You’ve Got to Know Your Bees.

In marketing circles, they say Manufacturing is “Strategic” and Retailing is “Tactical”. That makes sense.
GM sets the long-term goals in product, markets and pricing and provides the advertising cover barrage under which its dealers fight the regional battles and the day-to-day skirmishes in the daily newspapers, using the most localized weapons such as price and pressure, all the way down to the hand-to-hand combat on the selling floor.
This is the reason, J. Dukes Wooters Jr., president of Cotton Incorporated and my client, explained to me, that Jews are in the retailing of goods and Christians in the manufacturing of them.
“You see, Jack, Jews are Tactical, they fight for every inch, but they don’t have long-range vision. They’re not Strategic.” This wisdom was imparted upon me, immediately after I had answered his first question in the negative. The question? “Are you Jewish, Jack?”)
Phew! I was glad that I answered “No?”.  You see, he knew I was famous for retail advertising but the job he had in mind for me was a “Strategic” one.  (See  “The Cotton Wars”)
I must admit, I didn’t make a crisis issue over this observation on his part. I didn’t say, “Tell that to Moses, Dukes!” I didn’t discuss Israel. And, I also didn’t say that the reason more Jews are in retail than in manufacturing  is that, for centuries, that was the only occupation available to them, retailing. But, that isn’t the issue here.
The issue of this chapter is a story about strategy and tactics, interplaying in perfect harmony in what I consider to be one of the most Machiavellian marketing plans of Jack Byrne’s  jaded career. So that you will pay particular attention to this valuable vignette (especially if you are employed in one of the industries within which I functioned), I will tell you, in advance, that it was enormously successful, and, in fact, it was so complete in its sales/marketing lessons that the world’s largest advertising agency group at the time, The Interpublic Group of Companies, produced a 90-minute videotape of the story of this program and sent a copy to each of their 125 worldwide offices.

Jack spinning the tale of You’ve Got to Know Your Bees in Melbourne.

This story has been the highlight of my lectures to advertising audiences as far away as Australia (where one idyllic young advertising chap asked me, “How can you sleep with yourself after scheming like this?” My reply? “I don’t, I usually sleep with somebody else.”)

The location is the New York Metropolitan Area. The category is Retail Men’s Clothing. The time is late Spring 1975 and I am in a stage of fiscal and emotional recovery from having,  only two months before, closed the doors of Jack Byrne Advertising.
I have just formed an alliance with another advertising character, equally creative and equally undisciplined, by the name of Gerry Schoenfeld. He has recently  left his role as Chairman of the Board and Chief Creative Director of Kelly Nason and we had decided we could work side by side (but not together) and have announced Byrne or Schoenfeld, Inc.
Being industry superstars, our concept was that the client could make a choice between our two separate but equal wisdoms but not both. To call upon both would cost double. At the same time, we would share office space, receptionist, secretary, bookkeeper, etc. for considerable economy, at least during our joint start up period.
Gerry was riding high from having doubled the sales of a 76-year old consumer product which, for 7 decades, had grown at the snail’s pace of a commodity until Gerry had entered its life.
Gerry had developed a way of using focus group interviews where he listened carefully to what was said spontaneously by those in the group being interviewed, and instead of just ascertaining the value of their opinions on the advertising they were shown, he would listen for ideas of their own about the product, its usage, or message.
At one such Focus Group, an interviewee misinterpreted what was meant by a rough visual layout for an ad Gerry was showing to the group and expressed her thought that the Arm and Hammer Baking Soda in the refrigerator was there to absorb refrigerator odors. The visual, in fact,  had meant only that one should keep Arm & Hammer packages in the refrigerator to keep their contents fresh.
Gerry leapt to his feet and shouted, “EUREKA!” (But only after the Focus Group was over, and all but his assistants had gone home).
Long story now short. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda found a new marketing home in the refrigerators of America’s homes, soaking up odors, housewives by the millions  buying Arm * Hammer Baking Soda, not for baking, but for “absorbing odor”. Sales jumped. So did A&H executives.  (“Could it do this?”, Gerry, had first asked his client. “I guess it could”, answered the client. The client’s lab then proved that it could.)
Following refrigerators cluttered with Arm & Hammer boxes, Gerry asked another question of his client: “How do you get rid of this stuff when it gets all caked up and stuff?”
Answer: “Pour it down the drain.” Question: “Will it hurt the drain?” Answer: “Of course, not.” Question: “Will it help the drain?” Answer: “Well, it could remove some odors on the way down”.
Gerry’s new campaign: “Put Arm & Hammer in your refrigerator until it has absorbed all the refrigerator odors it can, then, don’t throw it away, pour it into your sink and wash it down to “Sweeten The Drain.”. “Sweeten” made sweet profits as many of Gerry’s words did.

Buy it and Throw it Away Marketing.

Watch this! “For problem drains, use Arm and Hammer straight from the box.”
Hey guys, who ever came up with a better way to speed up product turnover than to tell people to buy it, take it home and throw it out?
The dispose-it logic eventually grew to Kelly Nason commercials showing Arm & Hammer being poured into home swimming pools (for clarity, freshness, or whatever). I don’t believe it has yet to promise to sweeten the Great Lakes. That was my Gerry Schoenfeld, who plays a significant, though minor, role in this story.

Jack with partner Gerry Schoenfeld (l) and friend (r) Gerry Schoenfeld, head of Schubert theaters.

The Other Trumps.

This story really begins when I get a call from Bonds Clothing, manufacturer and national retailer of men’s clothing. It seems that Bonds had a new leader, and, through investigation. he has found that Jack Byrne is “Mr. Menswear” and “Mr. Retail Advertising”. He has also found, through Bob Blend, the art director of the Bonds house agency (who used to work for Jack at Mogul Baker Byrne & Weiss, Inc.) that Jack Byrne Advertising agency has closed and Jack may be interested in employment.
I meet with the new owner, Jules Trump. He is a small, wiry, bright-eyed, and bright-talking young man. He had just undertaken (with very little capital exposure, I found out later) the takeover of the Bonds organization, its manufacturing and all of its 120 retail stores. He had dreams of what Bonds should be and even could be and he needed my help. He wanted to hire me to run Bonds House Agency and direct its advertising communications.
I think to myself that much could be done with Bonds and I, among other things, knew two guys that could do a lot of it and they were “Jack Jay and Roger Day” of the famed team of Jay and Day, Barney’s radio spokespersons from 1966 to 1972. The fact that I was “Jack Jay” was only one of the reasons for that quick thought.
I said that I would be very interested in the opportunity but that I already had a separate business, Byrne Or Schoenfeld, Inc. and we were servicing other accounts and doing quite well. He asked me where our offices were and I told him we hadn’t found a place yet. He told me Bonds had plenty of space and we could have part of a floor. Free.
In fact, we were given a very large 3-room suite of office on the same floor with Bonds advertising department. The location, 35th Street and 5th Avenue was not atrocious. You couldn’t beat the rent, $0.00, and, I could continue all my current accounts (Lee Myles, American Bakeries, etc.) but would still have time to devote major effort to Bonds. I would get $86,000/yr fees or salary. Gerry would have free rent in exchange for occasionally giving us advice on one problem or another.
The strategy started right there. I said, make me Executive Vice President, President of the Bonds house agency ($6 million billing) and nominate me for the Board of Directors, and I’ll start tomorrow.
Jules Trump shook my hand. I said, I like your accent, but I don’t place it. Where are you from? Johannesburg.
I removed my hand. I couldn’t wait to tell my black and beautiful and brainy wife about my great new job and its terrific boss.
The Trump Family were South African Jews. Very successful in retailing (Of course, my friend from the cotton industry would have noted.) They owned white stores, black stores, and everybody-welcome stores. In furniture and clothing mostly. But, they were also very large in automotive dealerships in their native country. There was a father, Willi, a somewhat younger son than Jules, Eddie, a mother Trump, and Jules.
A few years back, they had smelled the winds of time, gathered the clan and decided that their country was going through an accelerating condition of instability. Weighing a history of a few thousand years and local events of a decade and examining the ethnic distribution and the religious distribution of the population of their nation, they had come to one conclusion: In the battle between Black man and Dutch settlers, the one loser for sure would be the Jew retailer.
So, not to disturb anyone, they began a ten-year quiet strategy to divest their holdings in the land of plenty (plenty of uncertainty) and to redistribute them around the rest of the world. The boys would be the instruments of this global move.
Eddie chose Europe and the Eastern World.
Jules chose The United States and the Americas.
So, what’s an Irish kid from Brooklyn doing amongst all this strategic economic warfare by South African Jews?
Introducing some break-the-bank tactics to help get their first battle won.

