With each TV commercial I watch, I wonder if I’m the target market. Am I the type of person the business intended to see the ad? When I see things like men’s deodorant or baby diapers I think maybe they got it wrong but then I picture all the other types of people watching the show I’m watching: a variety of moms and dads, lounging or resting for the evening. So yes, even though the ad did not reach out to me specifically, it did reach its target.

Target marketing is more than just a concept marketers need to understand, target marketing needs to be taken from theory to actual practice.

Now imagine a block of television that could literally define target marketing. It happens every year and many consumers may not even realize it. People plan for it. They throw parties for it. It is a block of television where the commercials are almost as famous as the program itself. That’s right, I’m talking about the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is well known for selling ad space at high prices and featuring the best of the best ads each year. These ads range in topic but have mostly catered to men in the past. These commercials usually feature some key things that really hit home for guys that love football everywhere: sex, beer, sports, food, cars, and electronics. So when the game takes a break, men are still glued to the TV taking in the products being sold to them.

Some of the best ads this year took it a step further though. Companies made ads that stole the man’s attention but still grabbed hold of the woman’s; ads that featured all that “manly” stuff but still lead to a mental check with women everywhere. The companies that catered to both men and women will probably see the biggest success because according to last year’s Super Bowl Viewer Demographics, the difference between male and female viewers watching the Super Bowl is decreasing.

Tide’s commercial this year is a perfect example of this sweet spot in marketing. Laundry detergent may not be the ideal item to promote to a bunch of partying sports guys or is it? Sports leads to dirty clothes, almost inevitably so surely men are thinking about how to get these stains out, if for no other reason than to not get scolded by their moms or wives? This year Tide really played to the market by featuring two men arguing about the football game. It was funny. It was witty. Men got it. Women got it. Tide really hit the target on that one.

Budweiser produced yet another top quality commercial this year as well. They used their famous Clydesdales to not only advertise their beer and hit a home run with the men watching but they pulled at the heart strings of women everywhere with a tearful journey of this baby horse and the connection he felt with his first trainer. Tears were flowing everywhere. Even men were hiding their sniffles. Budweiser took target marketing to a new level with this one, reaching out to both genders in very different but effective ways.

With the Super Bowl over already this year, you’ll have to just think back, research and take my word for it. Business professionals everywhere will be watching those commercials with different attention next year though, I can guarantee it. Target marketing is right under our noses. Businesses breathe it to dominate their market. Consumers however, rarely even realize it’s sucking them in.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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