My husband asked a very interesting question the other night while we were catching a bit of TV: What's with all the garden gnomes showing up these days in advertising?! He had just seen an Ace Hardware commercial where a gnome rides in the passenger seat of a convertible. And then there's the "roaming gnome" in the current Travelocity ad campaign. And he swears they've been used in Chevy ads, though I don't recall that. I decided to check into this issue of gnomes, to try and find out why they seem to be considered such an effective marketing device.
Turns out they were invented in Germany, and are considered good luck. They're thought to tell melancholy tales (to whom I don't know, but I'm not sure how that would help sell a car). Also turns out there are quite a few people who don't think garden gnomes should be in the garden at all. A website called Free the Gnomes advocates "liberating these gentle woodland creatures". And there's even, believe it or not, a group called the Garden Gnome Liberation Front, (Garden Blog: Garden Gnome Liberation Front), whose mission is to relocate gnomes to the forest. They operate mainly in France, from what I understand, and are said to have already freed more than 6,000 gnomes. Travelocity better keep close watch over its current spokesperson -- the GGLF just might be lurking in the bushes.