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Denny’s Daily Zinger: What Does This $194,166.00 Ad Accomplish?

June 27, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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On June 20, 2014, the executive team of the Metropolitan Opera signed a full-page advertisement in The New York Times. The title:

An Open Letter to Opera Lovers from the Board of the Metropolitan Opera
The lede:
As readers of the New York Times know, the Metropolitan Opera is currently in the midst of contract negotiations with 15 of the 16 unions representing employees that work at the Met. These contracts come up for renewal every few years, but this year the Met's strained financial condition has made the negotiations more difficult, and raised a number of issues that we would like to address here.

What follows is a harangue about the mean unions administering death by a thousand cuts to a grand old institution. Two-thirds of the $300 million annual budget goes to the unions. Donations are down and attendance is off.

The Met is seriously in the red.

The situation is hopeless.

Takeaways to Consider

  • The open letter is all about "we," "us" and "our."
  • Cost of a full-page Times ad: $194,166.
  • If 10 percent of the 1.898 million Times readers are Met customers, the appalling cost to reach each person is $97.80.
  • The ad makes no offer. Does not ask for money. Does not request for any kind of reply, feedback or ideas.
  • The net-net of the letter: It's like peeing in blue serge. It makes the writers feel warm all over and nobody notices.
  • My take: a total waste of money the Met does not have.

Denny Hatch's new book is "Write Everything Right!" Basia Christ writes, "I read the book in two days … I couldn't put it down! It is fun reading filled with resources, anecdotes, and although I have an MBA in marketing, I learned much more from your book than many of my classes." Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at dennyhatch@yahoo.com.

 
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