One of my favorite aspects of the Quarter Horse industry is the wide variety of disciplines and people that make up the industry– and how people choose to market their discipline. The breadth of topics, events, and horses provide for some amazing marketing tactics, especially in publications. (Some of my favorite AQHA publications are Cutting Horse Chatter, AQHA Journal, and America’s Horse. )
Many AQHA advertisements are focused on a single stallion, an entire ranch, or a famous rider that is offering training slots to the public. Below I have included some examples of the wide variation that can be seen in one AQHA publication.
The second advertisement is promoting a ranch called Coyote Rock Ranch. This ad also uses photos instead of fancy text or catchy slogans because “horse people” would rather see evidence of success than read accolades and awards that the ranch or horse has received.
The third example is a much busier, graphically designed advertisement. This style advertisement is actually the most popular format for AQHA ads because it provides the most information to the readers (stallion awards, Lifetime Earnings, offspring earnings, stud fee, etc.) and has either still head shots of the stallion or action shots of him during competition.
What I find interesting is that this style advertising is very signature to the horse industry. Most other industries (retail, cars, technology) focus on modern, simple, and white-background based advertisements because they appear sharper, cleaner, and more sophisticated. The horse industry is all about grit, kicking up dirt, and sweaty leather; and the ads must portray the same attitude.