Men’s Marketing with More Problems Than Opportunities.

Bonds Clothing, for 66 years a manufacturer and purveyor of tailored clothing, had been on a two-decade downhill slide as the male population turned more to casual wear, on the one hand, and to higher quality fashion on the other. Bonds twenty-one stores in the New York Metropolitan area had an image problem that magnified the national one. For decades, their depression inspired strategy offered two-pants suits, an image they had trouble shaking. In New York, Bonds was ranked, bar none, as the lowest rated men’s specialty stores and even ranked below the men’s wear departments of mass retailers like Macy’s and Gimbels department stores.

Bonds Famed New York Flagship Store.


These facts were known to the Trumps because Grey Advertising Agency had done a menswear retail image study hoping to wrest the advertising from its in-house perch at Bonds.
In addition, due to the severe pressure of the struggle to meet the previous year’s figures and the need to maintain volume for the company to attract investor/buyers, like the Trumps, the past Fall, throughout the height of the menswear “on-price” season, Bonds had run a 3-month campaign under the theme of “BONDS $39 MILLION CLOTHING CLEARANCE!”.
The ads had employed enough black type and reverse-type blocks to have convinced any number of long-term customers that Bonds had had a “GOING-OUT-OF-BUSINESS SALE” and had gone out of business. Those who bothered to look expressed surprise at finding the doors still open.

In tailored clothing, if you don’t make it in the Fall, you don’t make it at all.
My job, and I had already decided to accept it, was to make the coming Fall bigger than the previous Fall while at the same time, not pushing the Bonds image any deeper down the drain.
I had a lot to think about.
So I thought a lot about it.
I tried to work back from the Fall Goal first and decided we must open the Fall by introducing The New Bonds.

The New Bonds: Stage I

This would explain the disastrous Fall past and provide a positive direction, not only to prospects who knew little of Bonds (as against those who may have given it up years before), but to those open minded enough to give it a second look. And, of course, its loyal customers wouldn’t mind seeing the store and its merchandise and its image shaped up a bit. If nothing else, they’d feel better about the labels inside their suits.
But, I could not expect that a New Bonds promotion would necessarily have as much sales impact as a Gigantic Sale. But, looking at the previous year’s SALE figures, I saw that they had a very big thrust for the first month, but by the heart of the season they had slumped and continued to do so until they trailed off during a usually strong post-Thanksgiving season.
I then decided that a proper introduction of the new would be the getting rid of the old. And that activity could occupy the earlier end of the Fall season, before it had hit its pace.
So now we had The New Bonds in the heart of the Season.
The Getting out the Old Sale immediately prior but also in Season.
Next, we had to deal with the times leading to the Big Sale.
And, the timing of their impact upon that event and thus its impact on the Openings.
I believe I can activate New York better than any other advertising man. There are other New York advertising men who believe this, too. About themselves. But, here and there are a few who would tell you that “This guy,” (meaning me) “is the pied piper of New York shoppers.”

Thinking about this, I wondered if the secret would be to have something happen in New York that we could then take around the country like a Hit Broadway Musical on the road.
With that in mind, I realized we at Bonds had 21 stores in the New York Metro area, but one of them was the company’s Flagship store and one of the most well recognized retail sights in the world, the Big Bonds store on Broadway and 45th St. with its famed giant lady and giant man fountains seen virtually as often as Broadway is seen and always prominently displayed nationally on every New Year’s Eve. (Later turned briefly into Bonds Disco)
I began to think of the New York Flagship having an early season sale, so that it would be duplicated in other cities more into the season. Then, I thought of the golden opportunity to set it up against the now famous Barney’s Warehouse Sale which opened the day after Labor Day every year since 1970. It was without doubt New York’s most popular clothing sale or perhaps sale of any kind.
And, I knew all about that sale because it was my invention back in 1970.
Now, six year’s later, I would do what no man’s store had done in the six years of the Barney’s block busting sale. I would have an event that meets it head on (using the old ad logic that two gas stations on the street corner do better than one.)
The New Bonds was the Strategic Objective.
The 42nd Street Sale would be a initial Tactical Maneuver to help secure the strategy.
The final tactic to launch it would be sales all around the country, cycled through a month or two.
The tactic leading to the final tactic would be the Big Sale from the Biggest store in the Bond’s chain, head to head with the biggest store in the menswear industry, BARNEY’S.
The plan was taking good shape.

But it was now June. What could we do in July and August to prepare for the Big Sale and the New Bonds.
I began to think of the filtration process in fashion. The theory is that fashion and what is fashionable starts among the more sophisticated, the more urbane, the more with it and wealthy customer and from there filters its way down through the population’s demographics, psychographics, geographics and economics.

My experience as Barney’s ad agency combined Strategy and Tactics. When we had planned the opening of the new Barney’s (Barney’s International House and Barney’s America House) back in the late Sixties, we began a mind-twisting-and-shaping strategic campaign to rout out the deeply ingrained Barney’s image of a large-cold-pushy men’s store that gave you great savings on fine-name clothing, if you could take the abuse of the salesmen. Obviously, we would not have the image we wanted if Barney’s customers continued to scissor off the store label after they bought their tailored suits at Barney’s.

My solution was to make Barney’s synonymous with New York. Not “The Bronx and Staten Island, too” New York, but the New York, New York, of the rich and influential.
We began the Jay-and-Day radio campaign to initiate that change, introducing a new high-spirited chat concept between two spontaneous spokesmen for Barney’s who would send out their messages from New York’s most chic restaurants, clubs, discos, museums, places of business and politics and be heard on radio with some of New York’s most distinguished characters,  from Mayor John Lindsay to Casey Stengel to Bobby Short, to Foreign Ambassadors and Counsel Generals and performers like Bob Hope, Robert Loggia, Jan Pierce to Joan Bennett, and fashion leaders from China Machado to Hubert de Givenchy to Egon and Diane Von Furstenberg and so on and on and on…for 4 years and many hundreds of messages played thousands of times getting the public image changed.
When the new Barney’s was ready to open, its new image was ready and waiting.
But, that took years and facts.

We had neither time nor new facts to alter the depressing image most New Yorkers had of Bonds.
But, we had something Barney’s didn’t have.
We had Barney’s Great New Image to play off from.
So, the question posed itself to me, if we can’t change the Bonds image dramatically in a summer, perhaps we could confuse it to the point that negative images shifted into non-images or uncertain-images.
A possible hook came to me in the letter, “B”. I realized that Barney’s and Bonds began with B and so did the brand most revered in men’s tailored clothing, Brooks Brothers.
A concept began to take shape. Three choices (not the hundreds that, in reality, existed) faced the New York man when shopping for his tailored clothing:
1. The Great Traditional Name in men’s serious fashions: BROOKS BROTHERS.
2. The largest and most diversified source of men’s fashions in the World: BARNEY’S
3. The store with 21 convenient locations around the New York area: BONDS.
I wrote a little ditty to express this B-story of New York and men’s fashions.

{Recording goes here}

26 _3 B’s, Phase 1_

All Male Chorus Sings:

“In New York To Know Men’s Clothing,
You’ve Got To Know Your Bees,
No City In This Nation Corresponds,
No Matter Who The Man You Are,
You’ll Find One Sure To Please,
Brooks Brothers, Barney’s Or Bonds.

