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Boring Craigslist Ads Could Be A Thing Of The Past


The television show "Mad Men" has created a whole lot of drama around the art of advertising.


JON HAMM: (As Don Draper) How do you say ice water in Italian? Hilton. How do you say fresh towels in Farsi? Hilton. How do you say Hamburger in Japanese? Hilton.

GREENE: That's a pitch that leading man Don Draper made on the show to a fictionalized version of Hotel Magnet Conrad Hilton, but let's say you're not pitching an ad campaign to a hotel magnet. What if you just want to sell a slightly used toaster?


Enter Classify Advertising. It's a real-life ad firm created by three students just a few months ago as a way to practice some of what they were learning. Instead of setting their sights on high-end designers or sleek product lines, they were more interested in folks selling their used sofas and bike helmets on Craigslist.

PAT DAVIS: We saw Craigslist as this wasteland of ads that people are desperately searching to get rid of their things, but they don't have the resources maybe to stand out.

GONYEA: Pat Davis is one of Classify's co-founders. Here's the idea, take your average Craigslist ad...

GREENE: Two slice toaster, Black & Decker, $15. Hi there, great condition, sale due to a relocation, please let me know if you have any questions.

GONYEA: And put a little spin on it.

GREENE: Magic toaster turns bread into toast. A million years ago a fireball smashed into Earth wreaking all kinds of havoc on dinosaurs and wholly mammoths. Scientists recently discovered that fireball was a toaster, not just any toaster - a toaster that makes celebrity look-alike toast every once in a while. This thing doesn't need to be plugged in because it makes its own electricity while floating in space. What a shame that it only costs only $15 because it could be in a museum somewhere.

GONYEA: And for the record that toaster did sell. Another memorable item - a children's camera.

DAVIS: We created an ad where a baby was posing for a selfie for bath time and we included a headline that was #bathtime #Yolo and then in our description we had - kids are valuable brands in the making. All they need is an InstaGram account and a Twitter profile to launch them into global recognition. Help your child become the next viral sensation with a $25 investment in their first piece of production equipment.

GONYEA: The camera sold. Davis says a little personality can go a long way on Craigslist. As for the services provided by Classify Advertising they're free.

DAVIS: We're just the creative guys so we probably need someone with a business acumen.

GONYEA: Pat Davis and his partners are just sharing in the joy of finally helping you sell grandma's old sofa. This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.