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A normal part of the commute in Michigan is an occasional bumper-sticker. They typically range from the conservative political loyalties to the ever popular little man urinating on the logo of either Ford or Chevy. (This always appears on the competitors vehicle.) I must admit since moving to VA it appears bumper-stickers are a way of life. I guess with the toe-to-toe daily regimen on 29 here in Charlottesville, it’s no wonder so many people choose to let their thoughts, opinions and advertisements be displayed on the butt of their vehicles.

It posed the question...Are bumper-stickers a form of advertising or a whimsical novelty? Well, if we look at the 3 key elements I’ve talked about in past posts it may give us a direction. Let’s say we are “advertising” this need…..

So, to whom would we want to ensure this message reaches or, what is the demographic? The need for more cow bell is most likely universal! However the message itself would force the assumption that the most likely demo would be adults 35+. Why? Because individuals of that age are probably the largest group familiar with BOC, CCR, Grand Funk Railroad, Nazareth and Mountain. (Mississippi Queen! Great cow bell!)

The second key element would be how often is the 35+ individual going to be exposed to the message. In other words, frequency! Since the message is riding on the bumper of a car/truck that would be determined by the amount of time the driver utilizes the vehicle.

According to ABC News, the average national commute is around 26 minutes. Only counting workdays it can be assumed that approximately 260 minutes are spent, minimum, driving the vehicle with the need for more cow bell resting at the rear. When you add in non-work related driving…I’d say that’s a good amount of frequency!

Lastly, is what you’re saying have impact? Or the message! If you ask me, this is a powerful message and relevant to those of us of age who lay eyes upon it! The need for “more cow bell” imbeds emotional joy in many songs that all have grown to love! When we hear Don’t fear the Reaper, Hair of the Dog, We’re an American Band and others it catapults us back in time to when turn-tables sat on our nightstands scratching out the pulse of our teenage years! When life was about going steady, high school and figuring out who was old enough to buy beer for you. (Not that I ever did that but I’ve heard stories.)

I think we can confirm that bumper-stickers are a definite form of advertising! If the 3 key elements are confirmed; Demo, Frequency and Message it is most likely an effective way to advertise. So the next time you decide to decorate your butt (of your car), think about what you may be representing or selling. Knowing you are doing one or both.

Now....who needs more cow bell????

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