Amway: We’re Your Neighbors

Nope, it’s not as catchy of a phrase as “the pause that refreshes” or as direct as “15 minutes could save you hundreds on auto insurance“, but it is the slogan used in an Amway television commercial.

A commercial that didn’t air on some late night Andy Griffith re-run on a WB affiliate; but it did air during major televised NFL football games.

The commercial featured the standard “heartland” instrumental score, with shots of Amway distributors(actors)working in their daily jobs. I specifically remember the farmer on his tractor in the field. And the voice-over was something like “What kind of people are Amway distributors?”(paraphrased from memory) and it ended with a distributor and a kid sitting somewhere peaceful and serene(maybe it was the farmer) and then “Amway” would appear on the screen with the voice-over saying Amway…We’re Your Neighbors”

Since I announced Quixtar would start an advertising campaign featuring both TV and print ads in the coming months, there’s been some talk about how Quixtar “doesn’t advertise”. But, “doesn’t advertise” doesn’t mean would never or have never advertise.

Beth Dornan at Inside Quixtar Communications stated:

“It’s true that Quixtar hasn’t advertised since its launch in 1999. But Amway did, with a modest campaign that ended in the late 1990s. At the beginning of the decade the focus was on the environment, with a series in Time that showcased a relationship with the National Wildlife Federation and a Newsweek series that encouraged schools to develop environmental programs and be rewarded through the “Class Act” environmental competition. Ads also were featured in Ebony and other pubs.

….While we aren’t going to be a major advertiser, helping increase awareness and understanding of Quixtar and our products will benefit all IBO businesses.”

Well, this reminded me of a lot of advertising that Amway(the folks that brought you Quixtar) has done in the past. Even Beth Dornan might not be aware of.

This advertising was way before the World-Wide Web was popular, so I can’t provide you with many specific links, you’ll just have to trust me.

Amway ran advertisements in publications such as the Reader’s Digest. These ads pictured a particular room in a house, with the headline: “How many Amway products?” Usually, the obvious SA-8 or LOC was visible but, many more were in plain sight, including catalog merchandise. At the bottom of the ad was a B&W graphic to tell you how many were in the ad and where they were located.

Amway infomercials? Yep. They existed, too. A 20-minute TV program usually aired on a “minor” cable network of the time, showing lavish lifestyles, yachts, fine motor cars, and distributors living the good life and explaining how it all was because of Amway.

Amway even publicized the airings and featured schedules in the “Amagram” magazine sent to distributors, so you could arrange meetings to correspond with the episodes. My small town did not have cable, so I drove to a friend’s house and made them endure the program so I could be “in the loop”.

Amway was a sponsor of the Paul Harvey radio program.

Amway sponsored a syndicated TV program called “Inside Business” in cooperation with the US Chamber of Commerce.

Amway sponsored an educational program aimed at children on economics, called The Incredible Bread Machine. And while this was more of a live in-school promotion, rather than a blatant advertisement, it was highly publicized.

Of course, my favorite Amway advertisement was the one you could only catch a glimpse of as it traveled 212MPH around an Indy Car track. Amway’s Winning Spirit driven by Scott Brayton could be seen every Sunday in the early 1990s on TV during race season.

And lest we forget, Amway even allowed distributors to advertise.

Yep, the Amway Business Manual of the 1980s contained pages of “ad copy’ pre-approved for newspaper classifieds. All the distributor had to do was insert his name and phone number. Direct Distributors (Quixtar Platinums) could even order audio tapes ready for broadcast on the distributors’ local radio stations.

Magazine and newspaper “ad slicks” were also available for any distributor to customize with name address and phone number for local publication. I placed a few of those myself in 1991.

So, Quixtar maybe doesn’t have a history of its own in mainstream media advertising and this is new territory for the company; but it’s foundation is no stranger to advertising.

About Dave Robison

Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave. From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.
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