Then 3 male voices would laud the attributes of each.

VO1:  Brooks Brothers is to fashion,
What ivy is to halls,
Tradition, the finest ever donned.

VO2: Barney’s is the wonder,
That makes New York New York,
With selections from here to far beyond.

VO3: Bonds is the one located,
Near almost anyplace you live,
A convenience of which everyone is fond.”

Chorus Repeats:

“In New York To Know Men’s Clothing,
You’ve Got To Know Your Bees,
No City In This Nation Corresponds,
No Matter Who The Man You Are,
You’ll Find One Sure To Please,
Brooks Brothers, Barney’s or Bonds,
Brooks Brothers, Barney’s or Bonds,
Brooks Brothers, Barney’s or Bonds,
(Repeats, Fading Off.)

I felt there was something very powerful in this “non-competitive commercial”. We of Bonds Clothing Stores, were graciously talking about the three best-known men’s stores in New York City, two of them best known in the world.
No credit was given to the source of the commercial. To the listener, I suspected, the thought would come, “if they share this message together what could be wrong with Bonds?”
Gerry Schoenfeld had watched this concept develop and had aided in thoughts along the way. But, now we asked his help us predict the outcome of its airing on New York radio. He was employed by Bonds to set up a Focus Group that would zero in on this commercial and on resultant attitude shifts towards Bonds.
The result showed that the potential was a devastatingly effective campaign, effecting an atmosphere of non-image that I believed would reduce the barriers to the introduction of a new Bonds.
Three groups were assembled and tested separately. Each was comprised of middle-management and lower-management men, 30- to 54-years old, in other words, our prime targets.
The groups were told that the client (unrevealed) was a creative agency trying to learn the interest produced and the impact of this commercial before presenting it to a client.
Listen to what was said by this group of men. After having heard this commercial repeated three times,
“Wow! I didn’t know Brooks Brothers and Bonds were part of the same company – I guess that BONDS handles the next level customers.”
“Probably all made in the same factory. They just change the labels.”
“I always knew there was some connection between Brooks Brothers and Barney’s (there never was) but its news to me about Bonds. But it makes sense big companies get together these days and try to cover the market in every way they can.”
“I have never been to Bonds, but I always knew they were low-priced.”
“I’ll have to check them out. Barney’s is getting too expensive for me.”
Etc., etc.
Our hired interviewer didn’t know who owned what or that Schoenfeld had any connection with Bonds or Barney’s. It was news to him, too. He expressed to the interview groups that he wished that the sons-of-bitches who set up these things would give him more background on the companies so that he could do a better job.
But, when the Focus Group recordings were played, Byrne Or Schoenfeld, raised a high five and both connected knowing they had were ready to launch a masterpiece of consumer confusion.
The report to everyone else at Bonds was that the Focus Groups liked the commercial very much for its simplicity and its directness in admitting the differences between the three different companies and their stores, and therefore they liked Bonds more after hearing it.
But, I knew that though BROOKS BROTHERS might be befuddled, Fred Pressman, Barney’s president, and my ex-business associate, Milton Guttenplan, who was now Barney’s advertising manager, would be beside themselves about the use of their name in the “Bs jingle”..
However, this was the year that the National Code Authority had come down hard on consumer products using verbal and visual devices such as “Brand X” or “The Leading Brand” in comparative commercials as the Authority felt that such non-disclosure created considerable consumer confusion as to which unnamed brand the advertised brand might be referring. They ruled that future such advertising must name the competitive brand if they are going to refer to product values or report on comparison tests with said competition.
During that year , viewers were seeing on TV that ” Barbasol outwets all these other brands” and there stood the competitive packages with their names readable and no “little white covers”. Pepsi named Coke. Avis named Hertz.
Everybody named everybody. But retailers weren’t given the same privilege. A retailer, as instructed by the media, had to have the other retailer’s permission to utilize his name in your advertising.
Barney’s and I had walked all over this nicety when I was doing Barney’s advertising, and,  in fact Jay and Day performed one award-winning radio spot where we named twenty men’s stores and chains and ended by saying, “Put them all together, they spell BARNEY’S”. Some stores protested their names were NOT included.  But, Barney’s could get away with that. Barney’s on the other hand was not a store you walk over lightly, especially on New York Radio stations where they contracted 1000-spot packages in great numbers.
I knew to override the media resistance to naming competitors, I would need the law behind me and the lawmaker for what airs and what does not air was The National Code Authority.
So, I prepared an extensive brief on Bonds marketing position and its plans for change and upgrade which would move it into direct competition with the “upscale market” leaders. In the brief, I demonstrated that there would be confusion on the part of consumers if I referred to those now leading this market without naming them. I believed that the consumer had a right to know our competition for we would be able to provide the prudent shopper with similar quality clothing at great savings.
With Brooks Brothers and Barney’s shopping, I attested, the consumer pays as much for the store image and label as for the service given by the product itself.
I also included the first spot (above) and the spot which would run the month following, in August, directly leading into the big sale head-to-head with Barney’s Warehouse sale in the first week of September.
After considerable discussions with the local Code representatives the issue carried to Washington, where my position was supported in every respect by the National Code Authority. And, most importantly, their support was in writing.
The argument was won by showing the entire pattern of the summer and fall program at Bonds up through and including the introduction of The New Bonds. But, when “You’ve got to know your Bs” started its 15-station run, immediately following the July 4th weekend, neither Brooks Brothers nor Barney’s, and not even the new owners of Bonds, knew what to expect in the coming months.
Immediately, Brooks Brothers lawyers called. They said they had had experience in these matters a few years before with Barney’s who had dared use their valued name without permission. They said that Brooks Brothers was not going to let such matters slide again. Bonds lawyers were instructed to instruct me to have these commercials put to a halt immediately. And, that Brooks Brothers were notifying the radio stations as well. They said we must stop using their trademark.
My response was simple. The laws had changed. It was proper to name your competition in national and local advertising and, indeed, the National Code Authority had recommended that to help alleviate consumer confusion. It was hardly necessary to combat the use of a store name as an infringement of a trade mark or even a trade name. Even the Bonds lawyers could have put that complaint away.
But, Jules Trump called down to me and asked if I was sure I knew what I was doing.
I asked, “Are you?”
He said, “Sure I know what I’m doing?”
“No. Are you sure I know what I’m doing?”
“Yes,” he replied.
I said, “Have a nice day.” And hung up.
Barney’s had not had to wait to our air date to hear the “Bs” song. WCBS-AM, the most highly-priced station in New York, with the most powerful penetration into the upper-middle and above male audience, the all-news station (fiercely independent of every influence except that of its heaviest advertisers) had taken the tape we had sent to them for airing to 7th Avenue and 17th Street and played it for Milton Guttenplan.
Milton Guttenplan was someone I had inherited when Baker & Byrne merged with Mogul Williams and Saylor to form Mogul Baker Byrne Weiss. Milton was a powerful figure in the business of New York radio. He had for many years worked under Emil Mogul who, in the thirties, forties and fifties, built a reputation as the toughest agency user of retail radio anywhere in the world.
And radio’s toughest buyer. (WNEW-AM had taken the old Mogul agency to court to break a contract of some twenty-years standing , a contract of miniscule year-to-year escalations with no termination date or escape clause.)
Milton had inherited some of Emil’s power while handling major New York radio accounts such as Ronzoni (Sono Buoni), National Shoes (Ring the Bell), and Barney’s (Calling all men to…) which had dominated New York radio for over twenty years, from 1940 to 1965, the year Emil Mogul retired and Baker & Byrne took over.
Emil was tough and smart. Milton was tough.
Emil was flexible.
Milton was tough.
Emil told off clients.
Milton told off suppliers.
My departure from Mogul Baker Byrne Weiss in December, 1969 had led to Milton’s eventual loss of employment and, following a year or more of working for printers, he had been hired as Ad Manager of Barney’s which, working under Fred Pressman, New York’s toughest radio client was somewhat like being assistant to a Lion Tamer.
He moves the Lions. You move the shit.
Well, when Milton heard these spots, he evidently went through the roof. How dare I sully the Barney’s name by associating it with Bonds? I recalled how Mildred Custin had the same reaction when Barney’s used the Bergdorf Goodman name in a Jay and Day commercial. For her it was worse, for she believed the Bergdorf Goodman name and reputation were being sullied by appearing on a somewhat classless medium, Radio.
At least Milton believed in radio.
To the point that he threatened all stations with cancellation of Barney’s advertising if they continued to run this spot.
Most didn’t bother to even respond, or even to call me.
Some did call me for some reassurance and to say how they loved the spots. (They could not see any harm being done with this ultra-soft approach to selling. I never said Radio reps were smart, just friendly).
WCBS-AM righteously refused to run the spots.
We put the money on WINS-AM, also an all-news station, but better priced than WCBS-AM and more reflective of Bonds true potential customers.
I did make a few “I’ll sue your ass” remarks to WCBS-AM though and they probably “braced for action” and at least utilized some of their lawyers’ time and money.
However, Fred Pressman’s reaction did not match Milton’s fury, even though he was more aware and had more insight into the marketing strategy of associating crap with caviar.
We had done it together for years, borrowing images, as Barney’s worked to renovate its own facade to prepare itself for its destiny as world fashion leader.
But, that was only July, Fred hadn’t heard August yet!
The July commercials had exactly the result we had predicted and hoped.
Listen to the taxi drivers, the all-day radio experts.
“Hey, you hear that shit. Three guys get together and buy one commercial. How do they get away with that?”
“Ya think Barney’s owns all these guys? I always thought so. They’re smart, ya know. They wouldn’t let all their eggs sit in that one basket on 17th Street, ya know.”
“That’s the way The Man is, man. You think he’s one thing at one place and that ain’t it. He’s all over the place. Probably some big corporation like General Motors owns all of them and just changes the labels and the prices.”
“Hear that. What the hell’s Brooks Brothers giving Bonds a plug for? Maybe they own them. Wouldn’t be surprised. They better have some place to sell clothes to the average guy. When you get down to it, I’m around this city all the time. They ain’t that many guys with enough dough to buy them Brooks Brothers kinda suits in Brooks Brothers. All the Wall Street guys, too. They’re too cheap to buy at regular prices. They go places where they get discounts on the same shit. Like Bonds. That’s why Canal Street is where it is. Near them cheap bastards from the Stock Market. You should see their tips. (Driver spits in his hand.) That’s their tips!”
Taxi drivers were not the only audience. We were buying heavy saturation, a thousand spots in three weeks.
By August 1st, Mr. Average New York ears had heard the spot some ten times. And Mr. Average Cab driver, who loved to talk such stuff up had heard it 50 times or more.
New Yorkers were properly confused. They believed Bonds was certainly associated in some way with Brooks Brothers or Barney’s, or both. Or if it wasn’t, they figured, all were all thinking of getting together or were sharing the cost of advertising. Or something like that. What else could it be?
It was time for Bonds to unravel the confusion.
The “Know-Your-B’s” July had completed what it had set out to do. Diffuse a bad image. Confuse a public. Imply association with the best and therefore, by default, inspire the question “How bad can someone be who is seen hanging around with the best?”
It was time for “Awful-Truth” August.
The August plan was also a single message, to be hammered over and over again over every New York station willing to make a deal, except WCBS-AM. The August message was “in response” to the complaints from Barney’s that we were confusing the public, mixing Bonds with Barney’s in a way intended to imply an association.
Their lawyers had finally figured they had a strong argument there. We were not alleviating public confusion by using Barney’s name. We were not trying to follow Code Authority Guidelines but, to the contrary, we were purposely confusing the public.
Barney’s and its lawyers were on to us. The only problem they had was that they were catching on to a plan’s phase, not to a plan. They sent all their troops to the front just after we had pulled out and were ready to strike at their rear (Kick them in the ass, as it were).
Brooks Brothers? Their lawyers were still trying to prove their name on the air was a trade mark and our use of it was infringement.
The August message would immediately straighten out the confusion in the market place. It appears in its entirety below.
Can you guess, Class, if Barney’s was pleased or not? Hint: the voices were two guys who had promoted men’s clothing stores before.

