Sunday, July 27, 2008

The deep attraction of the locally-produced

While reading a review of Rob Walker's "Buying In," in today's New York Times Book Review, I got to thinking about why I buy a certain type of beer.

The review points out Walker's description of the rebirth of Pabst, which after decades of decline began to grow again, led by young people seeking an unpretentious and less heavily-advertised beer to drink. Picking up on the weak signals, Pabst marketing shrewdly capitalized on the image by embarking on a low-profile campaign focusing on small-scale sponsorships of happenings favored by their market segment.

Yesterday, I took the kids and some friends and went on a tour of the Troegs Brewery across the river in Harrisburg.

I only drink local beers--Troegs, Stoudt's, Lancaster Brewing. And reading the book review made me ponder why this was so. Local beer is fresh, sure. Brewed in small batches. It has more taste than the mass-produced beers. But this didn't explain it all to me. To me, the local aspect is predominant.

Was there a "deep metaphor" at work here? With apologies to the Zaltmans, authors of "Marketing Metaphoria" and coiners of the phrase "deep metaphor," I think so. Something deep in my psyche makes me yearn for Troegs Sunshine Pils and revolt at the thought of Miller Genuine Draft.

Similarly, we get our vegetables much of the year from Spiral Path Farm, a CSA farm located about an hour from here, which we've visited.

At any rate, if this is so, it perhaps explains another phenomenon--when a big national bank buys a local bank, within two years a new local one springs up to take its place. Or does that only happen in my town?

Related Post:
"Marketing Metaphoria": Deep yearnings about the products we buy