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What Is She Watching?

Furniture World Magazine


She controls the share-of-household wallet. She is home furnishing's 'Queen of the Universe'.

There they were, at their annual advertising meeting. The "practicals" on one side of the table and the lovely "idealists" on the other side. Today they were talking about why their traffic had fallen off rather dramatically during the first part of October and why sales were slipping.

The "practicals" said it was because they were putting too much of their advertising dollar into television. The "idealists" suggested that if they spent one more dime in newspaper it would be guilding the fishwrap to a new height of insanity.

"Television is for idiots. Look at the junk that is on today.", commented the "practicals". "Yes", responded the "idealists". "Those who put all of their money into a dying medium would respond like that."

"Newspapers are not dying," the "practicals" retorted. "Then look and see how many newspapers closed down during the past two years and look and see what the term 'declining circulation' means."

In actuality, there is never a sure cure for any marketing communications problems. Some are easier to solve than others. But it is different for each individual store. However, in all cases, cable television advertising may be the answer to getting your message out in front of your specific buying customers on a constant basis and activate them to visit your store at a reasonable price.

As network broadcast affiliates are losing share of audience, cable has been the ultimate beneficiary.

And why not? They are offering programming that continually attracts audiences because it is what the audience wants. Some programs that come to mind are: 'Biography' on A&E; 'Larry King Live' on CNN; 'Sports Center' on ESPN; 'Market Wrap' on CNBC; 'Crocodile Hunter' on Animal Planet; 'Ben Stein's Money' on Comedy Central; 'Cajun Chef' on the Food Network; 'USA Movies' on USA; 'Original Programming' on TNT; 'Modern Marvels' on the History Channel; and almost everything on the Discovery Channel and HGTV. Why aren't more home furnishings retailers and manufacturers advertising on HGTV? It is one of the fastest growing networks on television. AND IT DOES REACH YOUR AUDIENCE.

Then there is 'South Park' on Comedy Central. It is not for those of weak constitutions. ADULTS WITH CHILDREN BEWARE.

But if you want hot, the hottest is Tuesday evenings on Lifetime. If you haven't been sponsoring 'Any Day Now', 'Maggie' and 'Oh Baby!' on Lifetime, you are missing the HOTTEST PROGRAMS ON CABLE.

This is all original programming and because of it's success, Lifetime is bringing on more original programming on another night coming soon.

But the 'practicals' say, "It isn't ':60 Minutes'." No, it isn't ':60 Minutes' but it is affordable and very, very interesting television that has our audience in front of their television sets, week after week," Say the 'idealists'.

This is just one part of the equation. We have to reach those who would, could or should buy our products. It makes sense in that our audience is dedicated to television as their news and information source.

Our audience unfortunately does not read the newspaper anymore because she no longer has the luxury of time to read it as she once did. Today she is on the move. Today she may get home after her significant other. Today she controls the share-of-household wallet. Today she is home furnishing's 'Queen of the Universe'.

And guess what? She watches a great deal of cable. She is watching Lifetime. You should be advertising on Lifetime. She is watching the Original movies on USA. You should be advertising on USA. She is watching everything, during the evening on HGTV. You should be advertising on HGTV in the evenings. She is watching 'America's Castles' on the History Channel. You should be advertising on the History channel.

She's watching 'Larry King Live' on CNN and 'Market Wrap' on CNBC. You should be advertising on CNN and CNBC. Why is she watching CNBC? Because today she in many cases makes more than her significant other and is more concerned about where she invests her money.

Using cable is all about selling your brand to her. It's your brand sell her. Use television. And remember,

"Nobody reads the newspaper any more."

Lance G. Hanish is the President of Lance Benefield & Co., Inc. Worldwide, a leading marketing communications firm serving home furnishings retailers. Questions on any aspect of television media management or production can be direct to Mr. Hanish care of FURNITURE WORLD Magazine at lhanish@furninfo.com.