In this age where Google has virtually become the mass media of the 21st century, advertising methods are undergoing a revolutionary change in Cecil County. Before this digital age arrived businesses had just a few traditional outlets, but now there are many emerging ways for promoting a product.
Still some people prefer to do things the old-fashioned way. One business that uses a method that’s been around for a century or longer is Elkton’s Philly Pretzel Factory on Bridge Street. Most days, the “Philly Pretzel Man” is seen on what has to be the county’s best advertising real estate hawking those tasty pretzels. Hour after hour, as cars rush by, he waves, holds up his sign, and uses some friendly antics to catch the eye of passing motorist. Over the weekend, he was out there in his Santa suit, which was getting lots of attention.
In an age when we hear about Facebook, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, streaming and much more, his style is almost a throwback to an earlier era of direct promotion, the old sandwich-board hawkers. It is apparently very effective as motorist look for that friendly wave while passing through the busy intersection. Something else that speaks to the effectiveness of this space as a form of direct advertising is the competition he faces for the valuable spot, especially during the election season. The Elkton FOP and many candidates for the town and county offices were out there taking over that premium medium-strip for a few hours. Sometimes instead of the friendly “Pretzel Man” passersby see a man “standing for freedom” with his flags and political signs about the president, congress or other matters of the moment.