What we mean by ‘Hee Haw demographic’

Since we deployed the phrase “Hee Haw demographic” a while back without much elucidation, we’d like to more fully explain what we mean by the phrase: We are not referring to a type of people or a location where they live, but, rather, a practice performed by U.S. television networks in the early 1970s to shift from targeting for generic volume to targeting those with the more disposable income.

At that time, TV networks and advertisers realized that success wasn’t necessarily about the size of a show’s audience but rather the size of their target demographics within the audience. Specifically, they wanted to target the giant Baby Boomer market and they wanted to make them their customers for decades to follow.

Hee Haw was simply one of the many TV shows that was cancelled from network TV during what is known as the “Rural Purge.” In fact, these shows were popular in urban areas, too, but, the shows were broad brush programming, not focused targeting. For our purposes, the “Rural Purge” moniker is especially misleading. The TV shows that were cancelled generally contained “rural” themes (Green Acres, Hee Haw, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., etc., but not all: The Lawrence Welk Show was also among the shows cancelled in the “Rural Purge”), but the point is that we’re not referring to “rural” vs. “urban” when we use “Hee Haw demographic,” we are referring specifically to targeting for volume (Android, Windows PCs) versus targeting those with the more disposable income (OS X, Mac, iOS, iPhone, iPad).

Apple targets high-value consumers. Apple separates the wheat from the chaff with their value proposition. Android phone assemblers generally do not target high-value consumers (they target price-conscious customers with endless BOGOF promos) and when they do go after the high-end, they simply do not compete well against iPhone.

Apple customers are the wheat. The “Hee Haw demographic,” for whatever reason, failed to make the cut; they are the chaff.

We’ll link our use of “Hee Haw demographic” to this article going forward.

Related articles:
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
IDC: Android worldwide smartphone market share passes 80% – November 12, 2013
Apple Maps makes killer comeback as Google Maps loses access to world’s most desirable mobile customers – November 12, 2013
Android phones 3 times more likely than Apple iPhones to have been bought at discount store – August 22, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
Apple’s iPhone generates more in carrier fees than rival smartphones – January 30, 2013
Unsurprisingly, survey says Apple’s iOS is highest priority among mobile developers – January 23, 2013
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
iPhone owners more likely to pay for digital content – November 26, 2009
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Apple iPhone users buy many more apps, surf the Web much more than other ‘smartphone’ users – March 27, 2009


  1. “Hee Haw” demographic is yet another example of how our society treats fellow citizens. We are far too coarse for any intelligent discourse, so of course we steer off course.

      1. Nah, I’m low brow but I like to take the high road. I think that perhaps you e the one who is devilishly sophisticated. Me, I’m a lawn mower. You can tell by the way I walk.

  2. Well said, MacFreek.

    The US appears a nation divided:
    1) the few percent elites who make all the rules and take the vast majority of the financial rewards (~10% of U.S.corporate profit goes directly to executives),
    2) the rapidly vanishing middle class who have spent the last few decades indebting themselves to maintain upscale lifestyles while their actual financial position has eroded severely, and
    3) the rapidly growing “Hee Haw Demographic”. This includes the traditional few poor who are proud to be ignorant, lazy parasites, but now also an increasing number who through no fault of their own are being marginalized by increased educational costs, evaporating job opportunities, extended commutes to zero-benefit dead-end jobs as they are pushed out of the gentrified and gated cities, and of course nothing but condesention from the upper classes.

    Way to go, MDN. How about you do the right thing and stop stoking the divisionism.

  3. The more read the comments about people who complain about the term “Hee Haw demographic” the more I think people don’t understand basic English (or English is not their 1st Language) OR people have a chip on their shoulder and are looking for a reason to be offended. So many people are so butt hurt by this expression even after an explanation in clear simple English. If you are so butt hurt you can just stay butt hurt. People need to learn that BEING OFFENDED DOES NOT MAKE YOU RIGHT!!!!

    1. Perhaps you missed the “separating the wheat from the chaff” idiom. What if Apple said that you’re disposable and irrelevant fodder? That’s what chaff is.
      Having poor reading comprehension does not make you right, either.

  4. I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU. AND, that’s a good thing. The Hee Haw Demographic SHOULD be about the Southern, hillbilly, idiotic slice of the population that has the IQ of a set of steak knives. That’s for the whole family.

    There are TRULY some stupid people in the US AND all over the place and ours is seemingly concentrated in the Southern tier of our country.. ALTHOUGH, it is NOT limited to the South.

    So call it what it is. It’s the concentrated component of our population that’s needs a LOT of help just opening their mouths. I challenge you to spend ONE HOUR in ANY Wal-Mart parking lot in Houston Texas, on any day of any week and tell me I’m wrong.

    1. So everyone who is poor are of low IQ and predominately Southern? You clearly need no help opening your mouth. Assistance with the lack of logic that comes out of it is another story altogether.

  5. I find that whole elitist-mindedness to be quite offensive. You know it’s bad when a Harvard graduate calls you “elitist-minded.”
    So Apple thinks I’m chaff and not a “high-value customer” because I’m not wealthy. Nice. Suddenly I am thinking my Itunes and Ipod aren’t really my cup of iced sweet tea w/sassafras.
    That PlayMG is looking better now.

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