What Can We Learn about New Home

Marketing from Jack Benny?


Article #3


Since the portion of my consulting practice which involves public speaking is a bit like doing stand-up comedy, I study the masters of stand-up looking for ideas. Perhaps Jack Benny was the best – the hands-down master of dead pan.

Knowing I enjoy his work, Samantha recently gave me a DVD set of Jack’s television shows from the 1950’s. In watching them, I was struck by a message they contain that I think is relevant to new home marketing today – especially today, when we’re so severely challenged.

So, what can we learn about new home marketing from Jack Benny? Truth be told, not much. But, we can learn a lot about new home marketing from his long-time sponsor, The American Tobacco Company – the manufacturers of Lucky Strike cigarettes.


It’s About What the Product Is


There is a common theme which runs through all the Lucky Strike commercials in Jack’s shows, even those which were cleverly integrated into the comedy sketches. Some of you may remember the famous Lucky Strike slogan, “L.S.M.F.T. – Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco.” We’re shown images of buyers from Lucky Strike paying top dollar for tobacco at auction to get the best. We learn about the special cigarette wrapping paper that burns clean and true. We’re told that Luckies are, “round, firm and fully packed to deliver a smooth draw.”  

In other words, 1950’s cigarette advertising was all about product features; how it was made and what it was made of. It was a brand position based on quality.

Isn’t it interesting though, that they tried to make a connection to benefits that customers should appreciate - the smooth draw? Maybe that was a cutting-edge concept at the time.


And, How About Today?


Pushing how the product is made and what it is made of sounds a lot like how we market and sell new homes today, doesn’t it? Every builder talks about building quality homes. When we market them, we like to explain product features and maybe even connect them to customer benefits. When this happens, which isn’t every time, we’re stepping up to 1950s techniques.

Is that good enough?



E-mail: Bill@BillWebbMIRM.com