Wheat Thins Van

 

For decades, advertisers have relied on the meticulously crafted spokesperson to reach out to their target market audience, a fabricated ‘Average Joe’ that appeals to the least common denominator and unambivalently states, “I’m just like you; this product is for people like us.”  Whether it is with the Marlboro man proffering a pack of ‘Reds’ to the self-styled bad boy, or the simple farmer informing other farmers of a better way to buy insurance, or the model two-kids-and-a-yard household family relishing in the delights of frozen dinners, advertisers have historically represented their brands with an image of their intended customer that is tailored to be so extremely ‘average’ that he/she captivates vast numbers of consumers without actually embodying any particular individual.  However, as Frédéric Filloux points out in his article “The Death of Joe Average,” this kind of advertising is becoming increasingly more inefficient due to the fact that “as the content scatters on the internet, so does the audience,” and “analyzing trends [in consumption] has become more complicated” because “audiences are no longer monolithic, their breakdowns are hard to ascertain” (Filloux, 2010). More simply, people have no reason to pay for material they can access freely online, which disintegrates the subscriber base demographic upon which advertisers have traditionally based their marketing decisions.  At the same time an individual consumer no longer relies on one source of information, but rather scans various websites with different stories and perspectives.  As Filloux bluntly asserts, “Forget about Joe Average, he’s dead” (ibid.).  How then should firms reach out to their consumers?  Nabisco’s Wheat Thins brand is certainly not the first company to tackle this difficult question, but it is one of the most creative in its attempts. Through the use of viral ads and extensive, hands-on involvement with its Twitter fan base, Nabisco has successfully adapted traditional marketing strategies to the new media environment, promoting its product in a way other firms strive to imitate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aside from doing manual research about Groupon over the past week and a half, it seems like the company is doing its best to come to me. Every day when I open up my email, I get a new message from Groupon telling me what the latest deal of the day is in New York City. The letter is very helpful in determining if I want to vote on this deal or not. It tells me all about the company, its locations, and even gives me a few more deals with an urgency that lets me know I only have 1 day left to buy it (!!!). It got me thinking, are Groupon’s jam-packed-with-info messages just a reminder of which deals are available, or overcompensation for something else? Read the rest of this entry »