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Retail Drug Advertising TO
A Department Conducted by RALPH BORSODI
QUALITY vs. QUANTITY.
Other things being equal, it is just as true of advertising as it is of pharmacy, that the man who best understands the "technique" underlying his work will produce the most effective advertisements or fill prescriptions most quickly and accurately. For this reason it is not an unprofitable occupation for the druggist occasionally to consider the elements that enter into the making of a successful advertisement---toanalyze the copy and determine what are the reasons for its success or its failure to achieve the objects the advertiser desired.
If all the arguments used in selling through advertisements were reduced to their barest essentials, the two divisions that would then appear and into which all the various arguments might be apportioned, would be arguments of quality and arguments of quantity. The cut-rate druggist obviously relies upon the public's love of bargains; his price argument is the most common form of the quantitative argument. On the other hand, when the druggist speaks of the purity and strength of his drugs, the accuracy with which prescriptions are filled, the completeness of his stocksor the services that he renders to the public, he is using arguments wholly qualitative in their nature.
In actual practice both kinds of arguments are used by the same druggist, frequently in the self-same advertisements. And yet there is good reason for keeping the two arguments strictly to the character of business the druggist is doing; to adopt a policy with regard to the trade that is desired and to shape the advertisements toward that policy. If the trade desired is that part of the public that is willing to pay for the very highest kind of services, that ignores to a large extent price if quality is in question, then it is obviously much wiser to emphasize the qualitative rather than the quantitative reasons for buying from any particular drug store. The quality appeal is, of course, reflected by the stock which the druggist carries, but the quality argument should complement and support it, not only in the newspaper advertisements, but as well in the window displays and in the make-up of the store itself. On the other hand, the druggist whose customers work for "wages" rather than for "salaries," or who deals with farmers in whom the mail-order propaganda has taken root, will find the quantitative arguments much more effective. In his case it is a waste of effort to lay too much stress upon those refinements of service and quality for which his trade makes no demand; it is good policy to try to show to what extent expenseshave been reduced in order to save money for his customers.
Most advertising copy is a mixture of the qualitative and quantitative arguments; the product is advertised as "the best at the price," which may mean either an article of high quality or it may not. Yet the druggist who wishes to make his advertisements appeal to his trade ought to try to direct them toward one or the other policy as his business may require; what his advertisements lose in broadness of claims they more than offset by their increased depth.
The druggist who is curious to know whether the copy he is using is adapted to the trade he is seeking, might do well to follow the suggestion here made:
"Test your copy, for the purpose of determining whether the argument is qualitative or quantitative by asking the following question: 'Will these arguments appeal to those buyers who want the most for their money, or will they appeal to those who want the best for their money?'
The war that is insuring such a cheerless Christmas to so much of the Christian world may dampen the cheer that ordinarily surrounds Christmas in this country, but it is doubtful if it will much affect the great annual buying fiesta. The shortage of toys and holiday goods usually imported from Europe will undoubtedly turn trade into channels that have heretofore been less freely employed.
Even if the druggist puts in no special line of Christmas goods, he will feel the stimulus of trade at this season. He can get the full benefit of it only if he lets his trade know what he has to offer to supply their needs. Many of the sidelines which he regularly carries have splendid gift possibilities; there is no reason why the public should buy from the great department stores what he can supply it just as well. The following excerpts from advertsiements of druggists show how it is possible to induce the public to patronize the drug stores at this time of the year.
Christmas is rapidly approaching-only twenty four more buying days remain, and the last of them will be days of such tremenduous activity that everybody will be staggering under the load. Why not make up your mind to simplify your task by looking over our stock? You will find innumerable gift suggestions in this great wideawake drug store, and the service is much better than anywhere else.
This pharmacy is overloaded with appropriate, acceptable Christmas gifts. You really must see the display of this-the leading drug store-to fully appreciate its magnitude and variety. The suggestions to be found here will furnish selections for many pleasing Christmas gifts. Throughout the line the high standard of quality is maintained and prices consistent with the values range to the popular fancy.
If you are not sure what to give, give a 1915 calendar. There is hardly a gift need that one of these beautiful calendars will not appropriately fill-whether you want to mail only a dainty remembrance or a substantial present. Anybody can send anybody a calendar-like books or greeting cards-and even the woman who has "everything" will be sure to appreciate one of these beautiful things.
Christmas cigars for ladies to give the gentlemen. When it comes to buying cigars for gift purposes, we're prepared to meet you on the ground floor with a big collection of popular brands in boxes of all sizes. Ladies need not hesitate in the least about buying here, for we're familiar with the tastes of the smokers of the town and carry a stock of most select brands. Prices from 50c to $5 the box.
A box of these candies, tastefully arranged-and we make a specialty of seeing to that in our candy section--and tied with up in a neat Christinas package, will make as acceptable a gift as you can find anywhere.
There is nothing that will please a man better than a box of fine flavored cigarsor a beautiful pipe. Every man wishes a good pipe and every time he smokes he will think of the giver; the better the cigars or the pipe, the greater the thanks. Our stock is not made of cigars and pipes that look good-and that is all. But here you will find just what the men like--at the low prices for which this store is famous.
Of course you'll want plenty of candy. Fancy spending a Christmas without letting the youngsters have plenty of the sweets for which they are so hungry. But if you want to avoid stomach aches the day after make sure that it is these pure sugar sticks and pure chocolates that you buy.
A camera for a Christmas present for your friend, nothing will give more constant and enduring pleasure. We have a splendid variety in our photo department--at prices ranging from $1 up. And if your friend is an amateur, we're here to help him use his camera to best advantage. We make a specialty of doing the difficult part of photography for amateurs--the developing and printing.
Here's a tip for men puzzled about what to give to her. We have an exceptionally attractive line of toilet needs for milady-everything from toilet waters to manicure sets. But the average man is handicapped when he undertakes to buy such things. Now we know exactly what the ladies of this city like; just let us know about what you wish to spend upon your gift and we will be glad to advise you as to just what is most appropriate.
WHAT DRUGGISTS CAN SAY.
The authority of law in our prescription department. When your doctor writes. your prescription he is authorized by law, by training and by experience to diagnose your case and prescribe for you. When you bring your prescription to us you get the advantages of all the authority that the law has invested in us. Registered pharmacists fill your prescriptions and every attention and detail is attended to, thereby assuring you of proper and correct results. You get this careful service without extra cost. McKinney's Drug Store, Corsicana, Fla.
We put two things in prescriptions your Doctor wants but doesn't order. Pure drugs and care. Entrust your prescriptions to us. We follow your doctor's directions for the remedy he prescribes to the letter, using pure fresh drugs in the compounding.-Ashworth's Drug Store, Connersville, Ind.
Chapped hands. If your face, lips or hands are chapped by the cold weather, try some of our special lotion that is making a hit with those who are using it. If it doesn't do just what we claim for it-soften your hands and protect your skin from the effects of the cold weather-bring it back and we will refund your money.
-Theatre Pharmacy Co., Mitchell, S. D.
Hot water bottles. We have completed an unusually attractive line in our rubber goods section. You will find just what you want among these hot water bottles, ranging in price from 49c to $2.50.--Jones Drug Co., Dubuque, Ia.
Our balsam of tar will stop that cough. North Carolina pine tar, the great curative element, forms the base of this most wonderful of all cough remedies. For the disagreeable little tickling in the throat, or the deep, hollow cough, and all through the intermediate stages of throat and lung affections our balsam of tar proves neverfailing. Phillips Drug Store, Lawrence, Mass.
There is nothing so bracing during the cold weather as an appetizing hot drink. Visit our soda fountain the next time you feel the least bit chilled and let us serve you some of the delicious Hot Chocolate, Hot Bouillion and other Hot Delicacies for which our dispenser is famous.--Mitchell Drug Co., Mitchell, S. D.
Candy special. Chocolate cover cherries, with whipped cream. Can you imagine a more delicious combination than this? They are made of fresh, carefully selected cherries,, combined with rich whipped cream and then heavily coated with chocolate. The result is one of the most delicious confections ever devised. We offer this special for today and tomorrow. You will say you never tasted a better 60c candy in your life. 39c.-Keith Drug Co., Shreveport, La.
