Design Drama

documenting the delicate dance of design

Are Southerners More Brand Conscious or Loyal? November 18, 2008

Last night I was doing my usual routine of watching “Nightline” – their second or third (I forget which) story was about how, no matter where we turn these days – we are bombarded by advertising. And then the story honed in on product placement in entertainment, specifically movies. Examples included E.T. with Reeses Pieces, Cast Away and FedEx, iRobot with Converse All Star sneakers and FedEx in the first 5 minutes — then the narrator pointed to several examples in the new James Bond film, “Quantum of Solace.”

This was all fairly old news to me — then my ears perked up. One of the talking heads had a sound bite — something regarding “. . . you don’t ask for a soda, you ask for a Coke or Pepsi.”

Actually, I think that should be edited. In the South, every soft drink is a Coke. This is one of those Southern things. We don’t call soda “Pop” — all soda is “Coke.” It’s like an unwritten rule. Always has been for me. For example, I’ve had the following conversation more times than I can count:

Waitress: “What would you like to drink”
Me: “Coke”
Waitress “how about Pepsi”
Me: “same thing. . .”

So, this poses a question — are we Southerners more brand conscious?

Growing up, in my home, we used Folgers coffee, AIM toothpaste, Joy dishwashing liquid, Pledge furniture polish. My mother has bought these items as long as I can remember. Those brands are still there when I go home. Also, fried chicken requires Wesson oil. And no other brand of English peas enter my parent’s house other than LeSeur.

I have many friends that are originally from Louisiana & their love of Community Coffee is astounding to me. You’d think the stuff was liquid crack.

There are even events that pay homage to our favorite Southern things, like the “RC and Moon Pie Festival” — I forget where it is, but I don’t like either of those things, so I didn’t make a mental note as to it’s yearly location.

I think we’ve all known someone that’s die hard when it comes to automobile brand loyalty — how many large pickup trucks have we all been behind, where the driver shows his/her preference for model by adhering the sticker of Calvin peeing on the competition’s logo?

In politics, there is that old saying “So goes the South, so goes the country” — so I just wonder, do marketing people have this mantra in mind?

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3 Responses to “Are Southerners More Brand Conscious or Loyal?”

  1. iRobot Says:

    I don’t think that you can say southerners are more brand conscious but the differences in what we call a product based on the region of the world we are in has always interested me.

    I was born in Colorado and we called it Pop, I moved to the florida panhandle (I call it southern georgia) and everything was like you say a coke… the converstaion was usually:
    Waitress “What would you like to drink?”
    Me “Coke”
    Waitress “What kind?”
    me ;o)

    I then moved to the NE and you here all kinds but typically I hear it referred to as the name brand, so maybe they are a little more Brand Conscious here in the NE then the South or Mid-west.

  2. jim voorhies Says:

    Bell Buckle. The Festival is in Bell Buckle and it includes a 10 mile run and an arts and crafts fair that’s worth the trip. It’s usually in June or so.

  3. Beth Murphey D Says:

    Yep, Jim got to it before I could…Drew and I have been to the RC/Moon Pie Fest before. Outstanding antiquing in Bell Buckle, plus Dad went to the Webb School there so there’s a personal connection.


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