Country Music: Admit It, You Love It

The country music industry will try to overcome a persistent inferiority complex with a self-deprecating advertising campaign aimed at encouraging fans to be proud and vocal. The slogan: "Country. Adm

The country music industry will try to overcome a persistent inferiority complex with a self-deprecating advertising campaign aimed at encouraging fans to be proud and vocal. The slogan: "Country. Admit it. You love it."

Last fall, the Country Music Association hired Austin, Texas-based advertising agency GSD&M to conduct consumer research and focus groups aimed at assessing current perceptions of country music and identifying its compelling traits. The campaign is the result of that research, which found that many music fans hesitate to admit they love the music of performers like Alan Jackson, the Dixie Chicks, and Tim McGraw.

"There was one young woman in Dallas in one of the focus groups that said, `I listen to country music in my car, but if I pull up at a traffic light and I see someone cool pull up next to me, I'll hit the button and change the station,'" said Ed Benson, executive director of the CMA, the industry's trade group. Benson hopes the campaign will launch in conjunction with the CMA Awards in November

The campaign, targeting listeners between the ages of 18-34, will appear as soon as the fall in television, print, and billboard advertising. The CMA, which has already committed $2.25 million of its own resources to the campaign, hopes country stars and other celebrities who enjoy country music will participate.

Copyright 2001 Billboard.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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