Rattlesnakes and Mullets?

As a business-school student, I dreamed of the day I would graduate and work in the glamorous world of advertising…where my days would be filled with photo shoots, wardrobe selections, high-profile events with clients, and TV commercials at exotic locations; then reality HIT!

During the last two years, I have been tasked to search for local events for my clients to sponsor. Frequently, I come across the most peculiar events that surprisingly hundreds of folks attend annually. And, I would ask myself, “Why on earth would you attend a rattlesnake festival, mullet (as in the fish, not the hairstyle) rodeo or agricultural festival for fun?”

The fact is, these events are deeply rooted in the backbone of American small towns. Typically, these events are aligned with the history and prosperity of the town, and are a huge source of pride for its residents.  As a “city-dweller,” I have definitely grown to appreciate the warmth of the small-town communities as they unite and support each other during the planning and execution of these events.

The truth is, during these hard economic times, many consumers are no longer enamored with the big shiny commercials or sleek catchphrases; nor do they aspire to have more than what they can truly afford. Consumers want honesty, trust, and the support of their community. Consumers want to know that they are getting value for their money and that the brands they choose are truly invested in the wellbeing of their fellow neighbors. And what better way to support a community than by sponsoring and investing in the local culture in order to build a long-lasting relationship with the residents of that town.

I cannot count the numerous “thank-yous” and appreciation notes my clients have received from local governments and residents for our support of their town; it means a lot to them.

So, I may not be on a TV commercial set by the beach, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m  not only helping my clients advertise their service and products…but, more importantly, I’m helping small communities maintain their culture, which is more than I could have asked for in a career.

— Karla Chambers, Account Executive


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