Rocky Mountain Stone’s iconic marquee has unlocked one of the most important rules of marketing: Make an impression.
The marquee out in front of Rocky Mountain Stone has become a must-see for anyone driving south on I-25 and has a history of its own that has supported both the business and the community for the past 20 years. Thanks to RMS’s iconic signboard, now, when anyone in Albuquerque is looking for a stone supplier, they have an obvious choice. We asked Scott Lardner, President of Rocky Mountain Stone, about the history of the marquee and how it’s been used to promote the company’s business.
“For many years, since we moved to our location on I-25, we’ve had a marquee on our sign”. Vince Lardner, Scott’s father, and the founder of Rocky Mountain Stone (RMS), thought he’d take advantage of the captive audience traveling along I-25 to promote the natural stone and various services being offered by RMS. Scott took over as President in 1988 and continued to use the marquee as it was originally intended. In 1997, a new monument sign was erected, creating a fresh chance for messaging to be displayed.
When looking for laughs, one doesn’t normally think of stone, but Scott changed that. Scott’s creative and humorous mind thought that it would be fun to put up sayings to both capture the driver’s attention and promote the business at the same time. During this time, when the business had a robust landscaping materials yard, a few of the more memorable sayings that appeared were geared toward the landscape market. These included:
ALBUQUERQUE’S ORIGINAL ROCK STATION
IF YOUR WIFE WANTS LAVA, CINDER HERE
IRISH ROCK STAR PATTI O’FLAGSTONE APPEARING DAILY
COVERING NEW MEXICO’S LANDSCAPE SINCE 1963
Scott realized the power of his marquee one day while on his way to work, listening to “Biondi & the Bean” on the radio, he heard Joe Biondi talking about the best marquees in the city, mentioning Rocky Mountain Stone several times. That afternoon, Scott had his crew change the marquee to “Hey Joe Biondi, thanks for the free plugs.” The next morning, Scott heard Joe talking about the marquee again. “Did you see my name on Rocky Mountain Stone’s marquee? They must be listeners, so a shout out to the folks at Rocky Mountain Stone”. Wow, two days of free advertising from one of the most popular radio stations at the time.
Scott also mentioned, “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met people and tell them I’m with Rocky Mountain Stone, and they inevitably say something like: ‘You’re the guys with the great marquee…I always read them!’” With over 150,000 drivers a day going past the sign, it’s a great opportunity to get a positive message out there for the masses.
Scott and his team have also used the marquee to promote Albuquerque and New Mexico. “About 10 years ago, we ran a campaign on the marquee about all the things we love about our community and the state. We sat down with the team and spent some time coming up a list of about 40 items that we rotated for almost an entire year. Everything from “The Balloon Fiesta”, “The Tram”, “The Pit and the Lobos” to “Mild winters”, “Spanglish” and “Dion’s Pizza” made the list.” Spreading positivity and love for their community has been part of Rocky Mountain Stone since its inception–the marquee is just another way to do that!
With the core business of Rocky Mountain Stone now being stone countertops and other dimensional stone (have you seen this timeless porcelain?), the marquee sayings are more in line with that side of the business. A few of the most memorable include:
TAKE ME FOR GRANITE, BUT TREAT ME GNEISS
NOW SELLING STONE BY THE QUARTZ
WE WERE INTO MAGMA BEFORE IT WAS COOL
Be sure to stop by Rocky Mountain Stone for any of your dimensional stone needs and make sure to mention their awesome marquee. Scott mentioned, “Someday I may make a picture book of all the marquee sayings we’ve used….it would be fun to memorialize them for future generations”. No matter the case, the sayings are already written in stone in our hearts. If you’re ready to have your stone products handled with good humor and hard work, visit www.rmstone.com or give us a call at 505.345.8518.