Wine, cheese, and Tractors

First…a delightful tangent story…..

A few years ago, I boarded a flight in Nashville and found the entire C-level management team of the Tractor Supply Company (TSC) seated around me. Apparently, TSC was being featured in that month’s new issue of the in-flight magazine and this flight was a PR event / celebration.

Before takeoff, I engaged in the typical seatmate conversation with them….told them that my family and I had shopped at our local TSC since I was a little boy…still shopped there for my hobby farm…they asked what I did…etc. As usual with airline seatmates, that was the extent of our relationship.

During the flight, as a part of the PR gig, the stewardess brought out a bottle of wine. The TSC’ers enjoyed that wine with some pricey French cheese (fromage!) and grapes while I enjoyed my packet of peanuts and complimentary in-flight beverage service.

Prior to that flight, I had a brand image of TSC that could be described with bib-overalls, barbed wire and farm animal supplies. Now when I walk into a TSC, I can’t get the thought of wine and cheese out of my head. 99% of the farmers that have known in my life are not in the “wine, cheese, and grapes crowd”. They’re in the “Ski and a Moon Pie crowd”.

(And after 4 paragraphs, my point is….)

The changing face of the market shows that the “wine & cheese crowd” are now the core of the TSC demo. As open farmland is increasing sub-divided, people that now buy “farm stuff” are not full-time farmers. They’re people like me who either hobby-farm or suburb-ites who have a farm-type need.

Steve Hall over at AdRants shines a light on the new ad campaign from TSC. I’ve seen these ads and they freak me out a little. It’s like the Thunderbird puppets went out on the farm. (See the ads here.)

Other than freaky puppets, I think TSC is doing some good marketing. All of their stuff looks really sharp. I absolutely love the “Hatch Show Print look” of the print in both the previous and current ad campaigns.

Just next time, how about sharing that cheese?

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ALWAYS be in control of your ad placement

Here’s an image via Adrants. If you’re not going to be actively involved in placing your advertising, the billboard company will.

Childhood Obesity that the media has accused us of creating? Bada ba da da…..I’m lovin’ it.
Shotgun Concepts

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