Stone-Age Marketing

One of the things about the West that charms me is the inventiveness of the people. Many people here xeriscape–no lawns, crushed granite and native plants dot the front yards. And there are people who happily market their services and products in that environment.

bags of stone with a message

bags of stone with a message

They use small plastic bags, about 2-inches x 3 inches, put in a small card with a description of their product or service, put in a few chunks of granite, seal the bags and toss them onto your front yard. I see them when I walk in the morning, bags left by slow moving cars that could easily be mistaken as a hit-man cruising the neighborhood (if you’ve watched all seasons of the Sopranos). Well, not really. Mostly the cars are several years old. One person drives, the other one flings the marketing bags onto yards.

I’m not saying I love them, you have to go pick them up and dispose of them, but I do think the idea is clever. Never a loss for getting your name out there.


Surprising, however, is how many people feel a need to tell you they are

Information side of bag o'rocks

Information side of bag o

Christian or love Jesus. (In the bag on the right, you can see the fish symbol.)  Again, it’s charming that the worker and his company love Jesus, but I don’t find that a deciding factor in landscaping, pool care or painting. Even if Jesus’s dad was a carpenter. I guess people do use that in the decision-making factor, or it wouldn’t be so prominent on the marketing material. And that opens up another whole line of thought. . . .

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and a certified creativity coach. She wonders about a lot of things and lives happily in ambiguity. See her work at

4 thoughts on “Stone-Age Marketing

  1. Hmmm…

    wonder what would happen if I put a pentacle (the star surrounded by a circle, most frequently used by Wiccans and Pagans) on my business cards and circulated them around the neighborhood?

    —You’d either get a lot of calls from witches and pagans for lawn care or they’d just drag you to Salem (Oregon is closer) and burn you at the stake. -Q

  2. I wonder why these people believe it is important to let other people know that they are Christians. How many other religions are there in your neighbourhood?

    Are they maybe looking for Christian customers?

    I have lived in a Muslim country with a small minority of Jews and Christians and I have lived in a Jewish country with a lot of Muslims and a small Christian community.

    I think that they might be looking for like-minded people.
    And then I may be completely wrong about this.

    —Here is what I’ve guessed at—many of the people who do this are dark-skinned. In most of America, dark skin is not an asset–it sets you apart as a foreigner. “Foreigner” is easily assumed to mean “terrorist,” particularly if you have dark skin. So saying you are a Christian is a way of saying you are “safe.” The state doesn’t keep public records of religion, of course, but my guess is that my neighborhood is probably 95 percent Christian, maybe more. -Q

    It could be interesting for you to figure this out.

  3. Yep.

    —I’ve wondered what would happen if these people identified themselves as Buddhists, Muslims or Jews. Or if identifying themselves as Christians is more complicated and far-reaching than I think. -Q

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