Dude Ranch “Super” Marketing

By Jane Van Berkum on February 12th, 2013

Riding the high country in southern Colorado

Riding the high country in southern Colorado

Like most dude ranchers, I think about marketing at our Colorado guest ranch. A lot. Between all the blogging, face booking, tweeting, pinning—or is it pinteresting?!—posting, meta tags, YouTube videos, keywords and goodness knows what else, my mind is a jumble of noise, rather like a casino when you first walk in.

With the recent buzz about the Super Bowl ads, I realize that at Rainbow Trout Ranch we have been on the wrong track. We are obviously too clean-cut with our images of horses and beautiful country, fishing and family fun. Advertising is basically about getting noticed and clearly ours should actually be about skimpy outfits, certified geeks kissing supermodels with vile noises, screaming goats, and nursing home refugees—-all for a price tag of a mere $3.8 million for 30 seconds. (Most of us dude ranchers would be delighted to clear that in five years, let alone spend it on half a minute!)

But in the midst of all the clever, the gimmicky, the twisted, and the plain commercialism of the Super Bowl, I was delighted to note that the two commercials most touted by the “experts” were the Paul Harvey voiced Dodge piece paying homage to farmers (actually a farmers’ ad about Dodge, but I like my way better) and the Budweiser ad with the love story between a man and a horse. Granted it is a Clydesdale and the setting is no dude ranch, but a horse is a horse, and we love our horses.

So in the end, perhaps we did get a little piece of that “Super” marketing. Even in all the craziness, it still comes down to horses and land, and the people that work it and celebrate it. Like us.

But frankly, as far as marketing goes, and as I keep saying: I just want to take trail rides!


On the trail at our Colorado dude ranch

On the trail at our Colorado dude ranch

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