This German restaurant advert could be so much… besser


Saint Paul, MN


Yesterday I mentioned that burger joint’s weaksauce newspaper ad. It could be so much better.

Well it’s pretty early, but I had it on the brain all last night. I thought I’d write some more about the advert.

Here’s the ad itself:


The Bierstube is a local chain of German-inspired restaurants. To be honest, they lean more towards Hamburgers than towards Rinderrouladen, if my memory is correct.

Bar food with a bit of a dark atmosphere, for the location I’ve been to.

Right now I’m reading Ca$hvertising, one of the better books I’ve picked up on persuasion and marketing.

As I page through Ca$hvertising, I come across many examples that the Bierstube ad fails to use:

  • There is no mouthwatering description of the food at Bierstube. Not a single sense is touched upon. Where’s the visual description of the environment, the gustatory description of the mouth-watering food and the many beers on tap? Do they offer pool or darts, and is the equipment maintained? Is there any outdoor seating when the weather improves?
  • The ad gives no Benefits for the reader. Does the restaurant accommodate large parties, offer instant seating, serve a Happy Hour, have delectable daily specials, or welcome children or families? How fresh is the food?
  • Social Proof could show this is a popular spot. A small testimonial from a satisfied customer would go a long way, especially if it covered any of the above points.
  • Is the food authentic German? Can they claim any authority to their recipes?
  • Is there any urgency to get to the Friday Night Fish Fry before they sell out? What time does that deadline usually arrive?

Now, I don’t have the answers to these questions. Perhaps it’s a bit different at each location, and some delicious market research would be necessary.

But any of these points could be included in the ad — much like they are on the ads surrounding this one (bottom-right of the page):


As you know, this isn’t the only example of poor marketing out there.

I saw a horrible billboard yesterday proclaiming “Free Home Evaluations, Powered By EXP.”

What is that?

I’ll tell you what it is:

An opportunity for someone who is interested in persuasion.


PS Drew Eric Whitman’s Ca$hvertising is a concise book that covers a lot of psychology of marketing. It might be the most practical book I’ve read on marketing and implementation of persuasion.

I highly recommend Ca$hvertising for actual use, not just a theoretical understanding of persuasive concepts. I put it up near the top of my list, along with Scott Adams’ Win Bigly, for learning and applying techniques of persuasion.

Which makes me ask myself — what are the top books I’ve read so far?…