The Product Is You, No. 3

[The Product Is You is an occasional Murketing series collecting advertising that is aimed at advertisers: Magazines or television networks packaging up their consumers — that is, you, the potential ad target — in ways designed to attract advertisers. Previous installments here.]

Soapnet viewers are “#1 in Engagement” — that is, they “just can’t look away” from their favorite soaps. And there are more of them all the time, particularly in the age-groups that advertisers love most. Or so claims this ad.

The Product Is You, No. 2

[The Product Is You is an occasional Murketing series looking at advertising that is aimed at advertisers: Magazines or television networks packaging up their consumers -- that is, you, the potential ad target -- in ways designed to attract advertisers. Previous installment here.]

I watch Bravo. “Top Chef,” “Project Runway,” sometimes that Kathy Griffin thing, maybe other stuff too. So it’s only fair that the second installment of The Product Is You should take a look at the sequel to the previously mentioned Bravo ad. This one offers up a deconstruction of the typical Bravo-watching man. In other words: This time the product is me.

Like his mate, Bravo Guy greets the world with a blank and empty gaze, toting fresh purchases, his credit cards visibly at the ready for more shopping.

Some details:

A “rock t-shirt” that he “bought online, but he still digs the band.” In other words: He’s a poseur with a Peter Pan complex. (And who apparently doesn’t even have it in him to wear his “rock t-shirt” unless it’s covered up by a borderline-generic button-down.)

The “latest cell phone,” crammed with individuality-boosting ringtones and wallpapers, plus a Bluetooth earpiece that is “part design statement.”

Credit cards “most recently used at the mall for lunch and shopping.” Ah, lunch at the mall. It’s the perfect setting for a Bluetooth design statement. Stop by Hot Topic for some new T’s when you finish those waffle fries, rocker.

A linen blazer: “Learned to ‘make it work’ by watching Project Runway.” Translation: Takes orders from the little flickering images of good-looking people on his TV set. That’s why you’ll love him most of all, advertisers. Get to this bundle of insecurities before his next self-medicating shopping trip. He’s waiting for your help ….

Bottom line: Now you know what I’m really like.

The Product Is You

What’s your take on this person? Credit cards burst from her pockets. She carries two bags full of stuff, and uses two gizmos at once. Her smile is unconvincing, her gaze glassy and unfocused. She looks dazed, rather zombie-ish. Who is she?

If you’re fan of Bravo, she is you. Or at least, she is the representation of you that Bravo uses to round up advertising.

I will explain what I mean by that in this first installment of yet another new Murketing feature, an occasional series called “The Product Is You.”

Trade journals for the advertising and marketing business are themselves full of ads. Of course the ads there are different from the ones you see in regular magazines, because these are not aimed at consumers. They are aimed at advertisers.

That is to say: Networks and magazines and other entities whose business model depends on advertising take out ads in the ad trades, to attract advertisers. Got it? So what they tout in these ads-to-attract-advertising, is their audience.

What they are packaging and selling is, in other words, you, the consumer of media, potential target of advertising. If a media entity attracts consumers that advertisers want to address, then it can sell more advertising time, or space.

This Bravo ad, which took up two full pages of an advertising trade, is an example of a particular style of audience-packaging that I’ve always found fascinating. It’s an example that I think is worth lingering over for a moment.

Bravo’s pitch is that its viewers are “affluencers.” These desirable creatures are “now available” to advertisers who buy time on Bravo. As you can see, these sample affluencers are depicted here in fully packaged form. They are right there, sealed up, ready to be bought, and sold to. Read more