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October 10, 2010


When you think West Virginia, you think coal miners and truckers.  You think jeans, work boots, flannel and denim shirts dickie-type jackets with t-shirts underneath, down filled vests, beat up John Deer hats, thicker stripes and plaid — never thin stripes, or anything all black or all white.

When you think West Virginia, you think hicks, right?

At least, that’s the picture — courtesy of GOP ad people and the Kasich campaign — you see above.

  • Vvoter

    Certain demographics can be loosely associated with a set of visual markers. No surprise there.

    Casting calls, furthermore, don’t seem like they should be held to the same kind of scrutiny that we normally apply to official campaign communications. According to the Salon story, a casting director has a clear idea of what s/he wants the characters to look like, and the list of descriptions simply streamlines the selection process.

    In this way, stereotyping is a cornerstone not only of visual advertising and target marketing, but of Hollywood movies and television shows.

    To me, what’s lame about Kasich’s ad is the assumption that WV identity starts and stops with visual markers. At least they could have used actors who can better imitate an Appalachian parlance.

    • black dog barking

      Stereotypes and clichés speed up storytelling from which Hollywood and TV derive multiple benefits — notably keeping the viewer in his seat while getting the story-setting elements out of the way. It’s a shortcut. It’s also open to all manner of abuse.

      Kasich in Wv is defending himself against charges of carpetbagging. The actual “hicks” reference is probably of little relevance by itself. As a tasty bite-sized reminder of the carpetbagging charge it is priceless. Why does Kasich have go to Philadelphia to find people to speak for him? Why doesn’t he campaign there if he likes it so much? Etc.

    • black dog barking


  • sell-a-doah

    fell’n’skinnt muh’nukels. not!

  • Byron

    So wearing flannel makes you a hick? I think you’re the one stereotyping here, not the GOP. Either way, have you ever BEEN to West Virginia? This picture isn’t very far off.

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