I suppose it’s a comforting thought being categorised. It saves an
awful lot of heart searching. So which type of media species am I?
Cynic? Ambivalent? Enthusiast? Acquiescent? Such are the revelations of
a new report conducted by CIA MediaLab.
After 18 months of research into consumer attitudes toward advertising
and marketing, the report concludes that more than half the population
has a negative reaction. And it’s labelled as bad news for us
To add further intrigue, apparently each media species has its distinct
dislikes. Take the Acquiescents, for instance. While being labelled as
approving of most marketing communications, they particularly abhor
direct mail and newspaper ads. Against the Cynic, who brands TV
advertising as brainwashing, comes the Ambivalent who is largely
indifferent to most forms of communication.
The Enthusiasts form the largest group. Yet don’t be deceived, this is
not our saving grace. The Enthusiasts are without any strong
To them the whole caboose is pure entertainment.
But how did the big boys make it (sorry girls), if as the report
suggests, the ad world has no real penetration value?
Surely it’s today’s fast-lane advertising and marketing that has enabled
Richard Branson to make the Virgin brand powerful enough to sell any
product from cola to pensions. Indeed, where would The Spice Girls be
without all that hype and brilliant marketing? What about the current
Cable & Wireless campaign? By capitalising on the subliminal message and
generating awareness nationwide, it has slammed ’Mercury’ into
How about some of the slogans from the salad days of advertising, such
as ’A Mars a Day’, ’Beanz Meanz Heinz’ and ’Don’t Forget the Fruit Gums
Mum’? These still echo down the decades to remind aspiring execs that
the power of effective advertising is unmistakable.
Without advertising, the consumer would have to pay subscriptions for
all broadcast media, as with the BBC. That should send a few of those
’Cynics’ scurrying for shelter. Big brands are now heavily into direct
and response marketing using DRTV as a means to profiling their customer
base. The return on investment suggests they know their specialised
audience, Cynics or otherwise, very well.
The consumer only dislikes ad and marketing campaigns that are
Advertising should be engaging or entertaining and allow the consumer to
make choices. It only fails if it achieves none of these objectives.
Equally, many of us are extremely happy when an envelope falls on the
mat containing pertinent and interesting material because our own lives
are too busy to research and explore the alternative products available
to us. Cynic? Ambivalent? Acquiescent? Enthusiast? I think, like many of
us, I can be any one of those types at any given time. Lucky for us
Ed Bassett is sales and marketing director of Interactive Telephone