A Sign of Our Times – Literally.

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The other day I was walking up 8th Avenue in New York City.  I glanced over at a shoe store, looked in the window and saw this sign. I got a good laugh out of it and it made for some really good dinner conversation as I showed some folks the photo on my PDA.

This pretty much says it all.

Looks like they need some help with their marketing. I pondered the possibilities and wonder if they have tried signs that say:

A. Shop here now! No one else will! (direct and honest)
B. Free sex with purchase (promotional and ties into an time-tested theme proven to drive consumer response)
C. If you don’t shop here you might die. (a low-brow interpretation of the “fear sells” school of thought, popular in some B2B camps).

D. Don’t shop here.  Go away. (Hey, reverse psychology worked for David Ogilvy with his “Lemon” campaign for Volkswagon).

E.  Something else. Your thoughts?

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45 thoughts on “A Sign of Our Times – Literally.

  1. LOL…at least the sign is honest. It would probably work in getting me in the store. Lets see…some other possible ads.

    EVERYTHING FREE! JUST KIDDING…BUT COME ON IN. (You can’t say that wouldn’t grab your attention.)

    I AM SURE THERE IS SOMETHING IN HERE YOU WILL LIKE. (Probably a true statement)

    SEE IF YOU CAN GET IN HERE BEFORE I COUNT TO 10! (People like a challenge right?)

    http://www.wutevs.wordpress.com

  2. I saw something like this in Mykonos: as long as it’s not straight-up desperate, people seem okay with it.

    They probably can’t afford to buy other messages….

  3. Personally, I like the sign just the way it is. I would totally go in there and check things out just because I like the sign. It’s honest, not too wordy and it gets the point across. Not to mention it’s a great conversation topic to show people with our camera phones (like you did) and it gets people curious and maybe even more shoppers go and check things out. Hopefully they made some money off this sale or at least got some merchandise moving. Thank you for posting this! 🙂

  4. lol…good one. Hey! The one trip I took to NYC in my whole life, I was between 8th and 9th, around 76th. I could’ve actually walked by this! What store was it?

    Anyway, my lame contribution is this one:

    “Don’t let high prices kill you, let us help”

    🙂

  5. Interesting post!

    I think this sign would actually draw me into the store because it gives me the impression that prices are really, really low. I would think: Hm, if they’re really desperate, they would probably sell me anything, even if I just offered a buck!

    It also adds some honesty to them. One thing I hate is salespeople trying to tell me expensive stuff that I know should be priced much lower. These people sounds like they won’t do that since they really need some cash.

    • It took me a bit to catch the drift of “Cunning Stunts” — thanks for explaining. Several years ago a plumbing company had their trucks painted with “The best place in town to take a leak.” I loved it, but apparently not the city fathers.
      Another store had a big mural painted on their awning of Michelangelo’s God giving life to Adam. But in this case God’s finger just pointed to the name of the store (“Boo Boo’s”; a record store). City folks didn’t like that either. Talk about a bunch of killjoys!

      • You never know where inspiration – and raw originality – will rear its head. That’s what’s great about forums like this — now lots of folks have read your story and perhaps more people will be willing to take more risks in their marketing. And after all, pushing the boundries is what makes things break through.

  6. Pingback: A Sign of Our Times – Literally. « Entrepreneur BizPlan's Small Business Blog

  7. I prefer the shoe store’s original sign.
    It’s blunt and honest.
    Which is usually the best policy.

  8. Well, I have to say business sucks sale is the best sign I have ever seen- lol!! Thanks for posting it!

  9. C. is actually unnecessarily understated: Those who do not shop here will die. (Obviously and unfortunately, shopping will not improve the situation—barring a miracle of some kind.)

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  11. Business only sucks if that person think so.
    I been in online marketing business for years.
    I know people think it’s easy, and fast.
    That’s just not the case.

    Anybody like to get there own People Search Engine Business.
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    • This post was featured on the home page of WordPress.com and seems to have hit a chord, given the difficult financial times. Hopefully the store in question won’t be needing this sign for much longer.

  13. This reminds me of a store in my area (Stuart Swan) that ALWAYS has a sale going on… but every week they change the sign. I find it annoying, and I’ve never been inside the store.
    This type of sign will attract customers at first, but after a while it will also lose its novelty and business will continue to, unfortunately, suck.

  14. I love this sign, i would laugh for hours if I saw that while I was window shopping, and honestly, I would probably go into the store and check it out. So much better than the standard signs you see everywhere else.

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  16. I just posted it this on a few sites and would like to see what happens
    now days anything you do could or could not help your business

    I really don’t understand whats going on

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