Benchmarks: Custom-Design Ads


Published in the March 2012 issue

If anything has to look or sound good, it's the ads for your custom design services. After all, if you can’t showcase your own personality well, customers may have a hard time believing you can do it for them. And you should be pushing your custom services. “I don’t think anything’s more special than having something that’s individually yours,” says Ellen Fruchtman, president of Fruchtman Marketing. “Customers can’t price-shop it either.” When advertising, she says, it’s essential to let customers know that custom design doesn’t automatically cost more or take more time.

REMINDER: All of the ads shown here, whether created by the stores themselves or by an outside firm, are copyrighted. So use them for inspiration only. Don’t copy them; make them your own!


Mark Loren Designs, Fort Myers, FL
MARK LOREN keeps it simple, choosing different pieces to run every month in each of the windows in his print ads, and calling out his status as a national award-winning designer. He’s also working on an eye-catching lenticular prism flier for direct mail: Tilt it one way, and you’ll see a junky old ring; tilt it the other, and it becomes a cool custom design.




Goldsmiths Kauai, Kapaa, HI
(Credit: Tsunami Marketing)

GOLDSMITH KAUAI showcases its three inhouse designers’ talents with bold, full-page ads in local visitor publications. Doing so has turned the off-thebeaten- path shop into a tourist destination. The sketch in the lower left subtly hints at the store’s custom services, which, says co-owner Dana Romsdal, have been a big draw among repeat clients wanting pieces reworked during the recession.



Von Bargen’s, Hanover, NH
When it's customer advisory board suggested the store use testimonials to promote its custom studio, Von Bargen’s invited recent clients to discuss their experiences. The results were some great, natural-sounding radio spots, like one with local couple Brett and Mindy: “I didn’t know much about rings or jewelry or anything like that, but they basically said they could do whatever we wanted,” Brett says. “We customized everything, from the band, the bridge, the diamond — they just bent over backwards.” Print ads and duratrans window posters rounded out the campaign.



MC Ginsberg, Iowa City, IA
Mark Ginsberg likes doing things his way. He prefers selling custom work over anything else, and he doesn’t mind if someone finds his ads off-putting. When Iowa legalized same-sex marriage, he worked with graphic design student Kristeen Wegner to create an ad that told gay couples he was happy to build a ring for them. His latest campaign highlights the new work his shop does on the side, manufacturing surgical models of human organs for doctors to practice on.



Saxon Jewelers, Highland Heights, OH
Mike Saxon was hunting for adverting options when a friend asked if he’d be interested in a Valpak promotion. He had written off the direct-mail coupon packs years before, afraid they’d cheapen his image. But he took another look, liked the quality and really liked the rate. The first day it went out, he got a dozen calls for his patented personalized LoveLetter pendants and his custom services.