November 06, 2008

Hard-Time Lessons From Grandpa Red

It's "Recession Week" here at TAC. I've asked some of my colleagues to give us their thoughts about advertising during a recession.

Today's guest post is by Jimmy Cabral.

My grandfather prepared me for a recession. Grandpa Red grew up in an orphanage in Healdsburg, CA. Times were tough and his mother couldn’t afford to take care of him.

He worked hard his whole life and appreciated the money he earned. Later, when he married and raised four children, those tough times never seemed to leave him.

He had everything he needed and, once in a while, he’d get something he wanted. He was the type of person that always bought quality -- but it was the most basic model of quality. His cars were well used, but always meticulously taken care of. He always knew who had the lowest price on the stuff he needed.

He'd clip a coupon. In fact, he had a coupon drawer. He didn’t like cheap though. He’d walk in anywhere and bargain with anyone. He’d pay what he thought was fair, or he’d walk out.

I remember once when he got a new TV our whole family was certain that Grandpa Red got the best deal available. And he was proud to let you know it.

Some thoughts about Grandpa red:
  • He didn’t need or care about the latest unnecessary features.
  • He wasn’t cheap, he appreciated value.
  • He used and reused every bit of everything he bought.
  • He watched prices and he’d wait for the best one.
  • He was a brand loyalist. All of his tools were Craftsman. In his mind, compromising on quality was not an option.
  • He didn't buy anything he didn't need.
  • None of this interfered with his happiness.
I think you're going to meet a lot of Grandpa Reds in the next year. You might want to get to know him.

Jimmy Cabral is group creative director at Hoffman/Lewis. You can reach him at

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