Just do it!

In the world of advertising there is something referred to as “a call to action.” The term means that the advertiser has something special to offer or a compelling reason to visit the businesses’ store, use its service or remember the name of the business or organization, which is called branding.

We need a call to action on vehicle title lending right now.

I’m sure you remember these famous calls to action: “Get Up and Call In Now;” “What’s in Your Wallet?;” “I Want You for the US Army;” or “Just Do It.”

As Linda says, these may not all be calls to action but they sure draw your attention. Remember the smokestack on the tobacco warehouse district in Shockoe Bottom that had the name of a popular cigarette brand painted on it – Lucky Strike? I remember their famous slogan, not necessarily a call to action but a memorable piece of advertising: “LSMFT – Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco.” How about, “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking?” although now, your fingers still do the walking, but it’s on a keyboard not a printed page.

Then there are pitches that make you want to be as cool as the person in the commercial. The cowboy on the range with a narrator that says, “This is Marlboro Country;” or “The Most Interesting Man in the World;” or “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”

There’s one memorable commercial that make wonder if it shouldn’t be run again. The camera pans across water with an Amercan Indian rowing a canoe. He paddles through trash with a backdrop of factories and smog. He pulls his canoe onto the jagged rock shore, and in the water, trash is bobbing and scatters among the stones. The camera pulls out and  focuses on the leather-faced American Indian, and as his face fills the screen you can see a tear begin to stream down his face. If I remember, the narrator ends the piece saying, “People start polution; they can stop it.”

Then the easy ones such as “Where’s the Beef,” “As Seen on TV” and “I Wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner.”

Some of these old ad pitches are as old as I am, but I’ll bet you can find them on YouTube. Or find one’s like them being written on the TV show Mad Men.

How do you capture someone’s attention? How do you capture an audience of 10 or 100 or one million? Two weeks ago the movie “The Wolverine” grossed $53 million in just one weekend. Why did so many people want to see that particular movie? Well, they saw the last movie in the “X Men” series, they love comics or just fantasy adventures.

Lately I’ve been incensed and obsessed about the vehicle-title lender that is trying to locate at Jefferson Davis Highway and Osborne Road. This is bad for JD, the people, businesses and so many other things I could spend the rest of this column listing them. Everything from the interest rate they charge to the predatory way they do business to why those who profit from such a business will most likely go straight to hell.

Only occasionally do we (Village News) put our commentary on the front page, we normally restrict opinion to this page. But from now until the Board of Supervisors’ meeting, this month we will be putting our commentary up front because everyone at the paper is against it and everyone I talk to is against it.

If I had some money I’d buy or lease the place myself just to keep a place vehicle-title lender from locating there. As you read this, a crew is working on the interior of a TitleMax in a storefront behind Panera Bread in Chester. That location is just 1,003 feet from the corner of JD and Osborne. Will we eventually put a predatory lender on every corner? No. Because as can you imagine, those who live in Woodlake wouldn’t allow a business who deals in usury to locate there. Or, how about the Village of Midlothian? No. For the same reason. Those who live there would not put up with it. They would flood their supervisors with emails and phone calls expressing their opinion, and then pack the public hearing.

We who live near Jefferson Davis Highway have to deal with every flim-flam business that no one else in the county will have. Some of these businesses, of course, are important and run by great folks, but some would not be permitted in other parts of the county.

Chesterfield is shooting itself in the foot every time it allows a seedy business to locate anywhere in this county and they are ruining, even further, one of the busiest entrances to the county there is. As I said, I could list a million reasons of why not to allow these greedy characters on Chesterfield soil.

On August 28 we have our last chance to make our opinion known. Our last chance to make our pitch. Our last chance to take another stab at keeping our end of the county as nice as the rest. People say, when are we going to get an Olive Garden? It has sort of become a joke. Who would locate an Olive Garden on Jeff Davis, especially next to a title-loan lender?

There are a few folks who have gotten together with the lender rats and done a little negotiation. The title lender will fix up the outside of  the building really nice. But I say, it’s not what the outside of the building looks like, it’s what happens on the inside.

Get up and attend the Public Hearing at the County Complex on August 28 at 6:30 p.m. and ask them, why us? An hour or two will  make a big difference in the place you live.

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