We’re not targets
Well, I’m not, and I bet you’re not either. Yet much of modern advertising is based on the premise than you can lump people together, based on their age – or an age range, which makes even less sense – sex and income.
Well, I’m not, and I bet you’re not either. Yet much of modern advertising is based on the premise than you can lump people together, based on their age – or an age range, which makes even less sense – sex and income. Watch the NCAA basketball tournament, and you’ll see all the money wasted on you, Mr. Target. You obviously need a new car – either a Porsche or a Pontiac, because you fit into some targeting scheme, even though you’re young enough to join the Navy, Army, or Marine Corps, while you’re dazzling your friends with your new mobile phone and drinking a Budweiser at Buffalo Wild Wings.
The peculiar thing about this, is that agencies like to couch the effectiveness of their advertising in its appeal to the “target’s” “emotions”, as if layering that on top of my demographics makes the target somehow more tangible.
If you followed me around on the web for a little while, you’d get a much better picture of who I am. I like odd but beautiful bicycles, Fender Stratocasters, and I’m thinking of buying my first large tv.
Does that make me special? No. It makes me a human. One that doesn’t fit into a Target. Just like you, and millions and millions of others. Until now, the advertising industry had to guess at who’s buying their stuff, because mass communications were the only real tools we had.
So the question is, why do marketers and agencies still act like their customers are a bloc of robots?
This post originally appeared on Campbell Ewald’s discontinued “The Next Engine” blog.