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Abs, Biceps & Sales

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We ad people spend a lot of time thinking about audiences. Most of us, as we design our tactics, try to appeal to the broadest audiences we can. Lately though, I’ve been reminded that the extremely targeted tactic can be quite effective too. Case in point, two television ads I recently came across.

The first, Flex by Old Spice. This ad, directed by Tim and Eric of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! features a heavily muscled character screaming loudly and creating explosions. Watching it, I thought: this sort of camp isn’t anything that any woman would be attracted to in the slightest. In fact, I wondered if men were really even attracted to Old Spice because of the commercial. It was that sort of a turn-off.

Shortly thereafter I was treated to a viewing of the Jillz Loves Football ad, which also features men, but this time hunky soccer players flashing their perfect abs, chests and backs. Again I wondered what audience this ad was designed to appeal to, and quickly determined it was me, since I’d try their product in a heartbeat if it meant I could get anywhere near those guys.

Thus I was taught a lesson in the power of target marketing. Old Spice turned me off in a rather big way, though the payoff for them is an ad that almost certainly sticks in the minds of their target audience. Was the turn-off worth the payoff? Probably. How do I know? Because I haven’t met many men who’ve been inspired by buy Jillz sparkling cider as a result of their ad. I on the other hand am checking out condo prices in Holland.

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