Cowboy Up! – Trending Toward the American Cowboy Persona

by Tara Trask | Consumer Insights on January 18, 2011

in L&S, Marketing, Public Relations, Quick Service Restaurants, Retail, Travel & Hospitality

True Grit, Country Strong, and Cowboys & Aliens are just three movies in 2011 that have taken Hollywood back to its western roots. Line dancing and Alan Jackson’s 2008 hit song, “Good Time” are being used in a new GE TV commercial. Even Wyoming Tourism is embracing its cowboy heritage by sponsoring a professional rodeo team. Is it just me or is country cool again?

These 2011 cowboy trends have people buzzing in all areas. Marian Salzman, a self-titled “trend-spotter” for CNN Opinion, thinks the “cowboy up” trend will be where employees and students are taught to be more “emotionally resilient”. The Geeky Hostess predicts that consumers will love the “chance to leave their tech toys behind and dream of simpler, dirtier days.” M.M. Cloutier predicts that restaurant culinary trends for 2011 will include simplicity/back to basics ideals.

Perhaps the reason for the trend is that Americans need that strong, resilient hero to ride in on his horse and bring back the heart and soul of the true American spirit. Bill O’Reilly said it best in his Jan. 4 column, “America could use another John Wayne today”.

In 1969, when the original version of “True Grit” was playing in the movie theaters, Americans were looking for heroes such as Wayne to show them nobility. Today there are far fewer heroes, and we don’t expect much nobility, even in the movies.

I liked both versions of “True Grit.” But for me, it was Wayne who still deserves most of the cheers. The man was larger than life, a symbol of the insurmountable American spirit.

Boy, do we need that today.

Catering to the cowboy lifestyle and western culture enthusiasts will garner success for retailers who take on this solid trend in 2011. It doesn’t have to be a huge sale on ten-gallon hats and gun holsters. But, going a step further and embracing the cowboy mentality. It is a prime market to get back the roots of true American values and culture. After all, there is a little cowboy in us all.

Happy trails!


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