It's a little known fact that the marketing of the Duke Cannon Brand is inspired, to a large extent, by our grandfathers. And while the grandpas of the co-founders are no longer with us, if they were here today, we can be assured of three things: 1) they’d be telling great stories; 2) they’d be working hard or building something; and 3) they’d have no idea who Ed Sheeran is. (“He’s the fellow who owns the Chevy dealership on 7 Mile as I recall.”) We also surmise that our grandpas would have little patience for the hyperbole and flowery “romance language” used by most marketers to sell their wares today. Our granddads were straight shooters. They told it like it is. As such, we imagine what our marketing might look like if grandpas ran marketing.
Most packaging copy today has more adjectives than conjunctions and articles combined. Not Grandpa’s copy. No hard sell here. Just a straight forward pitch that you are free to take or leave because, after all, it’s a free country.
There would be no new-fangled digital advertising with dancing babies in Grandfather’s marketing plan. Rather, a straightforward and honest entreaty on a billboard would politely ask that passing motorists adopt a positive perception of our product quality.
You might think that grandfathers would be hesitant to hire celebrities to pitch their wares. After all, why pay another fellow to say something you could just as easy say yourself? A fair question, unless that fellow is Stan Musial, a leading batsman and 3-time MVP for the St. Louis Cardinals. An honest and amiable man, Stan Musial was called upon to advertise bread, shoes, cereal, cigarettes, ball gloves, more cigarettes, chewing gum, chewing tobacco, and after-shave. Or, products totaling about 42% of America’s total gross domestic product in 1962.
Walk into any Five and Dime, and you won’t find a fancy display trying to distract you from a pleasant shopping experience. Instead, you may find an honest and direct headline that expresses a well-known maxim: those who try Duke Cannon products tend to purchase them.