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"Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century."
~Marshall McLuhan

Marketing to Rednecks & Goobers.
(How folks in "fly over" country respond to advertising.)

by Clay Campbell

What about all these polls the media people are conducting? Where are they getting the people from that they poll? I bet a Ben Franklin there a very few if any people chosen to answer poll questions that live in places like Jasper Indiana or Hoxie Kansas.
I have asked in every seminar I do, I ask if anyone has ever been called up and answered the questions to one of those polls. No one ever has. I have never met anyone that has. And I know a heck of a lot of people. Now people may think me naïve, but there are millions of Rednecks and Goobers like me out here in fly over country. These political polls and advertising have at least one thing in common: Folks are very wary of some kind of “bait and switch”.

The first thing to remember when advertising to Rednecks and Goobers is this:
The main thing is, to keep the main thing, the main thing. And the main thing in advertising is to entice people like and trust you or your company.

I see and hear so much advertising that does neither. I have been an entertainer and performer since before Pizza Hut got started in a little hut out in Kansas. When I first was getting started playing and singing I was always a bit nervous to get up in front of people to sing. I told my mom that I was “too self conscious”. Mom said,” Son, you’re not too self conscious son, you are too others conscious” You gotta remember that when folks are not trying to solve some specific problem, they are thinking about themselves. Their car, their hair, their deodorant, their bills, their hemorrhoids, their breath, their taxes and they ain’t thinkin’ about you!”

Same is true about rednecks and goobers out here in fly over country. When they see your ad on TV, or hear it on the radio, or see it on your website, a newspaper – whatever; they are not thinking about, nor do they care about you and your dopey business, and how much you want to get rid of your unsold inventory. They are trying to figure out their own problems. Rednecks and Goobers are not concerned that you are having a big sale. They think it’s funny that you’re selling for half price, a bunch of stuff that you already sold to a bunch of artsy fartsy folks for full price. They think you are having the biggest sale of the year to get rid of the crap no one else wants. They think you will mark it down to 70% or 80% off, or send it back to the manufacturer, or the main warehouse, or whatever it is that you always do with the crap you can’t sell. They think like that; they really do.

My wife and I were out on date one night to the movie and happed to drive by Penny’s. A HUGE sign out front said: Biggest Sale of the Year! I was teasing her and said, “Honey it looks like you’re missing the biggest sale of the year”. She replied, “Oh, they’ll have one like that again next month”. My wife is not alone. Every time you advertise the biggest sale ever, you are wasting your money on the folks in fly over country; they just don’t believe it.

I have heard ads for jewelry, furniture and car dealers shout “WE WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER SALE THIS BIG” . Rednecks just call that bull sh--. Millions of others believe the same way. Hype, bull sh—and “ad-speak” don’t work with folks in fly over country.
My point: Rednecks and Goobers love to buy things, but they don’t like to be sold. They feel like if they want something, they’ll go buy it, but they strongly resist being talked into it by advertising.

Perhaps now would be a good time to have a complimentary meeting with a Wizard of Ads Partner. Links to their websites and blogs are listed down the right side of The Wizard Times. Hundreds of their articles with free insightful advice can been seen at 2009 would be a great year to attend a class at the Wizard Academy 21st Century Business School in Austin Texas. What is the Wizard Academy?

See you next week.

Clay Campbell
Wizard of Ads

PS. Need help to attract more customers and grow your business?