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My wife was watching a “Dancing With the Stars” type of show the other night. The commercials were all targeted toward their specific demographic: Cleaning products, seltzer beers (whatever the heck those are), SUV’s, etc. She left, I switched to a football game, and the ads changed as well: regular beers, investment services, pickup trucks, etc. They spend a lot of money on those ads, and they want to be sure they are putting the right message in front of the right eyeballs, to get the right message across.
Christmas advertising is fascinating. Lots of big families gathered around a roaring fireplace wearing cozy sweaters, laughing together as they serve apple pie to everyone. It’s a shameless pitch to our heartstrings, but it works. On me, at least. I’m more fascinated by the fact that they consider me to be in their demographic than I am by their ad itself. How did my eyeballs get selected to see this ad? And then, yesterday, I was even more fascinated when we got the brochure below in the mail.
On the back of what looks like a Christmas card, is a coupon for Shutterfly (a company that makes personalized greeting cards, etc.). So they’re using that example to get us in the Christmas mood, and inspire us to order personalized Christmas cards to mail to our friends and relatives. Using a sentimental image to tug on our holiday heartstrings. The text below the image says, “Happy Holidays – The Klein-Harper Family – Jesse & Olivia.” So the card has candy-cane style stripes on it. And it has the word “family” on it. So there you go. Sentimental Christmas image. Right?
I live in Hilton Head. There are very few 25-year-old tattooed black lesbians here. But this is the image they chose. The image that they very carefully chose.
I’m sure it will sell. I presume that an enormous corporation’s spending enormous amounts of its own money will have done their research, and they know this will work.
But again, I find all this to be fascinating.
Hilton Head is very wealthy, very old, and very white. I wonder which Christmas card examples they mail to people in black neighborhoods? Poor white neighborhoods? Urban? Rural? East coast? West Coast? Midwest?
And I find it fascinating that this works on my neighbors. Why? Is it more financially rewarding for this corporation to appeal to our sense of social virtue rather than our sentimental heartstrings? Is Christmas just another controversial symbol of America’s racist traditions, best avoided in polite conversation? See, if you pretend to get the warm fuzzies from pictures of tattooed black lesbians embracing, then we’ll allow you to enjoy Christmas with less guilt – won’t that be nice? Now, just buy our cards. Virtue signaling included!
I don’t know. I really don’t. All that could be wrong.
Maybe the company doesn’t care if their advertising works, but they care a great deal about promoting themselves as appropriately left wing. But why? To me, the only reason to spend money on advertising is to make more money in sales. Why else are they doing this?
I don’t know. I really don’t.
But marketing really is fascinating.
These people are not stupid. And they have no interest in throwing their money out the window. The image of us that they present to us is probably more accurate than our own self-image.
Eh. I thought this was an interesting topic to write about. But I’d rather not think about this anymore.
I’m going to go watch some football. Maybe have a beer.
A regular beer. Not a seltzer beer. Whatever the heck that is. What on earth is this world coming to?Published in