I suggest he start by visiting Kmarts and Wal-Marts in the greater Washington area. He will discover that Kmart's merchandise is difficult to find, the stores are in serious need of cleaning, their sales personnel are inadequate and their checkout procedures are absolutely maddening. Conversely, Wal-Mart's operations appear organized, their people are concerned and knowledgeable and shopping there is a surprisingly pleasant experience. Prices at both chains are comparable and competitive.
An inferior product cannot be sold via advertising, no matter how brilliant. Before he finds a new agency, Mr. Watson needs to find-and use-a big broom.
Karen S. Kennedy
President, KSK Communications
`Golf Tips' belongs
I'd like to comment on the article "Golf Illustrated rejoins crowded field," in your Jan. 2 issue.
Golf Tips is entering its seventh year as a nationally and internationally distributed subscriber and newsstand consumer golf magazine for the serious golfer, with an editorial focus on instruction, equipment coverage and travel destinations. A virtual newcomer to the field, Golf Tips has secured the No. 4 position in the field and is rapidly closing in on No. 3, yet our magazine wasn't mentioned in the list of golf titles in that article.
Golf Tips is very well known in the golf industry as a strong information source. It's a great success story in direct contrast to Golf Illustrated's "failures" and the fierce competition of Times Mirror and New York Times Co. titles.
Werner Publishing Corp.
Small shops' work overlooked
As I was leafing through various trade magazines I receive, I began to realize that, although my staff and I enjoy reading about (and salivating over) the large accounts awarded to the Big Shops, and the award-winning ads in the One Show and other annuals won by the Big Shops, we in a small agency have a hard time relating.
Creative staffs in small agencies are working every day with a $5,000 budget for a TV spot and even less for a print campaign. And to top it off they are asked to create breakthrough advertising like the super-shops.
There are highly creative people doing great work in very small shops all around the country working for small clients, winning local awards. They are not getting the recognition for creating great work with all the limitation put on them by lack of budget or size of agency. I would love to see the same kind of print for these hard-working individuals (and agencies) who work so hard at raising the level of work in our industry.
Winward & Partners
A startling display
This ad for Kraft Handi-Snacks Cheez'n Breadsticks ran in the January issue of Better Homes & Gardens. I was startled and amused by the phallic nature of this ad, given the product and the market the ad is targeted to. As if the visual isn't suggestive enough, the ad is rounded out by the headline: "You can't imagine a better snack."
Kraft is now a member of the Truly Tasteless Advertising Club.
Libby Perszyk Kathman
Don't forget the obvious
As a Chicago native, I've always admired the Leo Burnett agency, and I enjoyed your article on their 60-year relationship with Green Giant and Pillsbury.
One of the successes cited for maintaining this long-term relationship was the 1993 campaign targeting holiday advertising for cookie dough.
Since cookie-baking has been part of Christmas for as long as I can remember, it struck me that it shouldn't have taken the agency or client so long to come up with this "big idea" that led to a 70% holiday sales increase.
It reminded me of a book I read a long time ago called "Obvious Adams." It was about a Forrest Gump-type character who became a very successful adman by doing the obvious. Maybe we're all spending too much time worrying about how to get in the Information Superhighway, and not enough time doing the obvious things to boost today's sales.
Kobs Gregory Passavant
Fast-food a misnomer
Your interesting report, "KFC tops the flock for valuable logos" (AA, Dec. 12), awards best of brood to the KFC logo, but then goes on to say, "joining insurance companies at the bottom of the brand-esteem list are fast-food restaurants." This confirms what I suspected while standing in line at my local KFC: they're no fast-food outlet!
John J. Cronin
Asst. professor of marketing
Western Connecticut State
(received via Prodigy)
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