The Science of Kitsch in Marketing Content

 In Case Study, Content, Marketing

The Science of Kitsch in Marketing Content

Marketing content is not cookie-cutter. Nor should it be. Sure, there are undeniable truths about marketing success, but you can’t exactly follow a paint-by-numbers template.

When it comes to the way you engage your audience, the practice most often equates to trial and error. You see what works and what doesn’t, and then make educated adjustments.

You never know.

My point: I wonder what a certain marketing team was thinking when they came up with this?


Whatever fever dreams led to this advertising, it paid off.

Kitsch is King

Right outside the Smoky Mountains stands the town of Pigeon Forge—a tourist hotspot that features miles of hillbilly-branded fun. Mix white beards and blacked-out teeth with dinner theater, and you have fun for the whole family.

This is the place where Dolly Parton is pretty much the mayor. Portion sizes are king-sized and gas station sodas are priced three times higher than they should be.

Walk down the strip, and you’ll see a building in the shape of the Titanic, an upside down playground, and a giant King Kong climbing up the side of the Hollywood Wax Museum.

All kitsch.

Kitsch is rampant all over the country, and your target market knows about it—even if they’ve never heard the term.

The Reason I’m Bringing This Up…

Kitsch grabs attention, and for the most part, it’s a sustainable marketing practice. In a world rife with ever-evolving SEO standards and unpredictable market needs, the thought of a marketing staple is a beautiful thing.

Pigeon Forge and surrounding tourist traps are filled with people. These tourists open their wallets to buy fool’s gold, to eat candy apples, and to see the Hatfield and McCoy dinner show.


And it’s been that way for years.

The question is: why is this goofy stuff so successful?

And how does the psychology behind it factor into the content you use to communicate with your unique audience?

Kitsch is Visible, Like Profitable Content Marketing

Visibility is a key ingredient in your content marketing plan. If your website content, white papers, blog articles, and landing pages don’t land squarely in front of your audience’s eyes, they’ll float deeper into the digital ether.

Kitsch marketing allows its prospects to see the product and get a taste of the experience. The advertising entertains the audience, and by extension, values their time.

To steal a page from this marketing playbook, and increase your visibility, make certain that your marketing content…

  • Follows the contract that time is valuable, and should not be wasted.
  • Gives your audience a preview of the user experience.
  • Entertains the audience and showcases a personality that stands out in a large sample.

Kitsch is Memorable

If your content isn’t memorable, it won’t generate as many conversions.

Content marketing, when it’s successful, does not always produce an immediate win. Not in the form of clicks and conversions, at least. A knee-jerk reaction is not always the best outcome—especially if you’d like to attract informed buyers who don’t question their purchasing decisions.

Images such as the ones depicted above stick with a person for a very long time. As that prospect lingers over the marketing, they inch closer and closer to a purchasing decision.

How can you make your marketing memorable? Here are a few general guidelines:

  • Storytelling is king. Any type of conflict that is overcome will strike a chord with people.
  • Personalization is queen. Whether it’s list segmentation or a social media algorithm, customization makes individual prospects feel unique.
  • Honesty is prince. Personalization will take you far, but so will an understanding of your buyer psychology. If you know what bugs them, you can get brutally honest. In other words, you show empathy.

Kitsch Showcases a Quality User Experience

Look at this:


You might not know what happens when you walk in, but you can be sure of one thing.

You’ll have fun.

This is the fundamental nature of effective content. You showcase the experience that awaits the customer. If you can do that, you’ve already won the game.

Click here to see how your marketing stacks up.

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