If you’ve traveled the interstate between Nashville and Chattanooga you’ve probably seen some unique advertising for Rock City.  Rock City started its world famous barn advertising campaign in 1935 and before the Highway Beautification Act came into effect boasted almost 900 barns in the Midwest and Southeast promoting “SEE ROCK CITY”.  Now with numbers in the 90’s it is still effective and memorable advertising and the message itself has become an icon.


Literally using the adage, local markets should be your ambassadors lead Rock City to use the barns as a promotion tool.  A local family took up the challenge and a barn painting business was formed.

Can you imagine coming up with a marketing campaign today that would use the same slogan over the next 75 years, create spin off businesses and become an icon in and of its self? It worked for Rock City not just because of the unique presentation but because they strategically placed the unique message on barns where tourist and families out on Sunday drives would see it.  They knew their target audience and went after it.

I thought of these barns when I had to delete a few “advertisements” off my facebook page.   The internet is a huge interstate connecting the entire world and offering up a lot of potential customers, but you still need to ensure the right people are receiving your message.

“SEE ROCK CITY” is like a capture page that offers encouragement to OPT IN towards a specific destination.  Today, the next message down the road isn’t a barn but an email campaign full of hints to help our prospects move further down our sales funnel and to remind them to at least SEE what we have to offer.  This can be our spin off businesses such as affiliate products or an introduction to our main business.  From there our prospects can invest their hard earned money or not, but the choice is still theirs and directly related to how well we shared our message.

Today we “own” the business and the promotion tools (website, blog, facebook page, etc.).  With proper controls we remove the litter, graffiti and spam that can fill up our facebook pages and blog comments.  So a word of advice; don’t post advertisements on barns you don’t own.   Use your sites and create a sales funnel that relates to your target market and IF you want to create ambassadors for your message – ask first!

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