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April 15, 2009

The best (or worst) form of advertising ...

coburn's... is to get a kid to write on your chalkboard.

I thought this sign, which sat outside Coburn's (2921 O'Donnell St.) last Friday during lunchtime, was pretty cute. 

Did it work? Well, I didn't go in.

But I still crack a smile when I think about the sign. So maybe it did.

Any advertising peeps out there who want to weigh in on this one? Patchen, perhaps?

It got me thinking -- what are some of the best local bar/restaurant ads you've seen? ...

I remember Rub (1843 Light St.) used to have a scandalous slogan about "rubbing your meat" or something like that. But I can't think of many others that really stick out in my mind.

Maybe that's because it's too early in the morning for my brain to function properly. You got any others for me?

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:38 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Worst kind? Posting on Midnight Sun advertising a business pretending you are an average joe customer.

it's cute. but if i were to guess, maybe someone who knows the owners dropped by with kids in tow, and said children got bored, and the owner really didn't mind.

other than that, besides cost factor, i don't see a legit reason to use this consistently, as opposed to "leaving it up until our next special night".

also, if we talk targeting, it's pretty easy to guess why (and Sam, is a good example of this) males wouldn't really take this to heart. it's not that cute child hand writing repulses us, it's just that it doesn't entice us. i'm making an unfounded guess, but i'd assume that the demographics of bar patrons on any given day/night, tend to skew slightly towards males. mom's that go "awww" aren't exactly the kind of customers to sustain a business.

as for the best local restaurant ads i've seen, i really think (if we classify "best" as most effective in terms of reach) that the bars that have myspace/facebook/twitter/etc. are doing it right. how easy and cost effective is it to send out a status update or tweet about specials that night? those can just as easily get passed along via the web, in the same terms as "pass along" value relates to print media.

Your link should be to

Thank you. I was looking for this place yesterday and could not remember the name of it.

There's an amazing BBQ shack out in Cockeysville called Shorty's -- they catered the rehearsal dinner for my wedding. Painted on the side of their van: "Shorty: His Meat Tastes Good in Your Mouth"

Oooh, hard not to weigh in when so directly called out!

I'd say the effectiveness depends on the character of the place. I think a kid-drawn sign would help a coffeeshop or family-friendly vegetarian place—that smile moment Sam experienced might be just the thing to draw in coffee-cravers or stroller-pushers.

For most bars and restaurants, it's more of a toss-up. On a day I had no specials?—sure! But I'd be nuts to do it, say, on half-price burger day at Kooper's. That message real estate is too precious, and those cheap burgers too delicious...

(Also, I think cute signs are also more a lunch thing than an evening thing, unless you're an ice cream shop. If you serve alcohol, come Happy Hour you better post your specials.)

Then again, Sam remembered and blogged. Memorability + word of mouth = potential gold mine. Good for Coburn's!

"Posting on Midnight Sun advertising a business pretending you are an average joe customer."

That takes place on the MS. I'm shocked! I tell you...absolutely shocked!

Any-who, here's an interesting and timely article on TV fast food advertising
published yesterday in the Sun.

It details Salman Rushdie's (The Satanic Verses) ex-squeeze Padma Lakshmi gettin' jiggy wit a hamburger.

The article is fairly comprehensive, but fails to mention the current moronic BK burger shots advertisement.

There used to be a shop on Kenwood Ave. called Mike's Meat Market. Their slogan was "Nobody beats Mikes meat"

finally a little honest character in canton. Instead of the big bar battles, we see a little old charm! thank you Coburn's, for allowing the personal touch back in the local businesses that we so love.

"Posting on Midnight Sun advertising a business pretending you are an average joe customer."

I had No Idea that this happened here on the Midnight Sun, I Don't Know who would pretend to be an average Joe Customer.

LOL at jason

Ironic how the exact sign and children that drew me into Coburns that day would end up here! I parked my car on Curley St and was walking up to the square with no clue where i wanted to eat when two adorable little girls having a ton of fun trying to mimic the real lunch special board that was posted at Coburns asked how i was doing today...after a short conversation with them i decided thats where i was going to eat, and they were totally the reason! This was my first trip in there and i am glad they drew me in, EVERYTHING was awesome!! I watched the same two little girls pull in six, i kid you not, six tables for the young waitress working that day. Im sure that is not their everyday way to market but it sure worked that day for the majority of the people walking aimlessly trying to decide where to eat. Good job girls and way to go Coburns for adding a little personal touch for your customers! :-)

I find the sign endearing, like would find a child's artwork that's been tack to someone's refridgerator

Apparently, the women like the cute, genteel attitude of the photographed sign.
The guys seem to find the coy adolescent sex innunedo slogans to be the most memorable.

Somewhere I heard that one of the most effective form of advertising are printed tee shirts.

"Posting on Midnight Sun advertising a business pretending you are an average joe customer".
If this the most effective way for any business to advertise, their in serious trouble and have a lot of free time that could more profitably spent elsewhere.

"gettin' jiggy" - did real people ever say that after or even during it's 5 minutes of popularity 10 years ago?

JD - are there any average joe customers that blog here? I thought we were an above average crowd here, or in the business.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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