Better Ad Sales Through Creativity: “Buy an Ad. Get a Cat.”

In the 1980’s, I ran an in-house ad in my nerdy Computer Language magazine titled, “Buy an Ad. Get a Cat.”  My 15 minutes of fame from this ad has lasted for over 30 years.

buy an ad, get a cat

The original buy an ad, get a cat in-house ad from Computer Language

To this day, I literally get asked hundreds of times a year about “that cat thing.”  Since then I’ve inspired many of my Camp Niche ad sales trainees to rip off the idea for their own magazines: “Buy an Ad. Get  a… Horse, Ant Farm, Brother-in-law, Lobster..”– you name it.  And my wonderful conference attendees have also stolen and substituted what they’re hawking for my original cat give-away promotion with great results.

Now, I’m not going to go into the whole “cat story” here.  Hey, for the full, uncut version you need to attend one of our Camp Niche Ad Sales Trainings.  Don’t take it personally, I’ve got rabbis and priests that ask what it means and I won’t spill my guts about it.  But what I WILL share with YOU is the great idea behind it.

90% of today’s ad salespeople are too vanilla and boring. They call up and ask: “How are you doing? How’s the ad working? Did you get the media kit?” Then the conversation ends right there. (By the way, do media buyers eat these kits?  What do they really do with them, anyway?)

You need to do something to separate yourself from the pack of dull ad sales people to get noticed, be remembered, and connect with media buyers.  Here are some examples: [Read more…]