Thursday, April 21, 2016

In Non-appreciation of Jimmy John's

A page 13 article in my Kalamazoo Gazette invited readers to "Get ready for a freaky cool deal at Jimmy John's. $1 subs for everyone!" The story went on to describe what sandwiches were included, for whom, and when.

Seemed strange to me that a daily paper would run a pr piece for a fast-food restaurant as a news item. When I got to page 18, the motive was revealed. Profit had overcome good journalism, something becoming common nowadays. Jimmy John's had paid the Gazette for a full-page color ad proudly announcing "Customer Appreciation Day Today Only!" The news item was a little kickback.

The ad said a customer could buy one of seven types of subs for $1 at a participating store today only from 11 a.m. to 2 p..m. (emphasis added).

Just happens beautiful wife Sandy and I planned to be shopping close to a Jimmy John's around noon and would be doing lunch in that area. Jimmy John's opened a new outlet near us this year, and we've found their sandwiches to be first-rate. What a deal! A nice lunch discount had dropped in our laps.

Except that it hadn't. Our newspaper never is delivered before 3 p.m. on a weekday. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Gazette subscribers have similar delivery times. Sure enough, 2 p.m. was long past today when I received the generous offer.

One might ask Jimmy John's advertising department: "What took you so long to understand you've antagonized customers instead of pleasing them with the worst possible timing of an appreciation day ad?"  The Gazette advertising department might well consider the same question.


13 comments:

Celia said...

Same thing happened here. Announcement in the evening paper for an event that was 11 to 3. Ptui Jimmy John's.

Alan G said...

Never heard of them Dick until your post here. That name sounds more like a porta-potty company than a sandwich shop. Anyway, looked on-line and found out I lived about six blocks from one. I'm a "Subway" man myself but I'll have to check them out.

Oh yea... and there were no advertisements here locally regarding their offering by the way.

Dick Klade said...

Alan, it seems JJ's "appreciates" only some customers in some places during limited time frames!

Big John said...

I wonder how long it will be before Jimmy John's reaches these shores ? We could probably squeeze one in between our local KFC and McDonald's if we moved our Subway or Pizza Hut.

Rummuser said...

Leaving aside the moral element of paid for content, what a foolish way to advertise without checking the delivery times of the newspaper or at least being locals, not being aware of such a possibility!

PiedType said...

We have JJ's here but nobody I know subscribes to an actual newspaper anymore. A TV ad might work better if they could afford a good time slot, say, around the local noon or evening news. I must admit, figuring out how to reach one's customers or potential customers has gotten a lot more complex that it used to be.

Dick Klade said...

Big John: The squeeze may get tighter. A new Culvers just opened near us, and they are part of an expanding regional chain. The "butter burger" is their big attraction. Sigh.

Dick Klade said...

Pied: JJ's advertises heavily here on prime time tv, so they could have put an "appreciation" ad there if they chose that route. You are right on about the growing complexity of getting messages to the most desirable audiences. It's a whole new media world out there.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Until now, I didn't know what or who Jimmy John was...must be a northern chain?. Advertising ain't what it used to be.

Tom Sightings said...

Unfortunately that's not too uncommon these days -- buy an ad, get an article. Or buy an ad, get a product placement. Yet another sign of the decline and fall of the world of journalism.

Jhawk23 said...

Too true! The profit motive is overtaking good journalism more and more often. Television, print media, even the internet is infested with the same practice - pure ads indiscriminately interspersed among news and feature stories.

On the other thread re advertising, I am reminded of an acquaintance who received a Starbucks deal -- a a free cup on your birthday! Her birthday is December 25. Starbucks was closed. Could she get the freebie on December 26? Nope.

Dick Klade said...

Christmas Day birthdays can have drawbacks in several ways! My father was born on Dec. 25. I well remember many times he got a single present labeled "Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday."

joared said...

I noticed a JJ's restaurant in a nearby community a year or so ago and thought it a strange name, then remembered when we moved to the south the propensity of many locals there to give their boys two names both of which they used: Henry Lee, Joe Philip and one just went by his initials, L.G.

I have sometimes thought of trying JJ's food when I'm nearby, but often hasn't been around the time I eat, plus haven't felt drawn to them enough to do so. Maybe the advertising is deliberate and they really just want to reward their customers who regularly frequent the restaurant so would know about it.

Yes, advertising bleeds into everything, corrupts TV news. For example, disgusts me when news reporters get all excited announcing some restaurant is coming to town or recall them making a big deal that Dunkin' Donuts was opening a shop. Since management now, probably, not only allowed but encouraged it to attract new advertising dollars, newsfolk happy to do so hoping the store would send out some free donuts.