What Texas Taught Me About The Most Important Part of Marketing

In the 1970s, Texas had a problem - littering. Keeping true to it’s “everything is bigger in Texas” motto, it was quite a big problem. So big that the government took notice and decided to do something about it. They wanted to clean Texas up. They directed sizable funds to address the problem and hired some people to create a campaign in order to stop people from littering. This is how Woodsy the Owl was born.

Months after Woodsy the Owl shared his “Give a Hoot; Don’t Pollute” message, things didn't change. In fact, they'd gotten worse. Littering had actually increased. Texas was dirtier than before and people weren't resonating with Woodsy or his message.

The government was getting increasingly frustrated at the cost and futility of the campaign, not to mention the filth on the streets. They brought in a marketing company that came in and did some research. They found two things:
1. who the biggest culprits were when it came to littering, and
2. what mattered to them.
A new campaign was born.

Within 2 years, littering decreased by a whopping 80%! This campaign focused on their audience - the youth of Texas, and reflected on what resonates with them - Texan patriotism. It's so effective that 30 years later, the campaign is still alive and thriving. 

Moral of the story: Focus on who your audience is - their goals, their pain points, their struggles and what matters to them.