27 _3 B’s, Phase 2_

Characters in caractiture: Roger Day and Jack Jay recording.

Opening: (Jingle)

In New York To Know Men’s Clothing,
You’ve Got To Know Your Bees,
No City In This Nation Corresponds,
No Matter Who The Man You Are,
You’ll Find One Sure To Please,
Brooks Brothers, Barney’s Or Bonds…

Voice A: Everybody who sells clothing respects Brooks Brothers tradition.
Voice B: And Barney’s selections.
Voice A: But, we think there’s more to think about these days than tradition and selection.
Voice B: There’s a thing called dollar reality.
Voice A: There’s a thing called wardrobe variety.
Voice B: There’s a thing called shopping convenience and comfort, day or evening.
Voice A: These things should make you think of Bonds. Even Bonds newest fall fashions, including fall vested-suiting’s, will not be higher than $150 with many as low as $120.
Voice B: And at these prices, a man still may be able to place variety in his wardrobe.
Voice A: And since you come to a store both to buy and to check up on alterations, isn’t it nice to choose from 21 locations for the one most convenient to you?
Voice B: And find that many are open in the evenings in your favorite malls where shopping’s a family affair and a pleasure.
Voice A: So Be Wise.
Voice B: Be Thrifty.
Voice A: Be Smart.
Voice B: Be Nifty.
Voice A: There’s a new Bonds waiting for you.
Voice B: For you who know your Bs.

