Viral Spiral: Oliver Jewellery

Do a YouTube search on “Oliver Jewellery” and you’ll soon
discover Russell Oliver, a Toronto-based retail jeweler whose
so-bad-they’re-good cash-for-gold
commercials/videos have developed a cult-like following on YouTube. For
well over
two decades Oliver has sent home the constant refrain of “I’ll give you
cash
for your gold.” In the 1990s, Oliver’s cash-for-gold commercials were
pretty
tame compared to the nonsensical commercials featuring Cashman, a
character
that is seemingly so unscrupulous that DC Comics actually threatened the
jeweler with a lawsuit for portraying its superhero in such a way as
to be
“damaging to Superman’s character,” according to a Calgary news report
in 2008.
Video marketing guru Nick Failla dons his cape and tights to review one
of
Oliver’s most viewed Cashman video uploads, which has received more
than
128,000 unique views.    

When you watch an Oliver Jewellery commercial two
things become immediately apparent, Russell wants to buy your old
jewelery and
he pays cash. Actually, I really didn’t do Russell justice. Let me
try this again. Russell really, really, really wants to buy your old
jewelery and he will pay you cash. Cash!!! It is the distinct clarity of message and comical delivery
that have helped Russell become the most recognized jewelery buyer in
his
market. His schtick has been the subject of a satirical skit on Canada’s hit
comedy show
Royal Canadian Airfarce. You can even
find videos of his fans imitating him and delivering his now-famous
catchphrase, “Oh yeaaaaaah!”

When representatives of GJP Advertising and Design were interviewed
by City TV Toronto, they were very critical of Russell’s spots and his
own
participation in the commercials. However, Russell plays up the campiness of
the
spots. He believes wholeheartedly that they work and has repeated
his
message on television for over 26 years. Since his store has a constant
influx
of new customers, he sees no reason to change his approach.

And not only does he enjoy
having
fun with his customers, but he also treats them fairly—and delivers on his
promises. When an undercover news piece was done on the jewelery-buying
market in Toronto, Russell’s store was included. The intention of the
exposé
was to test local merchants and determine if consumers
were
receiving appropriate payments.
Russell’s store
passed with flying colors.

When creating an advertising campaign, you might
consider humor and credibility. It’s a wonderful formula for success. It’s
also
one everyone can afford. Ohhhhhh yeaaaaaaaah….