Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Target markets

I’m not a big fan of TV. I have a 28cm screen television that I inherited from a former flatmate. It has a bunny ears style aerial that I still have to wave around to get reception. I don’t have a video or a DVD player, preferring the movie theatre to the home movie theatre. In fact I’d be lucky if I watched more than one hour of television each week . In July, however, all of this gets turned upsidedown. Each night I get caught up in a battle between gaining hours of sleep and watching the Tour live. On the flat stages I can often block it out knowing full well that the winner will be decided in the final few seconds of the race. But in the mountains, I’m a complete sucker for tele-visual addiction. Might heart beats almost as fast as the riders as I watch the epic drama unfold. Who will crack first? Will Cadel dig deep on the Hautacam? But outside of this, one of the weirdest things I’ve found this month has been watching a large number of advertisements. It started gently with those sandcastle ads for Skoda cars and then moved onto the rather touchy topic of certain pills that would help ‘astronauts’ fire their rockets up into space. Finally, we’ve moved to Yvonne Allen & Associates with that annoying ad called Mr Single. In what I assume is an ad for some expensive dating agency, this ad efficiently scripts some rather banal fantasies about one’s aim in life being to get a dream car, a dream house and a dream woman. If you’ve got the first two, then Yvonne will complete the picture. You’d think they could have at least added a dream bike! Late night television advertising is renowned for marketing directly to the vulnerable. The three main products being sold are sexual fantasies, religious ‘meaning’, and the cult of body worship. As a Tour watching cyclist, I kinda hoped to be spared this humiliating spectacle of being marketed to as part of this demographic. But then I wonder, perhaps this is a sign that I really should get some sleep.

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