Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Target Audience

I doubt I'm in any TV-commercial target demographic groups. I can't remember the last time I bought something because I saw it on TV.

But lots of folks obviously do. In fact, if you go into a discount store, you can usually find - in the "cheap crap aisle" - a bunch of stuff with "As Seen on TV!" emblazoned across the packaging. As if that's a reason why you should buy it.

I'm probably too analytical when I'm watching the commercials. Usually I'm trying to figure out who they're aimed at.

There are a lot of disgusting commercials that are aimed at moms. Using "mom-guilt" as a selling tool.

If you don't make sure your kids eat lots of cheese and yogurt, you're not a very good mom.

Or Sunny-D. I'm not sure if Sunny-D is a fruit-flavored drink, or a formerly-fruit-flavored drink, or what. I can remember a few years back when there was a Sunny-D spill at the Sunny-D factory, and it killed a bunch of fish.

There's a cough syrup that calls itself "The Medicine of Motherhood." What kind of neglectful mom would not want to give her kids that stuff, by the spoons-ful?

My wife wants to buy all the new housekeeping gizmos she sees on TV... little mops that have custom-sized (buy refills!) cleaning surfaces, dusters that need refill cartridges, etc. What a racket! (I don't deny that housekeeping is hard work, and it's wonderful to have the best tools... I just question whether the "buy refills regularly!" tools do any better job than a traditional mop or rag.)

I just saw a commercial for cat litter that changes color when it's stinky. "If your cat litter doesn't change color, change cat litter!" is the clever tag-line. If you can't tell it's stinky without seeing what color it is... maybe it's not very stinky!

I have some ongoing befuddlement with the greasy fast-food fried chicken chain place. Several years ago, they adopted "Sweet Home Alabama" as the theme song for their chicken. And yet the chicken has "Kentucky" in the brand name.

Kentucky and Alabama aren't even adjacent states! Tennesee is squeezed in there.

Are there no decent songs about Kentucky? Was Colonel Sanders a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan? (I guess "Free Bird" wouldn't be a good theme song for "fried" chicken, huh?)

(Actually, there was an excellent song about Kentucky. I can remember as a child... we'd get box lunches of that same brand of chicken, and the boxes had Stephen Foster's awesome "My Old Kentucky Home" - lyrics AND music - printed on the end of the box. Perhaps too many people were offended; at one time, the lyrics were, "'Tis summer, the darkies are gay.")

The car and truck commercials are the most annoying - at least to me. They are MUCH more about the image of the drivers/passengers, than about the features the car or truck might have, or the real-life driving experience that will almost certainly be yours.

All trucks are super testosterone-macho. And by driving 'em, you, too, can be as macho as those hardhat wearing construction / farmer / cowboy / working-man types. Even if you're Clay Aiken with a handbag.

And all cars are driven by enthusiasts who relish the power, luxury, and performance of that particular model of car. All cars are driven right past gas stations, on roads that are totally devoid of other cars. ("Closed course - don't try this at home.") Of course, in real life, those cars will convene with the hunks-o-junk and broken-down sleds in the same traffic jams.

Okay... I've vented.