“Aha”, said the cab driver, “Bonds that’s the one for me with the $125 suits.”
“Aha!, said Brooks Brother’s lawyers, “Now, they’re knocking our trade mark. Aren’t they?”
“Aha!”, said Milton Guttenplan. “Byrne wasn’t getting anywhere with soft sell. Now, he’s trying to push price.” And picked up his telephone to threaten the stations again.
“That bastard, Jack Byrne” said Fred Pressman. “He’s using Jay and Day voices to knock us down and build up Bonds.” And picked up his telephone to Barney’s attorneys.
VOICE A and B were an integral part of the strategy I had decided to institute from my very first moment at Bonds.
Many ad men have talked about the great Men of Destiny TV-commercial Steve Gordon created. Many art directors have talked about Barney’s dramatic New York Times campaign of the early 70s. (CLIO for the Best Print Advertising in America in all categories of advertising, newspaper or magazines.)
And many radio buffs applauded the break-thru radio campaign introducing Jay and Day for Barney’s that ran from 1966 thru 1972 (6 coveted CLIO Awards).
But, a few of us knew from research and otherwise that it was the constant pressure from Jay and Day’s radio “reporting” that made hundreds of thousands of resistant men “finally get down to see Barney’s”. One of the few of us was the most astute client I have ever worked with, Fred Pressman., Barney’s son, and the man who led Barney’s into its second childhood.
And, Fred was livid that Jay and Day’s voices (Barney’s own for six years) were not only now on Bonds commercials, but attacking Barney’s as well.
The attorneys for Barney’s took the shot and threatened radio stations and Bonds alike for using the two voices which were “created for Barney’s” and “belonged to Barney’s”.
And, that was just what Jack Byrne expected them to do, which is why Bonds didn’t use the names Jay and Day on this first commercial but only their voices.
You see the voices of Jay and Day were not invented, or acted, or created except perhaps by the parents of Jay and Day. They were the voices of Roger Anderson and Jack Byrne.
How could two men be told somebody else owned their voices? Somebody they did not work for. Somebody who had never employed them directly but as actors on commercials, as had hundreds of other advertisers (using the same voices) before and after Barney’s (though not necessarily paired together).
(“Don’t worry, Jules. I’m still sure I know what I’m doing.”)
The attorneys for Barney’s backed off.
And, August ran as planned, burning in the new thought about Bond’s. It wasn’t just another chain like Broadstreet’s or Wallach’s… it was New York’s fashionable-man-of-moderate-means alternative to Brooks Brothers & Barney’s.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The walls weren’t being pushed aside in August to make room for the people driven by this commercial to Bonds stores. August was slow. Always was. Always will be. But, September was also traditionally always slow for Bonds and for most men’s stores, except for their Labor Day pre-season sales and for one store’s famed Annual, after Labor Day sale, The Warehouse Sale at Barney’s.
I looked to both events to give our Bonds stores the kind of volume we would need to get a running start into the Fall Season.
There was gambling going on here, my friend.
Not everybody in Bonds management thought that Jack Byrne was the answer to the questions that plagued them. The chain had been in a nosedive for a number of years. Now, it had 125 stores around the nation in which the carpet rarely needed cleaning, so light was the traffic.
Many of the management group had been with Bonds since its halcyon days in the forties and fifties when maker and store were one and the same. Many had seen a million pairs of suit pants sold and half that many suit jackets and longed for the return of the days of Bonds famous 2-pants suits. And, they couldn’t believe that Jack had just spent $50,000 in 3-weeks of advertising Barney’s and Brooks Brothers and then another $50,000 in the next 3 weeks explaining why the 3 stores were not alike. And, that he had only spent money covering New York Metro and not covered the 100 stores in other cities.
Some said Jack was where the expression “Jack-ing off” had come from.
When Jules began to hear these voices, which ordinarily he would barely listen to, I would have to reassure him, “I do know what I’m doing. I do.”
Next on the advertising schedule was Bonds Pre-Labor Day sale, a traditional event in the Bonds chain, introducing the new fall line at pre-season discounts.
The stage has no direct bearing upon my plan strategy. The sale was held throughout the nation and supporting the 21-stores in the New York area.
Sales were reasonable, and considerably better in the New York area stores where two months of mind repositioning had been at work, but the next key to the strategy was the sale to begin on Labor Day, head-to-head against Barney’s Warehouse Sale.
If you don’t know retail, you would have a heck of a time figuring how you could advertise for a week straight about a pre-Labor Day sale in 21 of your stores, then in the same market announce, on the next day, the Make-Room-for-the-New-Bonds Sale in the Flagship store of the chain.
I found that no problem at all. Bargains are bargains no matter how they fall.
The pre-Labor Day sale ended in all stores Saturday night.
Sunday all stores were closed. But, half the New York City personnel of Bonds were at 45th Street and Broadway preparing the Giant store for the first “Big Sale”. Early in the plan, we had coded these sales as “The BIG Sales”.
We had decided the sale would open the day after Labor Day head-to-head with the day Barney’s traditionally opened its Warehouse Sale.
But that meant we could be open Labor Day with everything pretty well ready to run. What a shame that, because of our Labor Day sale in the other 20 stores in the New York area, the Big Sale could not capitalize on that Big shopping day. But, in New York there are markets within markets, and one of the biggest is the Spanish-speaking market. They had their own media, Spanish-speaking radio.
I spoke with the store manager of the flagship store who was himself a second generation Hispanic. We agreed. The next stop was one of the Spanish radio stations to record (for free) our young manager’s first attempt at 15 minutes of fame.
He spoke into the studio microphone in Spanish (somewhat fractured in flow and hesitant and with a definite American accent, but from the heart).
“Esta es Jose Jimenez, le manager de Bonds store sur Broadway and 45th Street. Yo no habla espanol mui bien, pourque…” (Get Spanish corrected)
(For Spanish translation: “This is Jose Jimenez, manager of Bonds Giant Clothing Store on Broadway and 45thStreet in Manhattan. I wanted you to know that here we are having the biggest sale in Bonds history, The Make Room for the New Bonds Sale. And, only in this giant store, The Gringos won’t learn of it until tomorrow, but I wanted you to have the chance to get here a day before and get first pick of the clothing you need so I am telling you today on our Spanish radio stations only.”
Labor Day was a ball. Customer communications were a bitch. But, Bonds had the most enthusiastic, chattering, cheering, cheerful crowd I have ever seen. My Spanish was close to non-existent but I managed to record a number of testimonials.

I spoke to one lady, perhaps in her eighties. She was shopping for her sons (probably in their fifties). And, she waited very patiently, sitting in a chair, hands folded, for three hours waiting to be waited upon by the nice young man, Senor Jimenez, from the radio.
The popular manager was very gracious and very helpful. She was very grateful and very wealthy. Possibly the biggest ticket of the entire Sale week.
Thanks to the little old senora and about 3,000 other Hispanic customers, the store sold $30,000 worth of merchandise that day.
All but possibly $2,500 of which went to New York’s Hispanic population.
That became the biggest day in Labor Day sale in the history of the Times Square unit, even in its heydays in the 1940s. The largest volume on Labor Day itself that this store previously had ever seen had been just $18,000.
We had spent less than $2000 on a single day of spots on New York Spanish-speaking stations. A very nice return, indeed.
And we had all those other ethnic groups to hear from starting the next day.
Labor Day night, the Daily News delivered the earliest editions of Tuesday’s paper to the newsstands of New York at 11PM.
Labor Day night, at 9PM, at the same moment in which Bond’s suburban stores closed their doors, 20 radio stations in New York City began running the following commercial message.

28 _3 B’s, Phase 3_

OPENING: Background is Bonds new theme song sung by my wife, Christian Cooper, as though it was playing on the store’s sound system. “What’s going on, what’s going on America, what’s going on, what’s going on…..”

Jack Jay: Ok, Roger, let’s clear our throats and talk about sales.
Roger Day: About two sales, Jack, breaking loose in New York right now.
Jack Jay: One at Bonds giant store at Broadway and 45th street.
Roger Day: One at Barney’s warehouse at 7th avenue and 17th street.
Jack Jay: The one winner for sure will be the man looking for the greatest buys of the year in men’s suits and leisure suits, shirts, and sportswear…
Roger Day: We’re at Bonds giant store at 45th and Broadway and at this one store only…
Jack Jay: …in the vast 120-store Bonds chain…
Roger Day: … is a sale big enough to clothe the nation…
Jack Jay: … and at prices low enough to save the nation.
Roger Day: Just thirty blocks away is Barney’s 6th Warehouse Sale.
Jack Jay: But, this is Bonds first “Make-Room-For-The-New-Bonds Sale”.
Roger Day: And, it may have more items than Barney’s warehouse.
Jack Day: … and, it has plenty of savings for ladies, too.
Roger Day: That’s more than you can say for Barney’s.
Jack: Right, but we at Bonds want you to compare these sales, man-to-man, ad-to-ad. You’ll find bonds ad in the New York Daily News. You’ll probably find Barney’s Warehouse there, too.
Roger Day: Compare the prices, the items, the savings. Better still, compare both sales. They’re only 30 blocks apart.
Jack Jay: And, in all of America today, you won’t find another man’s sale to equal either one.
Roger Day: At Broadway and 45th, Bonds will save you 30 to 85%
Jack Jay: And, if you don’t see all you want at Bonds, you can always head thirty blocks south.
Roger Day: Or vice versa.

The Launch Ad used VJ Day photo of crowd in front of Bonds.

