Targeting is directing promotions of a product towards a group of individuals who are likely to buy it. Different products are targeted at different audiences. After a company determines their target audience that audience is researched in order to learn about lifestyle, attitudes, values, etc. Then companies can more effectively reach their audiences by knowing what t.v. shows they watch and what magazines they read. It is through the media that companies make impressions and influence consumers to buy their products.
Two main products that depend on their advertising would be tobacco and alcohol products. Advertising from that of brewers, who frequently reach, target, and entertain youthful audiences on radio and television are a main support to the structure of these companies. As of now beer commercials on t.v. are much more popular than liquor commercials, but the liquor companies are making efforts to gain commercial time. Seagram's commercials have appeared during weekend college and professional football telecasts, Monday Night Football, and during a 7:00 P.M. showing of the Cosby Show. The company's radio ads also ran on youth-oriented, rock-and-roll format radio stations. But it is felt that the media influence is so strong, allowing liquor ads on the air can only lead to greater alcohol consumption and higher levels of alcohol problems.
Tobacco companies also claim they don't target young people, but that is hard to believe. Tobacco promotion in the movies can be the most subtle and insidious form of tobacco promotion because there is no warning about tobacco use. Nothing on the screen says when tobacco companies have paid to have their product portrayed favorably. The camera moves in to focus on a bright sign where a neon cigarette arches up to meet neon red lips. It slowly pans downward to feature an attractive young woman smoking.
The message: life is beautiful; life is exciting; life is smoking.
Unfortunately it"s not all that glamorous. Movies provide a medium not only to portray tobacco use as popular, independent, and social, but to show how movie stars are involved with these kinds of products as well. In some cases, an entire movie theme can be based on perceived merits of tobacco. A single movie can reach millions of young people in theaters across North America and around the world. With videos and reruns, the message can be repeated over and over and over. It doesn"t even matter whether it's paid or not, the point is that every time an actor lights up, millions of young people receive the message that tobacco use is both OK and desirable.
Amazingly enough The tobacco industry loses close to 5,000 customers every day in the US alone, including 3,500 who manage to quit and about1,200 who die. The most promising replacement smokers are young people: 90% of smokers begin before they are 21, and 60% before they are 14. To find their new customers, US tobacco companies spend $11 million to advertise and promote cigarettes. Looking at these percentages seems to reveal the targeting of young generations. Unfortunately this battle seems hopeless considering the US Federal Office on Smoking Health spends less than tobacco companies do on advertising in an entire year.
This brings the public awareness to it"s peak. Where are these businesses ethics. Philip Morris, which makes Marlboro, the world's best selling cigarette spends billions of dollars to advertise and promote their products to teenagers every year. Teenagers who are impacted by their advertising and promotion begin to smoke at early age. Teenager's reaction to tobacco advertising and promotion may accelerate their lives and affect their health. Philip Morris spends the huge amount of money with advertising to catch teenager's mind and make profits; however, teens are losing their lives with smoking advertised by Philip Morris, and nothing is beneficial to them. This interrelation could be ethical between Philip Morris and teenagers.
From these few examples alone I believe it can be safely said that the media influence is at a never descending peak. Consumers want to use products that are going to make them feel and look like the models and actors they see. Therefore these effective advertising take advantage of the public"s weakness; wanting to be perfect.