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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

And It Came

I always admire the advertising and promotional efforts of local businesses, particularly through the use of road-side signs. Since they're independently owned, they tend to have more freedom of expression and often produce worthwhile messages.

Take, McMaster Sports, a small chain of sporting good stores with a location directly across Main Street from McMaster University.

Near Christmas time, when the high temperatures and lack of winter weather or snow felt like Global Warming was going to cancel winter altogether, their road-side sign read:

BUY THEM AND THE SNOW WILL COME

(They were referring to ski's, of course. And I love the allusion to the "build it and they will come statement from "Field of Dreams" -- ten bonus points to anyone who can answer in the comments with the book by the Canadian speculative fiction author that this Kevin Costner movie was based on)

Then, shortly after snow FINALLY arrived in Hamilton, I noticed that they updated the sign to read:

THANKS TO THAT GUY WHO BOUGHT THE SKI'S

Gotta love that.

I used to have similar fun with the road-facing display on Slater street in Ottawa when I worked at Prospero Books on Bank Street. I used a cardboard cutout of Oprah in the window, wrote short snappy dialogue bubbles between her and another cardboard cutout, often talking about recent books or news items. And I was specifically writing it for those people whom I knew sat there at a red light on a bus (the Ottawa transitway went past the store, so basically most buses heading to or coming from downtown's central Rideau Centre went by our store). I think I did this for several months and have no idea if anyone passing by noticed or if they enjoyed it.

I remember the last one I put up (when I was transferring from Ottawa to Hamilton to open up the Chapters in Ancaster -- waaaay back in 1997) had the two characters exchange the following dialogue:

Oprah: That guy who writes these messages is leaving the store this week.
Other Guy: I wonder how long it'll be before someone changes this window.

Of course, I never did find out how long my window display stayed up before anyone else on staff there noticed and changed it.

4 comments:

lime said...

hahaha, i gotta love advertisers and proprietors with a sense of humor about themselves.

no bonus points for me, i'm clueless

lime said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I love signs that make me stop and pay attention. The most creative ones around here are church signs. Oh well.

An easy g00gle -
Shoeless Joe, written by William P. Kinsella.

Kimberly said...

dammit, someone got to it first...

I too knew that it was Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella.