Ain't It Clever?

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This story first appeared in the May 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

SEEN: Attention-getting headline in a half-page newspaper ad for a local linen store: "You never call. You never write. Is it too much to ask you to come to our White Sale?"

HEARD: A TV pitchman's closing line in a commercial for a new car dealership, located in the suburbs of a major city: "We're just 16 minutes south of higher prices."

SEEN: A direct-marketer runs his newspaper ads on bad-weather days (after checking the long-range forecast a week before), and claims a 20 percent bump in inquiries when prospects are inclined to stay home.

SEEN: To reduce delinquent payments, a utility is offering third-party notification services. If someone you care about is prone to such absent-mindedness, the utility will let you know when he or she receives a late notice.

Jerry Fisher is Entrepreneur's "Ad Wisdom" columnist.

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