Channel 4, Marketing & Me…

I am fuming. The Pringles advert off the telly at the moment was the straw that broke this camel’s back.

When I was a new Mum 9 years ago, I was marketed to like I was in my twenties, wanting to hang out with other new mums boring for Britain on how much sleep we weren’t getting and drinking coffee. I don’t like coffee.

I didn’t go down the NCT route either, or join Mumsnet, you wouldn’t have known it from how I was targeted however.

I am fifty. I don’t have much tummy fat and I am not menopausal. Yet.

I kid you not, the second I turned 50, I was marketed to differently. I now get served adverts for menopausal face creams, how to reduce my ‘ugly belly fat’, and the best one, an invitation to ‘The Bright Minds’ club, (a group for keeping active for the over 50’s – bloody cheek).

So back to the Pringles ad; It is marketing about me in another role, as a wife. Apparently I don’t like football, and not only that I will get in the way of our good men watching it. Cue Heavy sigh.

Interestingly, marketing to me as an ambitious working woman is failing to reach me. A quick search with the phrase ‘marketing to the over 50’s woman’ brought back results like, Turning Silver into Gold, Seniors dating – dating for the over 50’s , Promoting Preventative Services for the over 50’s, and my personal favourite ‘The Wild Elderly’.

Last week I was invited to the Media Summit where David Abraham, Chief Exec’ of Channel 4, impressively spoke about how they are using data to market to different audience clusters, or passion centres in old money. They are basing their marketing and advertising strategy on how, where, what, and when people are viewing before laying over other data. It seems they really are committed to understanding their audience beyond the traditional demographics.

Last year Channel 4 also announced “pioneer group” of brands – Microsoft, Nokia, O2, Bulmers, Unilever, B&Q and McDonald’s – that have signed up to its new commercial data initiative. It allows the advertisers to blend their own databases with Channel 4’s registered user base (which according to Abraham is 22 million strong). I’d love to hear how that is going.

Of course, other broadcasters – such as Sky with AdSmart and ITV with its various VoD ad trials are experimenting in this space too, but none are being as confident in this approach as Channel 4.

Channel 4 are betting that a surge in positive audience perception will increase their brand loyalty and increased advertiser spend.

So, when I eventually do get served smart relevant ads on my smart TV, or wherever I choose to watch the telly, I sincerely hope that the industry is able to understand that not all 20 year olds are created equal, and neither are all 50 year old working wives and mothers.

Now will someone pass the Pringles.

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