Your Take: Buy or Sell Out

Karlie Justus Marlowe | April 9th, 2011

Country music is known for its tear-jerkers, a fact not lost on the Vidalia Onion Committee.

[Insert your own Sammy Kershaw joke here.]

The industry association is set to launch a campaign featuring country artists Vince Gill, Billy Currington, Gary Allan and Ashton Shepherd. The promotion is in conjunction with Universal Music Group Nashville and will include on-bag images, advertisements in Country Weekly, radio support and more.

Trade publication The Packer has more details:

To spark consumer interest, the industry is sponsoring its first Vidalia onion jingle contest.Brannen said the industry has long wanted to sponsor such a contest. She said having consumers write and perform songs about Vidalia onions should keep the industry’s promotions fresh and in line with what other large corporations have done in recent years in interacting with and offering consumers opportunities to become creative through the Internet.

The consumer jingle contest will also award a Nashville, Tenn., trip that will include recording session time and backstage passes providing special privileges to the city’s top destinations.

The campaign attempts to link the onions’ Deep South heritage with growing consumer interest in music.

Product placements and promotions are nothing new in the music and entertainment businesses, and have been used to target country fans by companies such as Wrangler.

As a country fan, would having a country musician on a product you were buying cause you to change your purchase habits?

  1. Paul W Dennis
    April 9, 2011 at 7:57 am


  2. Barry Mazor
    April 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Almost nobody ever says “I was influenced by advertising’ of any sort! The point of these ads is not to arrive at an instant “Loretta advertsies Crisco, so I’ll buy Crisco,” but to slowly identify using and owning the product with what the celebrity is taken to stand for, or to be. (And it was not a coincidence that those Crisco people saw an opening in moving Loretta’s audience over from lard!)

    Reminding people that “Hey; it’s very Southern to use Vidlaia onions” would be designed to have the same sort of slow, accumulating impact–even though, we should note, Gary Allan, like a lot of produce, is from Calfiornia..

  3. buddy
    April 9, 2011 at 10:29 am

    “This hour is brought to you by Martha White’s flour and GooGoo Clusters – they are goooood!”

  4. Fizz
    April 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Nope. I’m a Nascar fan, but I don’t switch brands of beer or motor oil or jeans or whatever, when my favorite driver gets a new sponsorship deal. Same deal with music. Last time this discussion came up, I mentioned the George tHorogood song “Bad To The Bone,” and how watered-down and silly it sounds now that it’s used to peddle trucks and blue jeans. Country’s longstanding tradition of hucksterism notwithstanding, I find stuff like this Vidalia Oinion thing a little embarrassing.

  5. luckyoldsun
    April 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    At least TV commercials bring back old songs to the new generation who hasn’t heard them.

  6. Rick
    April 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Celebrity product endorsements of any type have no influence over my purchasing decisions. The exception might be tech guru Leo LaPorte when he actively promotes his sponsors such as Eset’s NOD 32 antivirus software which I’ve used for years with excellent results.

    When businesses sponsor concerts and radio programs I enjoy, I might be more favorably predisposed towards patronizing them. I said might…

  7. Hoggy from Oz
    April 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Well, put it this way: If I was a guitarist and aspired to play like Brad Paisley and saw Brad Paisley endorse a I brand of guitar, I’d probably get it. However, if it’s a country singer endorsing just some random product that I wouldn’t buy normally, I probably wouldn’t get it just because that star endorsed it.

    That said, I do want a stetson!

  8. Fizz
    April 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Well, Hoggy, he plays a Fender Telecaster. Go for it!

  9. Collin
    April 10, 2011 at 1:09 am

    I’d probably be excited that country music is being more widely accepted, but I doubt I would buy a product more than I already do. Then again, the vast, vast majority of my money that doesn’t go to gas or bills goes to food, so I’m not anyone’s ideal customer.

  10. MayorJoBob
    April 10, 2011 at 5:50 am

    It might scare some liberals away but I’m all for it! I don’t know about onions as the choice; It’ll have to be a real sad song to go with all the crying, lol!

  11. idlewildsouth
    April 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I think Barry hit it on the head. If we knew we were being influenced by advertising, we probably wouldn’t be as influenced.

  12. Jon
    April 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I don’t know that Barry’s point was that we don’t we’re being influenced by advertising. I think he was pointing out that the point of endorsement campaigns like this one is to build brand awareness and brand identification; sure, the ultimate goal is to build (or at least maintain) sales and market share, but programs like this one aren’t intended to spur folks to think “ah, so-and-so says Vidalia onions are the bomb, I guess I’d better go buy myself a sack or three.”

  13. Bambi
    April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Barry’s got it right on. Also sometimes the exposure an artist gets when advertising sells the artist more than the product they’re speaking for. Like when Joey + Rory did ads for I’ve never even visited the overstock website, but I bought Joey + Rory’s album first chance I got. I’d like to see some good Vidalia onion ads with some make-me-cry country songs. Why not? I say bring it.

  14. Peter
    April 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Not to be picky (but here goes…) but Brad’s guitars, though they look like standard Tele’s, are from here:

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