Skip to main content

"Listen" to this radio ad, written by The Wizard of Advertising, Roy H. Williams. It's for a realtor, but it could be for a used car dealer ... or for you:

ANNOUNCER: Did you ever see Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's? Distinctive. Avant-garde. Sophisticated. Straight out of The New Yorker magazine. This is the house of Holly Golightly. Ridiculously retro. Definitely not for everyone. But absolutely adorable. And it has a driveway built for a sports car. There's only one and this is it. Two hundred and twenty-nine thousand. And the shrubbery! I'm not even going to try to describe it. Listed by Harvey Rich Realtors, of course. Harvey Rich has all the interesting houses.

REALTOR: Boring houses are for boring people. Harvey Rich has interesting houses. And I'd love to show you this one. 555-5555 Harvey Rich.

Story continues below advertisement

The ad follows these rules:

Ponder the distinctive element in a sample of the product until it triggers the memory of a cultural icon.

Pull the icon into your ad copy.

Always mention the price. But never mention the square footage, the number of bedrooms, or the address - the other factors that buyers may be interested in but, if given, might keep them from calling you, and having you find out what they want, and then building a relationship.

Report an error
About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