This is from an article in Advertising Age:
“Research from internet ad network Mindset Media confirms the ad’s personification of Mac users as superior and self-satisfied. Its recent Mac user ‘mind-set profile’–a psychographic ranking system that scores respondents on 20 different elements of personality–found them to be more assured of their superiority, less modest and more open of the general population.”
“Far fewer cohesive personality traits emerged among PC owners, likely because of the breadth of PC ownership. Given that 95% or so of all computer users own a PC, those users essentially are the general population. The one area where PC users did stand out as statistically different was in creativity–low creativity, that is. Mindset Media found they tend to be realists who are emotionally steady and work well with what they’re given.”
This makes total sense. I don’t think research really had to be conducted to learn these things, but it is interesting that now there are statistics to confirm it.
I am trying really hard to like the show Mad Men. Everyone else does, so I should too, right? I hate it. I appreciate the research that has gone into recreating that era. I appreciate the history of specific advertising campaigns told through the stories in the show. I appreciate the style and costumes. But, working in advertising makes me feel dirty after watching that show. I have no appreciation for the business after watching arrogant men push each other around and demean women each week. While that may have been the culture during that period in history, I worry that it will give modern-day viewers the wrong impression of our business today.
I saw Juno three times. It was a great, heart-warming movie–obviously, I loved it. When you see a movie that many times over a two-week period, you start noticing details that could have been missed. My thoughts today turned to Tic Tacs. Paulie Bleeker, the boy who knocks up Juno, had one vice according to Juno: orange Tic Tacs. Throughout the movie he is eating them and at one point Juno stuffs his mailbox full of them. I was craving orange Tic Tacs after the third viewing and I couldn’t tell you the last time I even thought about Tic Tacs.
Did the Tic Tac brand pay for that placement? Are they doing anything to leverage that placement now? I haven’t seen anything, but they should.
Today I read about a Tic Tac sampling event that encourages consumers to mix music tracks using the sound of Tic Tacs clanging around in their iconic box. The target for this promotion is 18-24 year olds. While I get that they are trying to connect music–which is important to this audience–to the Tic Tac brand, it just seems lame after witnessing the connection that Paulie Bleeker and Juno had to Tic Tacs. That is what Tic Tacs should be using to connect to this audience: Juno. Why aren’t they leveraging that product placement?
The theory behind the popular book Microtrends is being challenged. The book’s theory is that demographic segments as small as 1% of the population can “tip an election” or “spark a movement.” The problems, according to a Brandweek article, include:
- The results are only as good as the data: many samples are not large or representative enough to accurately reflect the population, subjects self-report behavior and tend to lie (or to say it more kindly, report their aspirational behavior rather than actual behavior).
- A psychographic splinter group that has one defining trait in common may have just that–one thing in common and nothing else.
- Within each niche, each person has multiple selves. For example: “Let’s say the research identifies a segment of ‘Thrillseekers,’ and contrasts that against groups who prefer more safety. Who’s to say that the person who jumps out of a plane for kicks will exhibit this same commando attitude toward the prospect of risky sexual behavior?”
- Marketers can become so obsessed with quirks and fads that they fail to consider their underlying drivers–which are often clues to broader cultural trends far more valuable to the marketer in the long run.
How are these problems overcome? Think of microtargeting as an “inaugural research step toward a broader targeting strategy–one still aimed, but not exclusionary.” Brands that have done a good job with this approach:
- Vans–viewed as cool shoes for everybody that work especially well for skateboarders. Vans sold the skater “lifestyle.”
- Apple–manages to be both inclusive and exclusive. In iPhone spots the viewer never sees a discernible age, race or gender. “Even the dancing silhouettes in ads for iPods instill a sense of relatability that fully rendered models arguably wouldn’t.”
Conclusion: make sure your brand is speaking to the relevant audience, but don’t ignore or exclude everyone else.