Friday, December 09, 2005

Do hobby farmers have hobby horses?

It's a genuine privilege to watch master craftsmen at work. So I treasure every chance to see Carmichael Lynch's Tractor Supply Company TV spots. Of course, I first wondered who Tractor Supply Company is. (Answer: "one of the largest retail chains in America which serves full and part time farmers and ranchers, hobby farmers, rural homeowners and contractors.") A magazine called "Out Here," a web site to teach you how to build a horse stall -- well, couldn't you just weep for the sheer multi-platform perfection?

And it all makes me wonder. What if WalMart advertising were that charming? Even though they cast a wider net shopper-wise, what if WalMart had made the early decision to honestly and skillfully embrace their small-town roots -- instead of now rushing to copy Target? It wouldn't exactly preclude going upscale. Because the genius of those TCS spots is they appeal to both the farmer audience and the urban dweller who dreams of riding mowers. Mesquite, huh?

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