What’s behind the cyber Monday print ads for Omaha Steaks?


Today is ‘Cyber Monday’ the Monday after the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday and stories abound from the start of the shopping weekend kicked off by ‘Black Friday’. Of course as everyone now knows the sales began on Thanksgiving evening itself. Our daughter and her college age high school friends trekked up to the mall at midnight on Friday morning and literally shopped ‘til they dropped since she arrived home at 5:00 AM on Friday morning.

Personally I spent $9.86 at Radio Shack on Friday buying a cable for my iPod. That was the sum total of my Black Friday/holiday weekend purchases. Somehow retailers in the U.S. have managed to make a four day event out of the period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Since I am so deeply involved in marketing in general I have to go beyond the online world and pay attention to all channels – including print. This morning’s New York Times and Wall Street Journal both carried quarter page ads for long time direct marketer Omaha Steaks www.omahasteaks.com . (Full disclosure – our team is helping local New York City online food retailer www.nykoshersteaks.com so I am more attuned to the marketplace than most people.)

When looking closely at the two ads side by side I found some interesting differences. The demographic and psychographic profiles of NYT readers and WSJ readers are rife with differences – and similarities. Socio-economically the two audiences would not seem to be that different. However behaviorally and psychographically the two audiences are very different. Keep that in mind when you take a look at the two ads side by side.

First, the Wall Street Journal ad offer is $10 higher than then one for the New York Times. That is further evidenced by the purported savings of $116.01 for NYT readers vs. $102.01 savings for WSJ readers. Is there an insinuation that WSJ readers can pay more and take less of a perceived bargain than NYT readers?

Second, the offerings are different. Both offer the same 2 FREE GIFTS, but the make-up of the WSJ offer is different than the NYT offer. This makes it more difficult to compare but it is interesting that NYT readers are offered 8 Gourmet Jumbo Franks (franks being gourmet is a difficult concept for me in the first place) and no filet mignons, while WSJ readers are offered burgers (not termed gourmet thankfully) instead of franks AND a 6 inch chocolate cake. NYT readers are also offered 4 boneless chicken breasts while WSJ are not.

The phone numbers to call on both ads are the same. The order codes are different. The ads are well constructed with photos and calls to action prominently displayed. There’s no doubt Omaha Steaks with $450 million in 2011 revenue and more than 2,000 employees http://bit.ly/V1QfM8 understands direct marketing. But I find the differences in the two ads to be interesting and indicative of behavioral targeting in the print world – something many people think is limited only to the online world.

What do you think of the differences between the two ads? What does it say to you?

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver, baseball lover
This entry was posted in Advertising, Customer Experiences, Direct marketing, Marketing stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s behind the cyber Monday print ads for Omaha Steaks?

  1. Looks to me as if they are testing offers/pricing. I wonder if these ads are full run or regional, or if there are copy splits by paper. As you know I’m a firm believer in segmenting targets and matching messages–as seen in my first blog post http://wp.me/p2edMw-7.


    • markkolier says:

      Your post was in the back of my mind so I’m glad you commented David. I too wonder of the copy is split regionally or even only run regionally – i.e. maybe this kind of Omaha Steaks messaging does not play all that well in …. Omaha for example. I hope others found that it was both interesting and revealing to see these two ads side by side.


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