How do you approach the site of a “BIG SALE” for which you have dedicated two-month’s of strategy and mega-ad bucks in sowing the seeds of greed and for which you have created a lot of animosity with fellow managers and competitors alike?
How do you approach 45th Street and Broadway at 8am on Tuesday the day after Labor Day, an hour before the doors open, a time of morning which you knew from experience was reflected in a line of at least fifty to eighty men on 7th Avenue just 30 blocks south?
You approach it very gingerly.
And, when you get there. Before any other executive or even staff, you encounter that most feared of executive moments – a moment of doubt.
There is no line. Not a single solitary man with a blanket and chair aimed at being first in and first out with the best values.
Hello, Heart!
Hello, Mouth!
Think he’s blown it, Heart!
Shut your…Mouth! Let’s ask Eyes.
Eyes begin to look up and down the Times Square area.
Across Broadway, a man and son are looking back at me.
Down Broadway, two couples are window browsing.
Further on, three young men are rapping under a movie marquee.
As Eyes move their field of vision moves from 30 degrees to 180 degrees, forty to sixty people are recorded. They don’t look like junkies. They don’t look like up-all-night tourists. They do look like people who are keeping an eye on the entrance to Bonds to see when the line begins to form.
“Whew! All is not lost.”, Eyes tell Heart and Heart drops back out of mouth into proper place in Chest, somewhat mollified.
But, rather than watch the outcome of this prediction, I entered the store and made myself attend to some busy work.
Store people arrived. Most looked like they wanted to say, “Hey, Big Sale, Jack! Where is everybody?”
But then, a few clerks arrived about 8:45 am and one ducked her head into the little office in which I was hiding.

“Hey, nice little crowd out there.”
I got up. Put down my rosary beads. Gathered my face into that of the serious marketing genius I felt I was required to reflect and went down the stairs to the street floor.
About 20 people had their noses thrust against the door glass. Some were mouthing, “C’mon, let’s go. Open up.”
Deja vu, my man, Deja vu.
The Barney’s Warehouse Sale which I had proposed, and which its president, Fred Pressman, had been dogmatically against, had my heart, stomach and mind all acting the same way in during dreaded hour on the first day before the doors were to open.
And, then, suddenly, there was the crowd, multiplying to 40, like amoeba in a Petri dish under our marketing microscope.
Eventually, though nothing fantastic seems to be happening, you are up to your ass in amoebas or, in this case, customers as the case may be. The 40 grew to 80 then to 160 then to 320 and the line disappeared around the corner.
Finally, it was one minute until 9am. I stood above the lock to the doors, the guards braced themselves beside me and the staff stepped behind their counters for safety. The air was as charged as the GE Man-Made-Lightning exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair.
I inserted the key in the master lock, took a deep breath, turned the key, wrenched it out (just in time) and leapt back with a cheery, but unheard, “Welcome to Bonds Make Room for the…”
In the first half-hour, as more than a thousand shoppers poured in and milled around, hardly a sale transpired as people were racing from one end to the other of the 45,000 square foot store to find the biggest bargains. What could they grab that would hurt us the most?
That’s what a Big Sale is: A competition. A fight to the finish. The tough shoppers willing to dig through all the polyester crap bought for the sale to find the cottons and wools at 60% or more off real prices. 50% is not enough. Two-for-one is not enough. That’s run-of-the-mill New York pricing. In New York, they want 80% off and if they can’t get that, they’ll settle around 70% or 60% and give you the action.
Now, this sale, as a concept, was mine. But, as an execution, it was by no means mine alone. It was very much also the work and wisdom of another Bondsman, a veteran price-buster named Lou Polsky.
Lou loved the concept from its inception and helped soothe the frustrations of those veterans who thought I had my head implanted firmly in my keister.
Lou was a pro. He knew where all the good stuff was buyable for nothing. Like Ira Weiser of Barney’s (later the EVP and buying force of Sym’s), Lou was networked for bottom-dollar marketing all across the nation.
Back during the July campaign, Lou was shopping not only Bonds regional warehouses and stores, but the Going-out-of Business outlets and the cash-poor chains and independents for distress values that would make possible a profit while selling at 60 to 80% off the original list price.
Early on, I had told Lou that the Key was “loss leaders”.
Really loss leaders. We would actually lose money on some items to attract everyone to that fantasy world where one buys better than the store had bought.
Lou did his best to deliver what I wanted… without a loss.
And, I guess he succeeded. I never really had the time to analyze all of his convoluted buys to determine if, indeed, we lost real money on any one sale.
But, leaders we had.
And, what we had was but one reason for making the sales we made. The rest was Show Biz, honey.
Our Public Address system was turned up to a fever pitch, programmed with March Music, Rock Music and other excitement-creating sounds.
Every five to ten minutes our jingle, to be introduced with The New Bonds promotion to commence a month hence, was played and announced in this manner:

29 _What’s Goin On__

“Ladies and Gentlemen, here is Christian Cooper singing the theme song of the Make Room for the New Bonds Sale…”

What’s going on?
What’s going on, America?
What’s going on?
What’s going on?

(Message from Jay & Day)

That’s what’s going on America
We’re what’s going on,
For what’s going on America,
Is going on at Bonds. (Repeat)

The jingle played. Followed often by our latest floor interviews with shoppers at the Big Sale and still there when their voice was plugged in over the Public Address System.
“I spent every penny. I’m going home for more money. I’ll be right back.”
“I bought five leather jackets. And, they’re not even my size!”
A giggling lady giggles.
“This is even better than Barney’s Warehouse Sale!”
Now, who do you think recorded that last quote? I’ll never tell.
Staff and customer maintained the excitement.
A rack rolls off the elevator unto the selling floor, packed with ladies blouses. “How much for the blouses on the rack?” shouts one department manager. “$9!” shouts back the excited voice of the rack pusher. The aisle closes as customers rush to the rack to pick the best bargains even while the rack is being rolled to its department.
A voice comes over the public address. It’s that shameless advertising guy in his Jack Jay voice.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, many of you have been excited by our $45 price on men’s sport jackets with savings up to 70%. Well, starting in two minutes there will be two racks loaded with those same jackets in this store and they will be marked at just $25! But, please be careful and please walk, don’t run, to see them. We don’t want anybody hurt. These sport jackets, just minutes ago selling like hot cakes for $45 are priced from now until 30 minutes from now at just $25 and they are located at….(pause) (the entire store falls silent, the atmosphere thick with anticipation- ) “ at the top of the winding stairway folks, in the front of the mezzanine!!!”
You’ve seen those western scenes where hooves are churning up the dust and the sound is one of thunder…well, imagine them clamoring up a 20-foot wide Broadway staircase.
By mid-afternoon of the first day, Jules Trump, attended by a coterie of approval-nodding heads from management and the Board, came to see the event. Nobody wants to commit their opinion until the sample is big enough as to be accurate. This sample was.
“Hi, Genius.” “Hi, Jules.”
“Barney’s lawyers are serving us with papers.”
“What do you think we should do, Jules?”
“Fuck them.” His pronunciation was a bit off but Jules was learning. (Right! said the coterie of avant-garde old timers with him)
Jules had mastered the language of New York business in just a few short lessons. Later he taught me how much he knew before we ever met.
The first day did $90,000.
That was three times the best sale day ever in the 45-year history of this or any other Bonds store. But it wasn’t a one-day sale. It would go for a week. Could the volume be sustained?
Our radio messages employed Jay and Day’s best selling techniques, the very ones that had launched the ever-successful Barney’s Warehouse Sale. Frequent daily changes of messages, keyed to the day, live calls to the stations with bulletins (simulated), merchandise held aside for radio specials later in the week, target messages by age and ethnic characteristics for audiences of specific stations.
The Daily News was used again on Thursday, but radio carried the true weight of advertising.
Each day had been a fiscal mirror image of the first. $85,000 (Wednesday), $98,000 (Thursday), $88,000 (Friday) and the “last day” of the sale Saturday did a smacking $91,000. But, it was not the real last day.
This Bonds store had never been opened on Sunday, not even once.
Bonds had used no TV in this promotion. Not once.
We had decided that the sale was to be carried from New York to other cities as a kind of “Broadway Show” on the road.
What better way to advertise it on the road than to show a documentary of the event as it happened in New York City, the Broadway of bargain shopping.
Who better to cover this event than the masters of the documentary, The Maysels Brothers, still basking in the limelight created by their masterful coverage of the fated Grateful Dead concert and its documentary release, Gimmie Shelter.
On Thursday afternoon, back at the offices, I called for an executive meeting and announced to Jules and the others that I planned for us to open and continue the sale on Sunday. My purpose was to produce the footage for the most powerful advertising campaign I could think of to support the Big Sale in our other major markets. I pointed out that the other markets had no period of attitude-softening, mind-reshaping via radio that New York had experienced for six weeks preceding the sale. I said that documenting the event would create instant excitement and credibility.
I told them we would advertise on TV Saturday late evening and hammer across every station we could get time on with a “For the first time in its history, Bonds would be open on Sunday to satisfy the demand created by Bonds unprecedented sale.”
Sunday laws meant doors could not open until 11am. But, we would be waiting for our crowd, with loaded cameras, tape recorders and still cameramen to get all the visual and sound material we needed for the carrying of the Big Sale to Chicago, to Dallas and elsewhere.
Reaction to proposal? “That’s crazy.” “The markets tapped out – pre-Labor Day Sale, Labor Day Sale, Hispanic Market Sale and The BIG SALE will have run for five days. Nobody’s going to come to a Sunday dinner,  serving last week’s warmed over meal.” “Save your money.” “Sit down, enough is enough.”
Those and similar sounds filled the room, voiced by my fellows in management. Except the voice of Louis Polsky.
“I don’t know, Jack. You think there’s blood left in the stone?”
“The TV audience is a new market, Lou. Virtually untapped.”
“Same people as read the newspapers and listen to radio.”
“All of those and more watch TV,” I replied, “and, in a TV frame of mind.”
“Well”, said the only voice I wanted to hear from, “you’re the genius, aren’t you?”
“So you said, Jules.”
“Then, why are you asking us?”
“I’m not asking you. I’m telling you.”
“That’s better.”
“I’m only asking you for the money to do it.”
Jules led the laughter, and nodded an ok. You’d be laughing at anything, too, if you had just seen each of three consecutive days break the 50-year, single-day record for your store.
I reserved a small tabletop studio at independent WOR-TV to record on videotape the next day the spot I had in mind. Jay and Day would record their voices over a single picture.
Saturday night, New York homes were hit with television spots every fifteen minutes or so that started out in a brown sepia tone. The visual was a very wide horizontal still photograph, taken in Times Square on VJ day in August 1945. (The same photo we used in our 2-page spread Daily News ad.) The camera panned the picture. The photograph covered three blocks, showing scores of thousands of joy-maddened people, packed building-to building across Broadway, from the replica of the Statue of Liberty on 42nd Street all the way up to the famed Bonds store at 45th.
The voices of Jay and Day said, “Not since VJ day has Broadway seen crowds like this, the Make-Room-for-the-New-Bonds Sale. Now, for the first time in its history, Bonds famous store at 45th and Broadway will be open on Sunday for the last day of this unprecedented sales event. Sunday 11 to 5. Don’t miss it.” Crowd sounds from the sale played under the familiar voices of jay and Day. It was a simple but powerful commercial. Production cost was $400, other than for  Jay and Day.

