Building 19: Copy to be emulated?

October 8, 2010

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I am a secret admirer of Building 19′s copywriters–whomever s/he/ they may be.

I have friends who won’t set foot in the bargain stores–which, according to the latest circular, were founded in 1964, when a ship originally sailed by Christopher Columbus finally arrived in Hingham.  (That does make you wonder how long some of their merchandise-aka “good stuff cheap”–has been lying around). And I admit–that even I, the penultimate bargain shopper–have been known to remark that you need to take a shower after you experience shopping there.

But how can you not be drawn in to a come-on like this:


And not laugh when it goes on to say, “If so, this is not for you.”

(The ad, on the front page of Building 19’s October 8 flier, continues: …but if you want to work on the Building #19 circular in a fun atmosphere, rework a few pages from this circular and send them along with a resume (preferably yours) to Human Resources or email:

And how ’bout the ad for “Hat’s entertainment–(featuring Halloween hats such as Fuzzy Brim the Pirate, the Don Corleone  Straw, the Linda Blair special–featuring devil’s horns)?

And the one for Liz Claiborne II,  a second and  “brand new shipment” of Liz Claiborne shoes? It  includes pictures of “the ACTUAL  stickers from the boxes ” and a warning to “Hurry in to beat the madness, this time around.”

My point is that  in writing copy, you need to understand your audience and what will motivate them to get out there and buy your stuff.  Building 19 certainly does have the knack: its home page even features a link to its “Classic Ads.”   But enough of this.  Life is short and  I gotta go–those shoes won’t be there forever.

–Anita M. Harris

Anita M. Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, a marketing communications and public relations firm in Cambridge, MA.


2 Responses to “Building 19: Copy to be emulated?”

  1. anharris Says:


    Hello Anita,

    Thanks for the blog extolling the virtues of our copywriters. Just for the record.. . our semi-lovely stores have been rated SHOCKING by Good Housekeeping since 1964

    Jerry Ellis

    From: Harris Communications Group []
    Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 3:29 PM
    To: jerryellis
    Subject: Posted funny blog re Building 19; please link?

    Jerry, I posted a humorous blog on Building 19––extolling the virtues of your copywriters. I’ve linked to

  2. anharris Says:

    Hi Anita,
    The blog is hilarious, the response great. HOWEVER, under NO circumstances, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both live, will I ever agree to accompany you again to Bldg.19 to buy 10 pairs of reading glasses, or was it 15?????????
    Keep the humor.
    Love ya,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: