Ads Around the Midwest and the Goodyear Blimp

*People of the Midwest

The Midwestern area of the United States is categorized as being “nice.” I appreciate that about my local area much more than I do the cold winters. Generally speaking, we are nice, friendly, and have open faces. People smile and aren’t afraid to ask someone on the street for directions. Whenever I visit New York or a bigger city I have to remind myself not to look at people on the street, smile, or catch someone’s eye. When I’ve traveled to the Caribbean I find myself talking to people from the Midwesterner US or Canada.

When I observe and analyze local marketing that reaches the general public, I consider the “whys” of the message. Enjoy my thoughts on some regional marketing and a recent spotting of the Goodyear Blimp.

Tougher Than an Angry Beaver

I saw this billboard in the Chicago area. I’m not sure exactly what Duluth Trading was going for, but the ad caught my attention, which is half the battle. When I visited their website, I found that their attire line is work wear – tough clothes for people who really work. Also curious about their “Buck Naked Boxers” that they say “feels like wearing nothing at all.”

Here today. Job tomorrow.

Billboard in Madison by MATC, Madison Area Technical College. I would guess one of the biggest reasons people hold back from going to or going back to school is the length of time it takes to complete a course. I would presume the primary reason people do go back to school is to get a better, higher paying job.

What a simple way to address these issues /concerns and reach their target market. The tagline on this billboard is simple and makes a huge point. (Image from MATC website. I didn’t get a good picture while driving.)

The Goodyear Blimp

Spotted recently above Highway 41 in Wisconsin was the Goodyear blimp. I’ve seen it before, but usually only at sporting events. I found that there are three blimps in the US (one in China) and the technique has been used by Goodyear since 1925. The blimp moves a lot slower than social media, averaging about 30 miles per hour.

Blimps in the US cover 100 national sporting events, providing aerial coverage for games. Tens of thousands of people attend each game. Add that to the number of mentions and views on television (some events drawing millions of viewers) and you’ve got pretty good exposure. We know it’s the right combination of exposure and awareness that generates sales.

Now compare that with social media marketing. You know how much I proclaim the benefits of using Facebook for business. The Facebook page for Goodyear has about 15,200 likes. Seems kind of dismal compared to the number of people who have seen and would recognize the blimps, 90% of Americans, perhaps? There is something to be said for alternative forms of marketing that attract attention.

*Please note: stereotypes and regional cultural assumptions are not always correct. Often they are quite wrong. This article is meant only to share my opinions of marketing communications and advertising. My intent is never to offend. Also, blatant assumptions about any group of people (characterized by region or otherwise) can truly be upsetting. Please be careful in your marketing. Standing out is good. Getting negative attention is not.

Written by
Terra L. Fletcher
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