A long shot? Jordan's launches new Sox promotion
Jordan's Furniture is hoping to turn a long shot for its customers into a marketing hit for the chain.
As part of its ongoing "Monster" campaign, customers who buy anything at one of the regional chain's stores from April 1 through May 2 won't have to pay for their purchase if a Red Sox player hits the image of a Jordan's Furniture baseball on the company sign at Fenway Park between July 15 and the end of the season Oct. 3.
Could Sox slugger David Ortiz actually hit the baseball on Jordan's Fenway sign, which measures six feet by twelve feet and hangs 421 feet from home plate? It may sound like slim chances for customers to get the free goods.
But the odds for the "Monster" promotions - which began three years ago when the company issued rebate checks to 24,000 customers after the Red Sox World Series win - have certainly favored the company, serving as successful branding tools for the furniture retailer, said one advertising expert.
"Jordan's has always found ways to touch their customers with their corny, slap-dash humorous ads," said Chris Cakebread, a Boston University advertising professor who noted that the new campaign is reminiscent of old time minor league baseball promotions where fans won samples of products if the home team struck a home run off a sign.
Other brands have tried similar approaches by having athletes score a hit off a sponsor's sign. Last year, MasterCard Worldwide, in partnership with Major League Baseball, had a "Hit It Here" promotion at Busch Stadium in St. Louis to raise money for cancer awareness. In 2004, Taco Bell positioned a giant "Free Taco Here" bull's eye in the World Series games in St. Louis.
Of Jordan's new campaign, Cakebread said that "clearly this promotion is a challenge even for major league hitters."
Eliot Tatelman, Jordan's chief executive officer and president, estimates that the Sox - and customers - have at least 3,000 chances for the ball to strike the sign's baseball. There's only two restrictions: the ball can't ricochet off a bleacher seat or a fan's hands, said Tatelman.
"The ball has to go directly from the bat and hit our ball on the sign," he said. "Whether the Red Sox are in first place or last place, every time a Red Sox batter gets up to bat, you have a chance."
If the Red Sox don't hit the baseball image on Jordan's sign during the team's 35 home games, Tatelman said the company will give customers who shopped at the chain during the promotional period a coupon worth 20 percent of their total purchase toward any future purchase.
This photo taken Monday in Fenway Park shows how far the Jordan's sign in center field is from home plate. ( David L Ryan / Globe Staff Photo)