Sunday's drive up your blog… with Ramblin' Rooster

The official blog of

Posts Tagged ‘advertising tricks

Limited Time Offer

with 2 comments

I’ll admit it; I was cut loose, kicked out, expelled, asked to leave and booted from “marketing skool”. So I never got my degree and I missed the week where they talked about the “limited time offer” ploy. Just looking at it written out I get tingly all over just thinking of its genius. Limited time offer, it just sounds so wonderful, scary and exciting.


Here is the exclusive, behind the scenes look at the transcript from the first meeting that launched the LTO movement.


“Hey Dave, thanks for meeting with me today.”

“No problem Phil, thank you for taking a look at my ad campaign.”

“That’s what you’re paying me for”

[They both laugh]

“I’ve been giving your restaurant a lot of thought and I’ve come up with an idea. You need more people to come, but less often.”


“Just bare with me Dave, you get traffic, but it’s boring, stale traffic, those people are going to come eat there no matter what. You need to make people feel like if they don’t stop by your restaurant that they’ll be missing out on something, that they blew it, that they were left out.”

“Um… OK? But how do I…”

“It’s so easy, limited time offer! Limited. Time. Offer. Just say it. Doesn’t it just scream urgency?”

“I guess I don’t underst…”

“Dave, jesus, pull your head out! Have a cup of coffee or rub hot sauce in your eyes or something. You need to think up some kind of gimmicky sandwich, something that’s a lot like all your other sandwiches, but has just a little something extra, say like mushrooms or Swiss cheese. Then you run a huge campaign that says, This Sandwich For A Limited Time Only So Hurry In!”

“But if people liked it, why wouldn’t I just add it to the menu permanently?”

“Are you the stupidest man alive? How did you ever get to where you are without me? For @#$* sake Dave! If they can buy the sandwich anytime they wanted, they’re not going to buy it! They only want it till it’s gone!”

“OK, you don’t have to yell.”

“Tell you what; you can bring it back every year. Yea… it will be our Back By Popular Demand campaign. I’m so @#$%&* brilliant, I really should be charging you more.”


There you have it, the history of how the LTO became the greatest idea of American advertising. You know when I read that transcript it really does make a lot of sense and all my hate and anger just melts away.


I wonder if that’s only for a limited time.


Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

February 23, 2009 at 5:00 am

The Opposite Is True?

leave a comment »

What kind of world have we made for ourselves? When did the cynic take over the hearts and minds of all the citizens of the universe? I remember a time not that long ago, when being cynical would get you a scoff or scowl at the very least if not a disapproving confirmation that you were one, (as if to be shunned). Now it’s as though the cynic is the new cool, a staple of society, your friend that waits lurking around every corner.

There’s so much to discredit, discount and disregard these days. As soon as we hear something we dismiss it immediately without investigation or even truly hearing it. “Gas is only $1.50 a gallon!” “Yeah right, probably need a car wash or buy a case of soda pop to get it.” No matter what it is, it’s always “too good to be true”. I’ve heard that since I was born. “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” What a sour grape that is. How depressing. No wonder we all take mood stabilizing medication, (or should). “Hey did you hear some good news? Yeah, it’s total bullshit!” “Hey thanks for ruining my day with your optimism.” The phrase that plagues this world of consumers is, “What’s the catch?” The funny thing is it doesn’t matter. What’s the catch, what’s it matter? You can borrow $20 and you’ll have to pay back $40 in two weeks. OK, sounds good!

I realize that the cliché is true in some cases, (obviously), but it isn’t the rule of thumb. I find myself being crippled by the stigmata of it. I can’t even read e-mail jokes anymore that have the tag of “Hilarious”, “Funniest joke of the year”, “This is hysterical”, “Totally true story” simply because I know it can’t be true. Every restaurant has the best “lunch deal”. Every store has the “best deal”, the “lowest price” or the “guaranteed best, lowest price”, (my personal favorite). Every car is the “best model in its class”, “best overall value” and “best in customer satisfaction”.

I can’t go anywhere or do anything without feeling pulled in numerous directions for any option I can think of. How can the world be full of such wonder products, services, and choices, yet be stricken with so many problems and crappy customer service or cheap junk that breaks taking it out of the box? It’s like the whole 99 cent thing that has never seemed to die. $19.99 is twenty dollars, you’re not fooling me! If the kids ask me to buy them something, I ask how much does it cost. They tell me it’s $9.99. The first thing I think of is, “Do I have ten dollars?” I’ve never, ever thought, “That’s LESS than ten dollars, that’s cheap! Go grab two kids!”

You can’t blame them for treating us like we’re stupid though, because that’s how we act. Day in, day out, we run around like lost sheep looking for the best deal, best price, best ranked, newest model at the lowest price in town from the greatest store ever.

How could that ever breed cynicism?

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

December 16, 2008 at 4:38 am