Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Marketing the Rockets' Red Glare

The Fourth of July is one of those holidays that you've just got to love.

It's summertime. It involves fireworks. It requires minimal shopping (other than hot dogs and watermelon). Other than making sure that you're wearing red and/or white and/or blue, you don't need to get dressed up. (Note to self: Once again, see if you can find a scarf to replace the nice Stars and Stripes one you lost when you went to hear Kerry speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. If not, wear LL Bean striped t-shirt and red-white-and-blue earrings.)

What is not to love?

Well, maybe it's the hokey ads that try to exploit The Glorious 4th.

I thought I'd do a quick inventory on the ones I've seen this year.

Southwest Airlines: You're now free to celebrate your birthday, America. I'm no big Southwest fan, and while the visuals are nice (all-American scenes), the kiddie voice-over singing "My Country Tis of Thee" is a tad cloying. But overall this is a nice extension of their "You're now free to move around the country" campaign.

Tide: Very similar in imagery to the Southwest Airlines ad: all shapes, sizes, colors of Americans wearing red, white, and blue.  But the song is different: "America the Beautiful." And the singer's a pro (Cyndi Lauper).  The ad has been running since the spring, but it seems especially apt this week.

And then it struck me that there just isn't that much to inventory of Fourth of July ads out there. All I've seen are the above and a few print ads for retail store sales.

Maybe it's because I'm not watching enough TV. Maybe it's because the only thing I do watch these days is my daily dose of Red Sox baseball. But there just don't seem to be enough red-blooded American marketers out there exploiting our Grand and Glorious 4th.

Good thing: reverence for our national high holy day?

Bad thing: can't make a buck off of patriotism?

In fact, it's probably not either. It may just be that we already have enough ads tooting the patriotic horn. (Think John Mellancamp's "This Is Our Country" ads for Chevy.)

In any event, here I was all to write a critique of all sorts of Fourth of July ads and there just aren't any in site.

Well, when in the course of human events there's nothing to blog about, there's nothing to blog about.

To all marketers everywhere, opinionated or not, American or not, have a Grand and Glorious 4th.

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