Troutner and Taylor’s Roadside Advertisements
(From Route 66 Treasures, by Jim Hinckley)
Imaginative business owners developed an array of creative marketing campaigns to tap the burgeoning market of vacationers.
One of the most novel and successful was a joint endeavor devised by Wayne Troutner, owner of the Store for Men, a men’s clothing store in Winslow, Arizona, and James Taylor, co-owner of the Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, Arizona.
Troutner devised a series of signs with the bold heading FOR MEN over the silhouette of a curvaceous woman in boots and a western hat followed by the words Winslow ARIZONA. He also created various promotional materials utilizing the same artwork and verbiage.
Taylor’s promotion was even simpler: a solid yellow sign with the black silhouette of a long-eared rabbit. The same type of sign was located near the entrance to the trading post with the words HERE IT IS in red.
Troutner and Taylor traveled the length of Route 66 and beyond, placing their signs side by side along the highway. Signs at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel in New York City marked their farthest reach.
Troutner noted that within two years, 75 percent of his business was from customers who did not live in Winslow—a testimonial to the effectiveness of this promotional campaign.
The Jack Rabbit Trading Post fared even better. It’s still in business, and the now-famous Jack Rabbit sign appeared in the 2006 animated film Cars.