Brothers Albert and David of “Gimmie Shelter” Fame shot Bonds sale as a documentary.

I arrived at the store on Sunday at 9:30am, needing to check up on some matters and get ready for the arrival of our “cast thousands of customers” with the Maysels Brothers and their film crew and Chuck Cassidy, a Bonds Art Director, as “still cameraman” and Roger (Day) Anderson as radio commercial interviewer. These three event recorders would cover our needs for all three mass media in whatever city we ran the sale.
I was alone for as far as the eye could see, which was even farther than from 42nd to 45th on Broadway.
But, it was early. I wasn’t worried.
At 10:00AM, I was worried.
At 10:30AM, I was WORRIED.
Here we were setting up the Maysels behind a protective barrier so as not to have a herd of bargain hunters stampede them and their hand-held cameras. They are gentle men and gentlemen, the Maysels. They did not snicker. They didn’t twitch nervously. They simply busied themselves with their paraphernalia and avoided glancing at the empty doorway or at me. Chuck Cassidy, somewhat less of a gentleman asked me, “Where the fuck is are the teeming crowds?”
At 10:40, three people stopped at the door and stood.
Followed in two minutes by three or four more.
Followed in a minute by about six more.
Followed by…enough said. It was happening. Deja Vu, all over again. These slick Sunday-shopping New Yorkers had taken the opportunity to take a sunny stroll within a distance from which they could respond as soon as the crowd started forming.
By 11:00AM, there were at least 800 people outside the doors as they were opened. It felt as though all 800 had entered at once. But, like the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the more that came in, the more that appeared behind them.
Some 5000 TV-viewing shoppers entered the store before the first hour had passed.
“What a sale!”, said Jose Jimenez, the store manager.
“What a cast!” said I.
And for those five hours, our cast of shopper stars and extras posed while they shopped, recorded while they shopped, stampeded while they shopped, laughed while they shopped, and then formed photogenic cash register lines of 60 to 70 buyers in length while they waited to pay their pittances for fashion.
We had a total cross section of New York people, which is a cross section of the world. Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs (American Indians and India’s Indians), a rainbow coalition, a host of United Nations more ambitious internationalists came to try to match the U.S. delegation wardrobes on their modest dollar budgets, a Sheik arrived in full regalia with three minions to carry his Bonds shopping bags, people who might have been homeless came in thinking they might have enough money to pick up a few street clothes.

Part of the Cast of Thousands shopping for the Mayels cameras.

The crowd was juiced up by the cameras and all the attention and they knew they were part of something important. So they stayed and kept buying as though it was the price for their admission to Show Biz. Of course, our feeding frenzy techniques had been honed over the week and we were very confident. So contagious was the atmosphere, a few young and enthusiastic salesmen started to give things away to the street people, until older and wiser heads prevailed and stopped them. So instead, out of their own pockets, they’d buy the customer a soft drink from our vending machines.
The Maysels had a ball and about two hours of dynamite footage for us to later select segments totaling 60-and 30-TV seconds. Chuck Cassidy’s stills were witty and powerful, tying body and “lifestyle” types with appropriate store signage in scores of comic and candid ways. Roger’s voice tape was a testimonial dream box.
It ended at 5PM.
Three cash registers had burned out. Half the sales staff had done the same. And, we had all we ever needed to caravan this sucker across the nation.
Sunday’s sales of $74,000 in 5 hours broke not only the three cash registers, but broke all per/hour turnover records. Sunday didn’t equal the other days’ totals but it lasted only 5 hours versus their 12.
Jules had walked thru about mid-afternoon followed by a small group of very well-heeled looking men with wives. I knew not one of them. But, I said to myself, “what a nice place to bring your banker”. He had done just that. In passing, he introduced them all to “The Genius”.
Strategy and Tactics were humming along hand in hand.
The rest is really to be expected.

The Sale was tailored for each target market and following the pattern of the New York event. Each opened with radio and newspaper. The radio gave testimonials from the New York Sale customers to start. Then, these shifted to the feel of local testimonials as the sale continued. The newspaper was dotted with shots of people with three dozen shirts piled up in their arms, with crowds fighting for a single jacket, with people of all walks of life shot candidly at the height of greed.

Chicago Papers featured NY shoppers potographed in action by Chuck Cassidy, our art director.

The TV was a masterpiece of local pride saying “This is what happened when this sale came to New York City, and now it’s come to Chicago (or Boston, etc.)”. Implied was, “Can you beat New York here?” The newspaper did the same.

The challenge was on and the results kept repeating block busting volume, and record breaking everything from days to hours to minutes. The Big Sale ran in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and five other cities where we had sizable “flagship” stores. But, all our Dallas stores were of modest size but it was a target-sized market. So we adapted.

In Garfield, Texas outside Dallas, we rented an empty 10,000 Sq. Ft. Marshall’s Department Store a location big enough for this kind of sale, five giant balloons floated 200 feet above the store naming the sale. (On the third night, a Texas competitor shot all five down).

