Advertising: Don’t Try This At Home (Or In Your Business)

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I’ve seen two really funny — but instructive — examples of bad advertising for fitness centers recently. Both of these advertising idiocies were committed by large national chains. These are folks you’ve definitely heard of.

First up, the Dallas location of a very well-known national health club chain positioned a hand-drawn AND MISSPELLED sign to advertise a membership special. Adding insult to injury, this location is in one of the ritziest areas of Dallas. The people walking and driving past this sign are pretty educated and sophisticated consumers–in other words, the kind who know how to spell.

It’s like buying “fine art” from those guys who set up in empty parking lots on the weekend.

Next example: picture this:

It’s 100 degrees at noon on a business day. You’re stopped at a traffic light at one of the busiest intersections in an affluent suburb of Dallas. A guy’s shuffling back and forth on the sidewalk. He’s wearing a sandwich board that says “Grand Opening Special – Sign Up Now.”

That’s. All. It. Says.

No company name, no phone number, absolutely nothing to tell you what he was pitching. Now, because I always notice health and wellness businesses (occupational hazard), I knew that he was hawking memberships at a new location of yet another well-known national health club chain, one that’s opening up lots of clubs in the Dallas area.

But most people wouldn’t have had even a tiny clue.

I really felt bad for him. I’m sure he felt like his brain was about to boil – all that suffering, and I bet they didn’t get a single new member!

All kidding aside, what terrible ways to introduce your business to customers! In the first case, anyone who has any expectation of quality will run for the hills…and the wasted time and effort in the second case just makes me cringe.