Residents sore over possible TV commercial
By Chuck Hunt, Faribault County Register
The small Faribault County town of Kiester, population 501, is going to soon have some national recognition.
Some residents, however, are not so sure they want the notoriety.
A New York advertising agency is coming to the town to film scenes for a new Preparation-H hemorrhoids medicine television commercial.
“Yes, we know. They are doing it here because of the name of the town,” said Kiester mayor Doug Trytten. “And some of our residents don’t like that.”
But, said Trytten, joked about the town having the same name as a euphemism for a person’s backside have been going on for years.
“They (the ad agency) approached the City Council basically asking permission to come and use the town for the commercial,” Trytten said. “We (the council) chuckled about it, then voted to allow them to go ahead.”
The ad agency crew had planned to start filming this past week, but postponed it for a couple of weeks due to the weather, according to city clerk Doris Troll.
“They have been here to look the town over and decided it would work for them,” Troll said. “I have been corresponding with them for several weeks.”
Trytten thinks the publicity could only help the town, not harm it.
“My thoughts are, yeah, you could think this would be bad publicity, and people making fun of Kiester,” he said. “But the jokes have been going on for years and years.”
Besides, the mayor added, there could be a benefit.
“You know, we lost our implement dealership to Blue Earth and our school to Wells, so we need to take advantage of any publicity we can get,” Trytten pointed out. “My thoughts are, maybe we can get some people to come here, to visit or live here. And who knows, maybe this commercial will air during the Super Bowl, and millions will see it.”
Trytten also recalls a time in the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan kept using the word ‘kiester’ during his press conferences.
“We sent a Kiester, Minnesota, hat to him, by way of (then U.S. Congressman) Tim Penny,” the mayor said. “Along with a note asking for a little respect for our town name.”
The town of Kiester was actually named after a county judge from Blue Earth, Judge Jacob Armel Kiester.
“Many of us take a lot of pride in the name Kiester,” said Trytten. “I am proud to live here and I am proud to be the mayor of Kiester.”
No matter if some folks think it is a funny name or not.