Written by Ron Marasco at WJHG
If you've seen them come across your TV screen, you can't look away. Some may say they're like video train wrecks. But that's their goal.
“We're just trying to make Bay County laugh again [after the hurricane],” said Avery Adcock owner of Dan's Pawn in St. Andrews when referring to his TV commercials.
Adcock has owned Dan's Pawn for 25 years. He says he used to run serious commercials, but...
“I decided to go back to, you know, Dan's method, which was let's make crazy commercials,” said Adcock.
Adock says he's not trying to spread any type of sales message in his ads such as having a good product, great hours or good service, even though he tells you he does have those things..
“I think I'm just going to try to economize and just shoot these short commercials and all that is is brand name awareness,” said Adcock.
It's called branding, and it appears to be working very well for Adcock.
“Oh it's great, very effective," said Adcock. "I mean it at our grand opening, the mayor asked us to re-enact one of the nine commercials we shot for the fall of 2018 or fall of 2019, you know this last football season. Yeah, the one where we're all sitting there with our hair straight up and rock band t-shirts on with the guitars screaming 'Back on Beck,'" said Adock as he recreated the ad for us.
He described the ad as "obviously terrible."
Terrible or not, they are back on Beck [Avenue] after Hurricane Michael knocked them out of their main building for a year.
“We had a wonderful ribbon cutting ceremony [when we reopened],” said Adcock.
Adcock gets his staff to take part in the zaniness as well.
“I get to be the outsized personality," he said. "I get to be the figurehead.”
Adcock gets a kick out of his local celebrity status. He says he gets stopped all the time and asked to reenact one of his commercials. But points out he also enjoys asking his staff to take part in the spots as well.
And it makes you wonder, are they really this crazy off screen?
“We are," said Adcock. "That's what's interesting is people come to a pawn shop and if they've never been to a pawn shop before, they might be a little nervous or apprehensive.”
Adcock says a lot of people have the wrong impression of pawn shops.
“Oh, the pawn shop is where you go to sell your stuff at a deep discount!" said Adcock, pointing out what some people say to him. "Not really. That's about 5, 10% of what most pawn shops do is just buy stuff off of customers. Ninety, 95% of customers come and pawn stuff, which is microlending. They just want a small loan on their collateral and they want to make payments, come back and pick it back up.”
He says many of his customers are what's called unbanked. They don't have bank accounts or credit cards. And this [using pawn shops] is their way of getting that $100 or $200 to bridge that small gap until their next paycheck.
“What are their options? Steal or starve?" said Adcock. "This is not the America I want to live in. Pawn shops have always been that stop gap lender that just helps the working class.”
And Adcock is proud to serve that role.
“So am I proud to be the working man's bank? You bet!" said Adcock. "We're like the old fashioned mercantile store where it's not just about transactions, it's about getting to know the customers. It's relationship lending. It's relationship selling.”
And there's nothing zany about that.