Product demographic Marketing V/s Product Marketing

14 Oct

As per the staff writer of AdWeek:

Sometimes selling the demo profile of a product rather than the product itself sparks connection…Robert Klara

He started by giving an example of Pepsi‘s advertisement in the era of 60’s…

Snippet from his article in AdWeek (

“Targeting the right demographic has always been delicate business for brands. Jingles and logos come and go. But only audience targeting carries with it the inherent risk that by too closely zeroing in on one group, a brand can inadvertently alienate another. Just look at these two ads for Pepsi below.

Back in the early 1960s, with nomemory of the Depression or the war, they were surprisingly optimistic and carefree.  As Pepsi’s corporate history later put it,these youngsters were defined by a “conviction that what lay ahead

was better than what lay behind.” Later on,demographers would call this group the baby boomers. But in 1963, Pepsi didn’t know what to call them—it just knew that it wantedthem.

Adman Alan Pottasch, who decided to take a gamble. Instead of miring his campaign in the quagmire of comparing Pepsi with rival Coke, Pottasch proposed something revolutionary. He made the campaign about the demographic he hoped would buy the product instead of the product itself. “[It] was a rather courageous thing that we weren’t sure would take off,” Pottasch recalled in later years.

But it did take off. The demographic was called the “Pepsi generation,” and in print ads (such as the iconic one below), the brand bid everyone to come join it. All you had to do was “Come alive!” Millions did.

That’s why Pepsi’s 2011 effort (also below) is bound to lead to some head scratching. Diet Pepsi’s Skinny Can, rolled out in February in a nod to Fashion Week. While the ad’s aesthetics are sleek and new, its aim is the same as ever: the quest for the right demographic—in this case, “beautiful, confident women,” according to a company release. The only problem was, as Plotkin points out, “this ad doesn’t express a generation—it expresses a moment.”

And therein lies a lesson. The more strictly a brand defines its “in” crowd, the more consumers it alienates by default (lots of groups complained about the skinny can, including the National Eating Disorders Association). Perhaps that’s why, even after 47 years, that 1963 ad for Pepsi still looks more inviting. After all, coming alive is something we can all do; being a supermodel isn’t.

I had a discussion over this article here with few of my colleauge…as per them…”If you have a killer product you wont need these! Google never had to take a tv commercial for its search enginge…”

The key question though is at what costs … atleast in india these companies stills struggle to break even … since the product is week their marketing budgets are crazy…

As a product optimist …. my point is that advertising should only be needed to get the user to buy first time…after that the product should ensure repeat purchase … if you need to advertise for repeat purchase as well then its not really a greta productyeah for for iphone … the iphone4s doesnt need to be advertised in a big… just an explatnation of its features on site is enough … rest you just need to spread the awareness that such a proudct is there, you don’t have to “advertise” the way samsung galaxy tab has to…

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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Product Reviews


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