When I arrived at the Garfield store, the area manager for Bonds, who was a selling fool bursting with Texas pride, was standing on the counter near a cash register with a microphone in hand and egging the people on to more purchases.

The One Week “Warehouse” to get a Dallas store big enough for our Big Sale.

When I walked in, he turned up the volume and said…

“Hey now, Folks, lookee here. Just coming in the front door is the Big Genius of New York City who thought up this crazy sale. Now, he busted all records for that New York sale and did over a half a million dollars. Now, in New York they think a half a million dollars is a lot of money. Let’s show them what real shoppers are like. There are no shoppers like Texas shoppers, not even in New Yawk City!”

You weren’t there. I was. I saw Texans by the dozens get off the long check-out line at the cashiers to go back and buy some more just to show them New Yorkers! I heard customers’ cheering a man exhorting them to buy faster and more from his store. And, when we sat down, he told me how he was having very good success with “Church Nights”.

Church nights?

Right, “I speak to the Reverend and tell him we’d be mighty pleased to set off Tuesday night 9pm ‘until 11pm for his congregation, so they can shop in comfort with friends and loved ones. We’ve had three Church Nights in a row. Did about $7500 an hour at each. And, they was all after store hours. And, my staff are no greedy union types. They love putting in the extra hours for the good of Bonds.”

And, you thought I’d seen everything.

Texans are the cwaziest people. Especially when there in Texas.

Chicago nearly eclipsed New York, failing by just $15,000. Dallas was the best profit producer. $400,000 in a 10,000 square foot place rented for $2,000 with no pre-sale redo and no post-sale clean up and refurbishing. And, no employee overtime.

The volume stage was a very BIG success in its role of The New Bonds strategy. Bonds entered the regular selling season light years ahead of the previous Fall.

Oh, back to Barney’s litigation. Attorney’s had now written a letter insisting that BONDS cease and desist using the names and voices of Jay and Day. It was a new legal counsel, one of New York’s heavy firms. They implied Bonds would suffer severe penalties if they did not act immediately.

The Bonds house attorney was nervous.

I said, “This is personal in a way, perhaps I should consult with my counsel”. He said, “You better! I mean, I wish you would.”

I already had.

My attorney was Arnold Stream, partner in Bushkin Gains Games and Stream. Bushkin is the Mighty Bushkin who has become famous (or infamous) as Johnny Carson’s lawyer handling all those alimony negotiations, etc.

But, Arnold Stream, well, “Whenever, we need to have somebody’s nuts crushed, and felt we weren’t up to the task, we would call in Arnold…” is how Arnold was described to me by his former partner one day.

Arnold had a way of seeing right through all the tangles of an entanglement to the nut crushing issue.

He had been counsel when I had set up all this strategy in the first place. That’s why I went on payroll.

Arnold’s phone call to Barney’s attorney.

“I am amazed and disturbed to find that a law firm of the authority and prestige of yours would be manipulated into this untenable position by a tricky retail operator like Barney’s.

Jack has never worked for Barney’s. Jay and Day are his creation and have worked for over 300 clients other than Barney’s at least 60 of which are men’s stores around the nation.

“The voice is his own voice, for Christ’s sake. And, though he was never an employee of Barney’s, he is an employee of Bonds at $86,000 a year. And, since he is not getting any younger, he has had hopes of living out his career in advertising at Bonds.”

“Now, under your intimidation, Bonds is considering firing Mister Byrne, since they had hired him, in part, for his brilliant use of radio and especially his selling power as Jack Jay of Jay & Day.”

“How, could you let yourself and your client get into this type of situation where the (name of act) He’ll get at least ten times a year’s salary in damages plus, I am certain, you’ll get hit with further penalties once the court learns of your client’s active attempt to destroy his career and your competitor’s business, by threatening stations with the pull of your contract if they used his voice on their airwaves.”

They got the drift early on in the call. But, by the time Arnold was finished, they simply said, “Please extend our apologies to Mr. Byrne. We will speak to Barney’s. Thank you, Mr. Stream.”

Crush one for me, Arnold.

You see, students, advertising one-on-one is a lot more complicated than Advertising 101.

Nice guys finish last. I know. I have been a nice guy too many times in my life.

And, you know what was the most fun at that moment in time. Jay and Day weren’t in my Bonds strategy once The New Bonds was announced.

That, however, became academic.

Right after The New Bonds was announced and the stores doing quite nicely, Jules introduced us to his latest “Genius” a fellow named Bill Hillenbrand, most recently of Kennedy’s of Boston, a store which had become a chain and had experienced miraculous growth in dollar volume as had Barney’s during my tenure.

The only difference was Fred Pressman had taken a Barney’s with an image of a schlock store with great merchandise at a discount and (with my help) turned it into a much more successful store with the finest fashion image in the world.

Bill Hillenbrand had taken Kennedy’s, a single store of quiet dignity and prestige with good volume and good profit, and turned it into a much bigger volume chain promoting promotional goods at fake discount prices (which eventually drowned under the leaking umbrella of its dying dignity).

To some people both meant growth.

Maybe so.

But one you can do like rolling off a log.

The other is like pushing that log up a rocky hill.

Nevertheless, The New Bonds was sort of humming when I attended an Executive Committee meeting at which I was introduced to Mr. William Hillenbrand, our new President.

(President! A title I had thought was not far from my reach once Jules was ready to give it up.)

Upon my introduction, Bill said, “You’re the marketing guy, right?”

“You might say that!”

“Well, you may be a hot shot with gut-bucket sales, but you don’t know shit about strategy! `” (Are you Jewish, Jack?)


“How the fuck can you have a New Bonds before I arrived?”

I looked towards Jules. Who is this guy?

Jules’ eyes saw the wall behind me.

“I don’t know”, I replied, “old habits are hard to kill. I thought we should have a new Bonds during the selling season, you know when the public is buying.”

“Well, whatever you thought you were premature.”

“Either that or you are a bit late.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I mean like you’ve just arrived with a loaded gun but the war’s over.”

” The war, my friend, is just beginning.”

” I got that feeling, too.”

I never saw so many nail clippers, files, Kleenex and papers put to “busy work” as those around that 12-man committee during this conversation.

Later: “I’d like to help you, Genius,” said Jules.” But, it’s in his contract. I had to give him full authority for Bonds or else he never would have joined us.”

I wasn’t sure then, but I felt that Jules had other things in mind, and perhaps the rules of the game were known only to a few, and certainly not all of them to me.

I was gone, lock, stock and Schoenfeld in three weeks.

EPILOGUE: If you have ever studied computer technology and discussed what you’ve learned with, in turn, a fellow student, a professor, a graduate electrician and a theoretical physicist, then you will know that the very same thing is not at all the same thing to all perspectives.

You see, Jules Trump had bought control of Bonds from its primary stockholders for $2 million, partly cash, but mostly out of the company profits to be earned later. Then, Jules offered other frightened company stockholders to take them out of their uncertain position as to the future of the stock, selling at a nearly all time low of $6 or so. Most agreed right off. Those that didn’t agreed after the third or fourth request.

Soon Jules had total control of, if not all, nearly all the stock in a slowly dying menswear business.

The Big Sales had been a shot in the arm to employees. Some hadn’t seen selling excitement like that for twenty or thirty years.

But, to Jules they were a source of cash to help capture up the stock.

Jules’ next plan was to take the property of this sad sack company and sell off the cream for some handsome returns.

Within two years, there was no longer a national BONDS CHAIN. Many stores had been sold as a package to big retailers (i.e. THE GAP) Many had been sold as an area package to the top executives and managers of the company. The rest went off on the block.

At the end of his fourth year from his $2 million promise, Jules had $20 million for the Trump growth fund.

And the guy from Kennedy’s was looking for another success story.

In the immortal words of Joseph Heller’s God (in GOD KNOWS)…

“Go figure”.


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