In a recent article, the Connecticut Post commended the creative and unusual advertising strategy of one popular restaurant known for its comfort food and southern cuisine: Cracker Barrel. In an age marked by Facebook advertisements, mobile marketing, and email blasts, Cracker Barrel has resisted the urge to modernize and yet still manages to find success.
As the Connecticut Post points out, Cracker Barrel sustains its popularity by relying on non-digital forms of advertising. Last year, the chain spent nearly half of its overall budget (49%) on outdoor ads and signage.
The result? Analysts expect Cracker Barrel to achieve an annual growth rate of 10.4%.
Roughly 67% of survey respondents reported that business sign quality affected their purchases. For this kind of restaurant, billboards make sense. Cracker Barrel situates its restaurant locations near highway exits and gas stations, bringing in weary travelers and on-the-go locals alike.
Other companies dismiss outdoor advertisements as expensive and ineffective. In a world of analytics and data-driven marketing, the impact of something as simple as a sign is difficult to track.
However, according to the Connecticut Post, the non-technical nature of Cracker Barrel’s advertising approach is precisely what makes it effective. Journalist Drew McLellan writes:
“People spend so much time in front of screens now that real-life advertisements have more power than they used to. Online browsers are masters at ignoring pop-up ads and banners, but when they see a billboard, street sign or other eye-catching object, they take a moment to look.”
According to a Huff Post article from August, the advertising landscape has indeed changed forever due to recent technological achievements. Social media, internet searching, and other forms of online entertainment are now favored by big companies as advertising platforms.
Google, in particular, has transformed the way companies promote their businesses. On average, the websites listed on Google’s first page of search results generate 91.5% of the traffic share.
However, some real-life, traditional ways of influencing consumers are slow to die. Approximately 93% of consumers said that live events were more impactful to them than television ads. And, as Huff Post points out, internet users get sick of online ads, with ad-blocking technology growing in use by 30% in 2016.
Overall, while technology has changed significantly, human behavior in relation to advertisements has shifted much less. We still want to see ads every now and then, but not all the time. Our eyes are still drawn to the flashy and interesting, but too much flash and interest can become a blur.
Cracker Barrel has caught on to this trend. By breaking away from the blur of online information, the company stands out and continues to draw business. After all, Cracker Barrel restaurants themselves probably won’t go completely digital, so why should their ads?
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