As soon as he left the shoe shop, where he’d professed he could move needy human feet, our erstwhile protagonist headed back to Mirror HQ.
Here he related to the always buzzing-with-energy Gord Dancey his progress to date. Gord’s eyes nearly bugged-out of his head as he listened to his his young protege’s debriefing. He announced to one and all (that would be Kevin, our part-time reporter/editor/ drag queen) “this boy’s a genius!” and dragged the young adman to the layout table.
Here he conducted a brief tutorial on how to make draft ads look real. For our champion, here was where the real fun really began!
The table was long and flat, and sat under plenty of light. There was a glass-topped table with parallel fluorescent tubes under it, and a large articulated draftsman’s table, upon the work surface of which lay a green, rubbery mat into which Exacto blades could slice leaving no scar (handy for cutting the lines of copy for hot wax).
Scattered about lay Exacto knives, blue pencils, border tape, layout paper … and over-sized books of screened clipart featuring hundreds of ready-to-print images of happy consumers and friendly shopkeepers for its life blood, the monochromatic ads,
Don’t imagine for a minute that this equipment resembled in any way, shape or form its equivalent found in Steelcase Workplace catalogues; or don’t think that the clipart books were anything other than picked-over, cut-up throw-aways.
No, the furnishings were constructed out of rough cut plywood and 6d nails, all in full compliance with the ancient traditions of DIY newspapers! But for our boy, this was like walking into Santa’s workshop where happy elves crafted ads so magical they could move feet!
A quick study, he carefully created an ad, that in his opinion, would have those feet itching for new shoes (not to mention the bicyclists fighting for a place in the free test ride queue generated by quarter page ads for a bike shop featuring those free test rides)!
Gord praised the efforts (he was quite encouraging), glued them to thick mat board overlaid with tracing paper affixed to one edge in such a way so as to allow for the unveiling of the ad, like a curtain rising on a grand production! It was beautiful!
On the appointed hour, our adman showed up at the shoe shop, briefcase in hand, enthusiastic smile, ready for business.
He lay his case down, shook hands with the shopkeeper and started a conversation about something they’d discussed previously. He purposely didn’t mention the briefcase or the ad concealed within.
He wanted the prospect to ask for it … another old maxim of salesmanship … and sooner or later, the prospect will ask for it. After all, his curiosity’s aroused!
So young Joe jumps at the question, “Oh, yes! Of course! Let’s have a look!”
He pulls out a special folder protecting the ad, withdraws it, lifts the tracing paper as if it were covering a sketch by Titian, presents the ad with appropriate dramatic flourish accompanied by explanations of it’s many compelling features.
As you might expect, selling the ad from that point on was easy.
By now friendly prospect felt that this adman overflowing with so much self-assurance must be good! Plus he held visual evidence that looked pretty good, which, in a round-about fashion, he’d authorized.
So, without any prodding on the part of our cub, the shopkeeper said, “Yeah. I think I’d like to try this.”
To which the young solicitor replied, “No. No. I’m sorry, but I can’t sell it to you.”
What? He said NO? Why? Find out in our next inspiring installment of Finding my way … The Burnaby Mirror, part 5, HAS OUR BOY LOST HIS MARBLES?
Disclaimer: this snapshot in time was taken long ago. Today Burnaby is a thriving, integral part of the Lower Mainland, filled with commerce and gentle, loving citizens … who love hockey and beer!
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