Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Target audience" - why demographic targets are useless

I am sitting here in silence this morning, contemplating a piece of news I just got.

I hadn´t seen a man who also goes to my regular café in a while, so I asked the owner what happened to him, and found out he has retired. At 45! Apparently he was one of the lucky bankers who earned a few million dollars a year and now he is out to play. He has two lovely sons, probably 8-10 years old, and he looks so strong and confident, I just assumed he would be older.Sigh. It makes you think, doesn´t it? About how different people´s lives are.

I look at myself, 38 going on 39 this year, just a couple of years younger than him. I bum around like a teenager in Bondi Beach, freelancing in a tough industry, purely out of an enormous love of my work, but earning what I need, no millions a year. I have no kids, just a crazy cat :)

I look at the woman I interviewed during a pitch for an anti-smoking campaign a while back, the woman whose boyfriend left while she was pregnant and who now struggles with both money and self-esteem, who turn to the cigarettes as her sole pleasure. The smoke gives her a little bubble to hide in for a minute when times are tough. A shelter from the pain.

I look at the junior planner, born and bread in a upper-class family North Shore, whose reaction on the story on the smoking lady was "can´t she just go for a run. I go for a run when I´m stressed. Let´s make a campaign where we tell them to go to the gym instead". Sigh.

I look at those who are in love and celebrate 2 year anniversaries according to my Facebook wall, and I look at those who change their relationship status to "single". I look at the fat and the thin, those who are angry and those who smile all day.

And across the street I see the pastor of one of the churches I used to go to (was fascinated by churches for a while...) and he sits there, alone at the café; I know his wife has cancer and the beautiful sparkling woman I used to see next to him in the house of God is now a tiny figure, limited and vanishing. Him too. His faith? I don´t know if he still prays. I hope he does, but understand if he doesn´t.

Some are lucky, some are not. Some get a beer at a trendy pop up bar in the sun, others die in a European cold snap. Some whinge about having a bad hair day, others find out their kid has been thrown down a bridge in a custody battle. Some devote their lives to supporting a president campaign, others design skirts.

"The target"

Today I´m working on a brief where the target is "all Australians between 25 and 55".

It makes me laugh. And cry. And cringe.

All that combines us is Love. Our never ending craving for Love.

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