Great Moments in Minnesota Marketing

My personal favorites, in some particular order…

1) The Current

A snippet about their recent birthday party from Chris Riemenschneider at, the arts and entertainment weekly from the Strib. Click here for City Page’s review. We are so lucky and the show really was awesome.

Four of the five acts playing the Current’s Sixth Birthday Party have filled First Ave on their own, so the soiree is sort of a wham-bam thank-you overview of numerous weekends at the club. The acts certainly owe gratitude to the nonprofit radio station for making those gigs possible. And the station owes a giant thanks to the music scene for making it something more than just another Radiohead-spinning hipster rock outlet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Trampled by Turtles will open the show — late arrivals, be damned! — followed by Roma di Luna, Jeremy Messersmith, Free Energy and Brother Ali.

I suppose I should say why this is amazing marketing. All you have to do is go somewhere else in the US and turn on the radio. Public radio stations typically have talk and classical music formats. Commercial stations are naturally dependent on advertising and are excruciatingly format driven. Is this target marketing at its worst? Are musical tastes really that “siloed?”

About 6 years ago, MPR purchased a beloved and unique public radio station in Minnesota. People were mad. Then people were shocked — happily — to hear this new station. And it’s only gotten better. Where else can you regularly hear local music on the radio and then go see them perform live — all the time?

2) The Pillsbury Doughboy. Seriously, I’ve loved him since I was 3. Why doesn’t he have his own YouTube channel, though?

Tara Jarmon for Target

3) Target’s Guest Designers. Where else can you buy toilet paper AND William Rast denim? Target’s Go International brings innovative new designers to my neighborhood big box. I need Tara Jarmon’s reissued dress for the spring!

I would not be able to find this anywhere else, so why would I go anywhere else? Doesn’t it save me time to combine all my shopping into one, big trip? Time, maybe…

4) Minnesota Professional Sports. Here’s how I sum them up:  We live in the State of Hockey, we love to hate the Vikings (and the Dome), and we play baseball outside in Twin’s Territory. How could you not love that?

5) Winter. From the surreal beauty of the City of Lakes Loppet, to quaint and campy St. Paul Winter Carnival, and the St. Paul Parks and Rec ice rinks, but especially the one at Groveland Park; we love winter. Yeah, not just LIKE it, but love it. We’ve turned the terror of 20 below into thinking 32 in February is a heat wave. I can’t begin to explain to a non-Minnesotan how incredible 33 degrees feels in the middle of winter. You have to live here, a long time, to feel that way. But we don’t want to get it too much warmer because then the sledding hills will turn to mush and the ice rinks will get choppy. Thank goodness for the refrigerated ones

A BIG THANKS to all my students who offered me their own Minnesota Marketing Faves when I got stuck on the Pillsbury Dough Boy (and his Crescent Rolls).

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