Marc Desilets, a senior classified advertising rep at Tucson Weekly, won a 42-inch plasma TV for selling more than $14,000 in new advertising during an eight-week AAN CAN contest that ended on New Year’s Eve.
This is the second contest AAN has sponsored to promote sales in its classified advertising network. Desilets was a runner-up the last time, when the San Francisco Bay Guardianâ€™s Ryan Loiselle won a trip to Paris.
Runners-up for the plasma TV contest are Robby Robbins, classified manager of Independent Weekly in Durham, N.C., and Dani Long, classified manager of Easy Reader in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Ad reps at member newspapers and AAN’s ad sales staff in Washington, D.C., sell ads through AAN CAN to buyers seeking national or regional exposure for their products and services. Advertisers can run their classifieds in all 112 participating alternative newsweeklies or choose a group of weeklies in a particular region.
Promotional contests “generate buzz and excitement about the AAN CAN program, and reward ad reps directly for their hard work,” Roxanne Cooper, AAN director of sales and marketing, says.
Whether there’s a contest under way or not, Desilets says he’s always good for a few thousand dollars of AAN CAN ad sales a week. His secret: “Always have it in the front of your mind.” When someone is running an ad in the Tucson Weekly for a weight loss formula or another product with more than local appeal, he brings up the network. Giving good customer serviceâ€”making sure ads are correct and on timeâ€”keeps clients coming back, he says.
The latest promotion generated almost $50,000 in new advertising for the network, which helped it exceed budgeted expectations in the first quarter of AANâ€™s fiscal year 2004 by nearly $100,000. At its winter meeting, the AAN board of directors will consider spending the unbudgeted revenue on additional programs and services for AAN members.