The lady proclaimed that she owned a fairly prominent jewelry store chain in Phoenix – one I had never heard of, by the way – when she called me about helping her advertise her company.
She said she was doing radio advertising, but it wasn’t working.
I suggested that maybe her radio spots were the culprit.
“Why, have you heard them?” she asked.
“Oh no, I never listen to radio,” I said.
“You never listen to the radio?” her voice rising in contempt. I sensed that she was taken aback by either my honesty or what she considered was my dereliction of duty for not being an ardent radio listener as an ad guy. Her next question clarified her stance.
“How on earth do you think you can handle my radio advertising if you don’t even listen to radio?”
I explained that I didn’t have to listen to know that 98 percent of the commercials are crap. It’s all “50 percent off this,” “buy that and get one free,” “special discounts this weekend only.”
“It’s just noise,” I told her.
I pointed out that no advertiser was truly taking advantage of what radio does best: it plays to the theater of the mind of the listener to enchant and engage them as a customer.
“If you want your radio advertising to work harder for you,” I encouraged, “tell better stories.”
“Stories,” she snapped. “I run a retail operation and I don’t have time to tell stories. Stories won’t sell my jewelry.”
“So why the call?” I asked.
She cordially said goodbye, and hung up without hiring me.
I never heard from her again.
That was 10 years ago, and for the life of me, I still can’t recall the name of her jewelry store.