16 Apr

Have a think: how does this look?

I gave a little talk, this morning, on how to ‘nail’ a target audience: to always think ‘how will the thing(s) that I’m saying be received by my intended audience?’
(hats off to Philip Dodson and Lee Rickler
for giving me the opportunity to speak)

Well here’s some examples of giving very little thought to how the intended audience would read what’s written…

I came across this, this morning, at a train station:


Given that this ad has to run – with that question on it – in the first place, I’d assume that the intended target audience don’t yet know where a new runway would ‘deliver the most economic growth with the least environmental impact’.
In light of this, to state the answer as ‘London Gatwick OBVIOUSLY‘ comes across as arrogant and bloody rude. It kind of says ‘Well, duh! London Gatwick, you idiot’.
I don’t think that was the intention, but that’s how it comes across.

A couple of days ago, I also saw this, at a petrol station:


The image is a crap one, taken on my phone. The copy reads: “Not only has fuel nozzle advertising brought in new customers, but local awareness has gone through the roof” – Maz – Local business owner (‘local’ to where?).
It’s worth mentioning that this message was on every other petrol pump at that petrol station (about 20 pumps altogether). All this says to an audience is: no-one is buying ad-space on these petrol pumps.

It would’ve been better to put ‘filler ads’ on the pumps, or just get some advertisers in, initially – at a lower rate – and stick them on.
Putting that aside though, why does any advertiser still think that their audience will fall for them writing out a statement, putting it in speech marks (to make it appear as if someone actually said it), and placing any person’s face next to that statement (a stock image of ‘man/woman smiling’)?
As an audience, I don’t believe for one minute that ‘Maz – Local Business Owner’ is a real person, or even that the quote is real. It’s phoney – a device used to sell stuff – and it comes across that way.

Finally, a quick one: I came across a website this week, for an industry that isn’t necessarily thought of as ‘exciting’, aimed at graduates.
The content was littered with phrases like ‘a heads-up’ and ‘cool’: it read like what it was – a website desperately trying to appeal to a ‘hip’, younger audience.
In fact, it was (accidentally) aimed at Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans, c.1990.
What this does is bring the content full circle again, and say that the industry (or the company) is a bit dull and can’t break out of that mode.

Anyway, better get back to work – wouldn’t want my intended audience to think I just write on my own blog all day….

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