check the arbitron ratings for these day parts. And remember, if you write the spot, and you use your voice, you are entitled to a 15% in house advertising agency discount. Don't buy a lot of spots, try it out, in what I call "vertical saturation". No less than five spots a day, to make the most impact. If you don't draw people, then that station is not for you. Don't use an institutional radio spot, make it high energy and attractive to your audience. And don't try to cram seven nights info into one sixty second spot. Never ever use thirty-second spots, they get lost in the middle of the commercial spot load. Be careful and be creative.

Regarding your local daily newspaper, the only problem is, their rates are so high and outrageous. The only day you should really be in the daily newspaper is the Friday entertainment section. Where you reach the food and beverage crowd and where you fit right in with food and beverage ads. Again a high impact ad is the best way to go. The days of simply putting your name and address in an ad are gone.

Magazines. If your in a tourist oriented area, then I highly recommend free tourist magazines, they are read, they are picked up and they are read. A color high power ad featuring your establishment and your weekly specials and perhaps a no cover or first drink free coupon are highly recommended. Sign on for at least two months to give it a trial run.

Placemats are a total waste of advertising money. I will not even waste any time on it. =)

Direct mail works, providing you target and zone in your zip codes and areas that surround your establishment and providing that your customer base is in that area. Again plain and generic direct mail pieces are a waste and never produce results. You're lucky if you get a 10% response, but it has been proven a top notch direct mail piece will get your message through and will get you great results. Again, plan, promote and pump it up! Eye catching, eye appealing and luring art work and specials offered only in the direct mail piece are imperative.

TV, regarding local TV stations, I say if you have cable, pass on the local stations. They are too expensive and too limited in their market reach and are not worth their rates.

Cable TV is a nightclub, bar, lounge, restaurant target rich media form. Why? From MTV to VH-1, from Lifetime to TNN, from ESPN to TNT, you can pick and chose your market directly and aim and appeal directly to it with a high profile TV spot with lots of bells and whistles in the production of the spot. Film on location at all times, meaning your establishment, hot music bed, hot voice, and run with it.

Free publications that cater to the nightlife industry can be a hit or miss proposition. If the publication is widely read and you see people picking it up and reading it in your establishment, if you see viable results from other advertisers, if you see their vending machines empty every month give it a try. If they have no vending machines, and nobody is talking about the publication and there is no buzz on the street about it, then pass.

I am a firm believer in the airplane banner. If your area has a banner towing company, fly the banner and push one nite at a time and let that banner fly through the clouds and pump your establishment up on a bright sunny day. I use airplane banners every week for my clients. They work!

Bus stop benches. I say pass on them and sides of busses. The visual message is too fast and too little to have an impact.

Finally, billboards, if you're in a local tourist area, then by all means do it! If... and the key word is IF, you can find a great located billboard and can lease it, and can afford it, then by all means do so.If not, or your in a city or regional area with basically the same patrons all the time, pass on billboards.

Remember advertising is supposed to make you money. The unwritten formula is no less than 5% of your gross, no more than 10% of your gross should be allocated to marketing. And remember, above all else, advertising should make you ten times what you spend on it. If it isn't, then find another medium that will.

Call me, fax me, write me and let me show you how.

Rich Unger - 941-921-7027 / 941-921-7278 Fax / e-mail.

Copyright � 2006 Rich Unger

[ Home ]

This web site, its contents, graphics and text are � 2005, Promoting Nightclubs.com.
All Rights Reserved. For comments, questions, or suggestions about this site, contact the webmaster.

[ Home ]

This web site, its contents, graphics and text are � 2005, Promoting Nightclubs.com.
All Rights Reserved. For comments, questions, or suggestions about this site, contact the webmaster.

[ Home ]

This web site, its contents, graphics and text are � 2005, Promoting Nightclubs.com.
All Rights Reserved. For comments, questions, or suggestions about this site, contact the webmaster.