Marketing guru Seth Godin points us to the history of the American lawn, something I’ve gone off on before. The green lawn is a recent invention, not popularized until the 1800s, and it wasn’t until the early 1900s that we had a decent grass seed.
Now Americans have become weekend warriors trying to keep the most immaculate lawn. Supposedly it’s a $17 billion industry (we spend $17 billion on “outdoor home improvements” every year, which sounds like more than grass, but the context implies lawn maintenance), which makes for quite the marketing story. It’s very akin to Godin’s new book, All Marketers Are Liars (he quickly admits they’re not liars, just storytellers, and as consumers we love a good story).