Watch for our specials. Did you know that we often carry specials in candy, toilet articles, rubber accessories, soaps, etc? Many of our friends take advantage of this to save money. These specials are offered you at various times to make business for us. The goods marked at reduced prices are all from the regular stock. Here are a few that will interest you at this time.
--Brasher's Cash Drug Store, Pine Bluff, Ark.
If you will bring us your prescriptions we'll fill them right. (Illustrated with a youngster filling prescriptions.) To fill a prescription right a drug store must first have the right kind of preparations. Ours are pure and tested. Then knowledge and care must be used. Strychnine and Quinine look alike, but don't act alike. Our registered pharmacists know how to fill prescriptions and we verify every one before we send it out. This is why we deserve your drug business. We give you what you ask for.-Monroe Drug Company, Monroe, La.
For the hair we have a collection of combs that will certainly stand comparison with anything in the line that you are able to buy even in the big cities. We have every style, size and color, and each comb is sold with assurance of lasting satisfaction. --Danhauer's, Owensboro, Ky.
The greatest photographic advance in twenty years. We have the new Autographic Kodaks in stock. Date and title your negatives permanently when you make them. The places you visit, the autographs of friends you photograph, the age of the children at the time the pictures were made and the date-all these notations add to the value of your picture record. Come and let us show how simple it is to title your negatives with this newest photographic device-and inspect our complete stock of kodaks and supplies.--The Creech Drug Store, Elkhart, Ind.
The United States Chamber of Commerce has undertaken the study of food and drug control, and has appointed Mr B. L. Murray of New York, Chemist for Merck & Co., as chairman of the subcommittee on drug control and Mr. A. J. Porter of Niagara Falls, with the Shredded Wheat Company, as chairman of the sub-committee on food control.
The committee has approved the methods of the Bureau in charge of the enforcement of the Federal Law, which tend to equal and uniform enforcement.
The main object of the committee will. be to seek uniformity in state laws having to do with food and drugs and in this connection we quote the Committee's definition of 'uniformity.'
"Uniformity as the committee would define it involves the highest degree of efficiency in food and drug control which it is possible to have prevail universally and equally in every part of the nation. The Federal, State and Municipal laws and their regulations would, if perfect uniformity were attainable, reach the level of full and complete efficiency and thereby afford equal protection and a uniform standard of living for all the people. Uniformity accomplished places merit and the general public interest over local political or geographical divisions. This committee will, therefore, direct its efforts and consideration toward the accomplishment of uniformity. The committee cannot but feel impressed with the magnitude, the importance, and the seriousness of its work. It cannot but feel the need for the closest study of the subject. And again the committee cannot but feel the necessity for the fullest and most cordial co-operation between itself and the officials and all others concerned. The committee will, of necessity, act deliberately and slowly, making certain of each step, considering only the important problems of national char
drugs both from the view point of moral uplift and the effect of such legislation on their business. We imagine few have, however, adopted any specific plan for securing information from customers who are users of habit-forming drugs. One of our readers, Mr. E. A. Hartman of Bryan, Ohio, has had printed a blank asking for the following information: Drug used; Who first gave it to you? How long did you get it from this source? How did you learn what you were using? How long have you used this drug? The blank also provides for date, city, signature and two witnesses.
Mr. Hartman says he finds it slow work getting these blanks filled, but from those he has secured, coupled with his experience of twenty-five years in the retail drug business he is satisfied that "ninety percent of the drug habit is caused by the medical profession and will continue so until we find some way to curb the doctors' use of such drugs as morphine and cocaine."
We hope that when the Harrison Bill tions will be fully met to the satisfaction comes up for final action, these condiand protection of all concerned-the public, the physicians and the pharmacists.
Gratitude, business courtesy and reciprocity are three very closely related words in some applications and the Missouri Pharmaceutical Association has evidently recognized this fact in acknowledging its gratitude for courtesies extended to its members by seeking a reciprocal return from them.
In a letter signed by the President, O. J. Cloughly, the Association calls attention to the large part played in their annual meetings by the manufacturers and jobbers, through their representatives, in furnishing the entertainment and social features which all would so greatly miss if discontinued. The letter urges the members to acknowledge these courtesies by reciprocating in the way of orders to the houses to whom the Association is indebted, and encloses a