Am I the target market for ads I like?

Maybe it’s because we are the target market for the network nightly news. Maybe it’s because of our age and experience. Whatever the reason, I am currently enamored with two Fidelity commercials that are running on NBC Nightly News. Maybe you’ve seen them, too. If you want to view the ads just click on the title of each one.

“Every Someday Needs A Plan” A successful career starts with a good-luck-on-the-first-day stapler. As you climb up the corporate ladder, make sure you’re properly prepared for retirement with Fidelity Investments.

“The Future is the Present” A woman reflects on her journey through life from graduation, to getting married and having kids to losing a parent and watching her own kids grow up, and how Fidelity Investments was there through it all, because she realized her future was actually the present.

Both ads center around a woman who starts life like many of us did back in the 1970s–college graduation, new job, marriage. Fast forward through her life. Retirement after a successful career in one ad; college graduation for daughter in the other one.

The concept in both ads is that you will live your life and you will come to an ending. End of career, end of raising a child. What do you have planned for the next step? Will you have the financial resources? Fidelity Investments has the answers. Or so the ads imply.

It’s the kind of marketing I like. Is it effective? I don’t know. When I was 25, did I know where I wanted to go and what I wanted when I got there. In other words, did I know I wanted to retire after a successful career? Did I know I would want to pay for my daughter’s (who hadn’t been born) college education? At age 62 I can look back and say, “yes, that’s what I want.” A bit late to need an investment company, though, to build the funds to do those things.

Are young women seeing these ads and feeling compelled to build an investment fund to do the things these women in the ads accomplish? I was fortunate to work for a company that paid into a good pension fund that I was able to access for education. Then I worked in education under a labor contract that provided a pension and allowed for an annuity.

Again, at 62 I see how fortunate all of that was to the life I have now. So, the ads appeal to me. How do they appeal to 30 somethings?

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15 responses to “Am I the target market for ads I like?

  1. I couldn’t say, since I’m even older than you, having been retired now for seven years. I like those ads, too, but we were working during an entirely different era, when retirement funds were taken for granted. No more. 😦

    • So, do you think the younger generation will be tuned in to the sales pitch in these ads? Invest your money now or be poor later…Is it enough to stir them to action?

  2. I don’t watch TV so I know nothing about those commercials.
    David and I are doing okay financially.

    • The ads are on the nightly news which we faithfully watch every night. I am a news junkie. Our other tv shows are prerecorded so we just fast forward through the ads in those programs.

  3. I avoid ads. I occasionally accidentally see a GEICO ad, and usually they are amusing, but we watch PBS channels (about 10 of them on our cable network, 5 or 7 local plus NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc.) 95% of the time, so other than the ads PBS uses, I am pretty much ad free.

    As for newspapers and magazines, I trained myself to read around the ads long ago.

    PS I provided demographic statistical analysis for (Bell) Verizon’s marketing efforts for many years. We invented demographic targeting in the 70s.

    For this, I was featured in The Nation’s Business magazine (Chamber of Congress), Wall Street Journal and every major U.S. newspaper, including the NY Times and Chicago Tribune, plus many newspapers overseas, some as far away as Manilla. I’ve testified before Congress on statistical issues, appeared on TV, and given presentations to UNESCO and other groups, several overseas. Was named to ‘Who’s Who in American Women’ in 1984. And for what…target marketing which is a lot of “feel good fluff” in my book.

    I avoid all ads, especially political ads, they are nothing but modern brain washing attempting reach a vulnerable audience that can’t engage in critical thinking, and produced by someone who is trying to sell you something.

    Okay, off my band wagon or pulpit.

    • I have a degree in marketing.I took numerous courses in marketing research and demographic analysis. I still find it all fascinating.

      • And here’s my thinking you had been a teacher before you retired.

      • Oh, that was my second career. I even taught high school marketing. When I returned to college to get my teaching credential, the teaching supervisor made the comment that I sure had a lot of units in marketing. Well, yes, it was my major.

  4. I am wary of the target marketing today…it is almost invasive.

    • Target marketing, which I studied quite intensively in college, still fascinates me. Terry and I are always seeing something in stores that will make us look at one another and say, “those marketing people!” I believe you need to know what they are doing so that you can use your own brain to do what you think best, not be tantalized by marketing gimmicks.

      • The problem is, they take advantage of vulnerable people, which is why so many households go under with debt every year.

      • That’s the reason I loved teaching marketing to high school students. I could tell them all the secrets of selling. They became better consumers because they knew about marketing.

  5. Ah yes, I think even if you’re not an expert at it, knowing some marketing basics makes you a better consumer. On the other hand, my friends and I talk about investing and how it just never crossed our minds when we were in our 20’s! We’re now in our 30’s now and we get the value of savings and investment more. And how I wished I understood its value more when I was younger. 😀 So to answer you question, for someone in her 30’s, I became aware of it’s importance not through an ad but through a book. But when I see ads targeted to young professionals, I’m able to appreciate (and agree) with it more. (I didn’t check this particular ones you posted here though.)

    But… I think it would take a while for young ones (20’s) to realize it. Although being ‘educated’ even through ads or what-have-you helps. It’s kind of rare though to find young people with such foresight! Are these 2 ads targeted well? I don’t know. There’s one here in the Philippines where the “dad” explains to his teenager the value of investing in terms of “YOLO.” And there’s another one where a young professional’s daily expenses was compared with it’s equivalent investment if he/she had spent less and invested more. Maybe, that’s more targeted advertising. At least for me. I think most young pros here can relate to that. Then again, I have to ask the young professionals to confirm if I’m correct! 😀

  6. eep sorry for the typos. 🙂

  7. It’s true I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I don’t think I’ve seen those commercials.

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