It’s a Southern Thing, a popular media channel and lifestyle brand that celebrates the uniquely authentic Southern experience, is expanding its product lines due to continuing, rapid growth in consumer demand not only in the South, but across the U.S. It’s a Southern Thing is a division of Red Clay Media, part of Advance, one of America’s largest media companies, which owns and operates Conde Nast, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest and GQ, among others.
Launched in 2017, It’s a Southern Thing now reaches 62 million users nationwide, serving up relatable humor, inspirational people and compelling yarns that portray the South for the culturally rich, diverse, down-home place it is.
Newly available in Target stores this week and coming soon to Target.com, Just Like Mama Used to Say (MSRP $24.99) is a hilarious, phrase-making card game for the entire family, which allows three or more players to build the most entertaining Southern sayings … appealing to that Southern style in each of us! Players can mix and match 100 action cards with 400 phrase maker cards to create thousands of side-splitting combinations. Y’all will play again and again ‘til you’re worn slap out … or the cows come home (whichever comes first). Just Like Mama Used to Say is made available at Target through Red Clay Media’s partner, Excell Marketing.
Also new is a Southern take on popular children’s ABC books, It’s a Southern Thing: Y is for Y’all (MSRP $14.99). Written for It’s a Southern Thing by award-winning, Alabama journalist Kelly Kazek, the picture book features brightly colored paintings of a diverse group of children by talented illustrator Michelle Hazelwood Hyde, accompanied by words and poems from Southern culture, not found in most picture books—such as “bless your heart,” “grits,” “fixin’ to” and “veranda.” The book, the first in a planned series, is now available at southernthing.com and will be rolling out in major book retailers this fall.
It’s a Southern Thing’s audience for family friendly, feel-good programming has grown even more rapidly as consumers have self-isolated. Since March 13, the company has had over 100 million video views on It’s a Southern Thing channels and added over 200,000 new followers across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, now reaching 4 million followers and bringing Red Clay Media brands to 4.5 million followers. The brand has enjoyed a 200% increase in typical viewing time on YouTube; and a 78% increase on Facebook.
“The South has some of the greatest people and places anywhere and we bring people together by sharing the hospitality and fun of our rich, one-of-a-kind culture with the world,” says Cynthia Money, Chief Brand Officer, Red Clay Media. “Since launching just three years ago, our audience has grown rapidly, not only in the South, but across the U.S. As the It’s a Southern Thing brand has continued to expand, our upbeat programming—from sketch comedy to cultural content—and unique line of merchandise offer something for everyone. We are excited to further broaden our reach through our partner Excell Marketing with a major retailer like Target.”
“Southern isn’t just a demographic, it’s a way of life … and there’s a little Southern in all of us,” adds Nate Whitmore, VP, Merchandising, Excell Marketing. “ Just Like Mama Used to Say is a fun and family friendly card game with broad appeal, exactly the unique and positive kind of home entertainment that retailers are seeking and consumers are demanding, particularly now as we are all spending more time together at home.”
It’s a Southern Thing’s product line includes home goods, apparel, publishing, pet products, gifts and accessories, including The Reckon Ball, a uniquely Southern take on the popular ‘50s novelty toy, otherwise known as a “fortune-telling doohickey,” and the original “Bless Your Heart” button—a Southerner’s perfect answer to every situation … one saying, thousands of meanings!