Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The connection between a pony, Preparation H & a liquor store June 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I’M NO MARKETING EXPERT. But I did take advertising and public relations classes in college, a requirement of my Mass Communications degree. Yet, degree and media experience aside, I rely primarily on my initial emotional reaction to rate the success or failure of media campaigns.

I find myself most drawn to advertising messages that tug at my heartstrings or offer a bit of unexpected humor. Flashiness and celebrity endorsements don’t impress me. Simplistic and relatable do. Punch out a strong message, boom, and you’ve got me. Word choice matters, as do music and setting in TV commercials and radio spots.

I photographed these little ponies at Sibley Park in Mankato.

I photographed these miniature horses at Sibley Farm in Sibley Park, Mankato, Minnesota.

My husband will tell you I seldom pay attention to television commercials. For good reason. Most aren’t worth my time. But he’ll also tell you there are exceptions. When the Amazon Prime ad featuring a sweet little pony airs, I crank up the volume like I’m listening to a favorite rock band. I love everything about that commercial from the music to the horses to the pure cuteness factor. I am obsessed to the point of wanting to purchase a little pony for my granddaughter. Isabelle is only 11 weeks old. I’m not serious, of course. But if I lived in the country…

From ponies to Preparation H, a new hemorrhoid treatment commercial filmed in the small southern Minnesota community of Kiester also rates as a current favorite. I applaud the marketing genius who connected kiester to Kiester and came up with this humorous, thinking outside the box ad.

Small towns can be a hotbed for unique advertising. For example, I spotted this sign outside Wayside Liquor in Montgomery (Minnesota, not Alabama) on Sunday:


Wayside Liquor sign in Montgomery, 14


A quick Google search indicates Wayside Liquor staff didn’t create this message. But they clearly knew the humorous words would grab the attention of motorists traveling along busy Minnesota State Highway 13. The sign works in directing attention toward the liquor store. Boom.

How about you? Do you have a favorite TV commercial, radio spot, print ad, sign, billboard? What makes it a winner?

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


19 Responses to “The connection between a pony, Preparation H & a liquor store”

  1. Marneymae Says:

    What a delight to see those creative & sweet & funny ads!
    (I don’t have a t.v.)
    When I used to live with roommates who watched a fair amount of t.v., this was one of my favorite ads

    Thanks for sharing the joy

  2. Marneymae Says:

    I’ll add that I’m not a fan of faking human mouths on animals in nearly must all cases, but I do like camels, and something about his enthusiasm meeting the less-than-enthusiastic-to-respond workers always makes me laugh.

  3. Your Title Alone Grabbed My Attention – ha! Every once in a while a commercial grabs my attention – cannot think of one that sticks out in my mind right now though. Love the liquor store sign. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    The Geico gecko=luv! And those Budweiser Clydesdales…….. with the puppy!!!!! sigh………………….

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    Geek usually has some good ones. I love the ones featuring the tiny giraffe like this one:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkB9OT2XVvA

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I don’t watch a lot of tv but I do find the Nascar themed Coca Cola commercials humorous

  7. Sue Ready Says:

    I agree with your observation on word choice matters. Your title certainly grabbed my attention and clever how you put it all together.3 unrelated things. i wonder if liquor store felt this signage increased business??

  8. Instead of listing what I like, I’ll tell you what bugs me.. Flawed commercials and those that insult your intelligence. There is a commercial (Auto Insurance I believe) that shows a young driver going along happily down the two lane road when he notices a police car in his rear view mirror, a nervous look appears on his face and when the cop pulls along side of him (he’s on the wrong side of the road) and then smiles an affirmative smile at the kid.. WHY? Couldn’t he have passed him on the left? WHY? Would the kid pull out into the oncoming traffic lane in the first place to let a cop car pass him on the right? It is things like this that really get my goat, they pay these ad people hundreds of thousands of dollars and they come up with something this incomprehensible and furthermore they pay high price executives to screen these ads and to approve them…

  9. The liquor store sign is funny. I generally like funny. And, weirdly, funny TV commercials with professional athletes. Kevin Garnett was in a funny headphone commercial some years ago. I even like those stupid State Farm Hoopers commercials.

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