Superior jeweler says the end is near, so prices are lowA Superior merchant has come up with a unique way to drum up business — discounted jewelry until the end of time.
By: Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune
Larry Falter, owner of Superior’s LTD Jewelers, hit upon a novel idea for his latest TV commercial — blending a storewide sale with his belief that the second coming of Jesus is near.
After opening with the trumpeting of horns and a glimpse of a land assailed by fire and lighting, the 30-second ad shows Falter in his store, stating his belief that as he reads the news “we are really close” to the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem.
“Nonetheless, here and now, if you want jewelry, I have access to millions,” he then says. And it’s all on sale at 50 percent off during his Second Coming sale.
“I thought, ‘I am going to have some fun here, be bold about my faith position and make a commercial that would tell people how I believe things are in the world’ ” before transitioning into a sales ad, Falter, 65, said Wednesday.
“I’m trying to be upfront with my faith and my position,” he said. “If anybody wants to see my jewelry or talk about the Lord’s coming, I’m here.”
Falter, the head elder for Beth Yeshaa Twin Ports, a Messianic Congregation, made the ad after returning from a trip to Israel earlier this year. It began airing on two Duluth stations in early November. It will continue to air through most of December.
The blend of apocalyptic imagery with a jewelry sale has raised eyebrows.
“The first thing that crossed my mind was the line ‘Diamonds are forever,’ and I thought, ‘Is he going to go there with that?’ And he didn’t,” Michael Gatlin, Vineyard Christian Fellowship senior pastor, said after viewing the commercial.
“For me, from a theological prospective, I don’t find it helpful at all,” he said.
Gatlin worked in marketing for years as an art director.
“At that level, I can’t picture anyone rushing out to buy jewelry because the Day of the Lord is imminent,” he said. “Other than that, I just find that stuff kind of sadly humorous.”
Falter has received a few calls and store visits from people wanting to talk about the commercials.
“If Jesus really is coming back, why would I want diamonds?” Falter said one person asked. But so far he’s only received one negative comment. It came from a Buddhist who was uncomfortable with Falter mixing faith and selling jewelry in an ad.
In addition to the TV ad, Falter is using a large banner outside his Tower Avenue store to advertise his Second Coming sale.
“It’s giving me the opportunity to talk to people about things that maybe I wouldn’t have normally mixed in during my business day,” he said of the campaign.
The campaign is attracting attention beyond the Twin Ports area. The ad has been posted on YouTube and at least one other website. Bloggers and Minnesota Public Radio have mentioned it or interviewed a somewhat surprised Falter.
“I wasn’t expecting to get any attention,” he said.
So far, no one has asked Falter why, if he believes the Second Coming is near, he just doesn’t give the jewelry away. But he has a ready answer.
“I have ethical obligations to people I owe money to,” he said. “If I couldn’t discharge those ethical responsibilities, I wouldn’t be giving a very good witness. I don’t want to profit at someone else’s expense.”