How to Buy Advertising in a Recession

restaurant matchbook covers

Turning up the Heat with Matchbook Advertising

So your ad budget has been cut.  The pandemic has shifted dollars from ad spend to necessary operational or administrative costs.  Maybe you are so unsure of how the recovery is going to unfold, so you are holding onto your cash.  Or your boss has simply said “No” spending.

In times so financial difficulty, advertising budgets are often the first cut.  According to a June 16, 2020, Wall Street Journal article “Ad Spending in U.S. Forecast to Dive 13%” the advertising industry is going to take a real hit.  So if you have cut your ad budget, you are not alone.  National and local brands are cutting back.  Even sole proprietors are watching the purse strings very carefully. 

The PPP (Paychex Protection Program) funds don’t allow for any advertising expense forgiveness.  Even though it is crucial to your restaurant’s health to get the word out that you are now open for business (with whatever your state restrictions are), the forgivable PPP funds can’t be used for that.

What are your options for promoting your business in a post-covid environment?  How can you maximize your spend to reach the most people?  What is the most affordable advertising?

  • Digital advertising

Many business owners are focusing on digital advertising.  There is an endless range of price points for buying this type of advertising.  Most common is the ‘per click’.  So you only pay if your ad gets a “hit”.

This type of advertising is critical for any business.  And if you don’t want to spend on digital because it seems complicated (i.e., Google Ads or Facebook Ads), there is always the free and easy to use Google-My-Business.  Also known as GMB.

If you haven’t set up your GMB page, do it now.  Like right now.  Stop reading this blog, and go to the setup page.  After you have started that process, come back and finish reading the blog, because now we get to the good stuff.

  • Print advertising

Say what?  Who is investing in print these days.  Well the answer is less than before.  Print advertising is falling at a rate of 26% (source:  WSJ, 6/16/2020, Ad Spending in U.S. Forecast to Dive 13%).  We are particularly sad about this because the iconic print industry helped to build this country.  But as a realist, we understand that technology and time move one.  Magazines and newspapers, publishers of all types of distributed printed content, are feeling the downward pressure.  To offset the decline, print publishers are augmenting with digital media.

  • Promotional Products

Saving the best for last.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  The creative designers who miss the tangible output of a well-crafted print ad campaign, can look to promotional products to get their creative fix.

Print on matchbooks and box matches.  Why not?  These palm-billboards are a tiny canvas for your logo or message.  And they can be created in thousands, so you can gleefully give one to each of our cherished customers. 

The cost?  Pennies each.  There are price points for every budget.  The flexibility to design is almost endless, and the lead time is a just 10-working days.  Best of all – the matches are made right here in the good old USA by D.D. Bean and Atlas Match.  Produced by… wait for it… real matchmakers.  Our staff has been mixing chemicals, punching match stems from recycled paperboard, and printing match covers since 1938.  So why not give it a try?  The risk is small for you and the upside is huge.

The answer to buying advertising in a recession starts with matchbooks.  Use this unique and American Made tiny-canvas to get your message across.  Once you have this give-away match at your restaurant or bar or other business, the consumer will do the rest.  They take the matches and from there it travels with them to be viewed by as many as 10-new people.  And that’s not all – the match holder, the one who accepted your generous gift of a matchbook, will see the image at least 20-times – repetition is the key to memorable advertising.

Spark Your Imagination:

Please Pass the Clutter

Match Collection

Don’t throw away your match collection!  You might be caught up in the trendy “minimizing” movement.  And good for you.  It feels GREAT to clean up your space and clear out clutter.  But when it comes to mementos like matches – one of a kind little works of art – don’t toss them in the garbage.  This is one of those times when your trash is someone else’s treasure.

A phillumenist is someone who collects matches.  There are thousands of phillumenists who would love to have your cast-offs.  Amateur collectors might be interested in taking your restaurant matches too.  You never know which matchbook or box match triggers a sweet memory for someone. 

Matches are like memory anchors.  When you see the cover of a matchbook, naming a restaurant where you last had dinner with your spouse, it tugs at your memory and pulls out the dinner date.  Reliving the experience brings you joy. 

Maybe the match is a box of wooden sticks with the logo of your favorite barbeque place.  When you see that box you can almost taste the mesquite flavor of the smoked brisket.  And who was with you?  Was it your son or daughter?  Possibly an old friend?  Life is hard enough; we need our cherished memories.

So you could choose to make your match collection an accessory to your home , or you could continue with the minimizing trend and “when in doubt, throw it out”.  Maybe a mixture of both? 

But instead of tossing them into the garbage, reach out to the Rathkamp Matchcover Society.  They are the modern stewards of a century old match collecting tradition.  They may be interested in salvaging your collection, because they know that vintage matches are worth saving.