Modern Marketing, March 2010 Edition

One of my private convictions, or delusions, is that I’d be a great marketing writer given the right outlet. The right outlet would have no rules: no house style, no retail “voice,” no lifestyle image to promote. In fact, it probably wouldn’t have merchandise except for the stuff you’re trying to get out of the house; stuff that might not be fun but that could be fun to sell. It turns out I’m talking about Craigslist. We’ve managed to sell stray household items there for years, and writing the item descriptions is always the most engaging part of the process.

Here’s the current item on offer (as posted on Craigslist):

Ikea Henrik student desk, with chair

An Ikea classic that may or may not have been named after a famous Scandinavian literary figure. This desk played a prominent role in a student’s career at Berkeley High School and may even be partly responsible for his successful completion of studies at the University of Oregon.

Features:
–Classic Ikea design: a Scandinavian thought this up. ‘Nuff said.
–Classic Ikea construction: manufacture of this item caused minimal rain forest destruction
–Conforms fully to U.S. and international safety standards, including Newton’s laws of motion

And check out these extras:
–Recently dusted
–Family friendly
–Desk chair may be comfortable for hours on end

We got three responses within an hour. Since no one commented on the brilliance of the sales pitch, I have to conclude they were moved by price ($60, with vague offer of delivery).

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