July 24, 2005

The Wrong Demographic

Lately I've noticed how uninterested I am in the advertisements that fill the pages of magazines I subscribe to. I study everything in a magazine: I want to know what this magazine is about, what kind of market it's trying to sell to, how it's positioning itself.

Take WIRED. I subscribe. But I'm not being reached by the advertisers. Let's open the latest issue and see.

  • Inner cover, double-page ad: "Citi. Live Richly." An ad about identity theft solutions. Whatever.

  • Next two pages: Dark ad showing some shiny but dark Infiniti car. Feh.

  • Next two pages: New Zealand ad (I like!) with bicyclists in the way of the photo. Bleh.

  • Next two pages. Somethingorother from Chevron. Yawn.

  • Next page: weird fashion ad or Vodka, who knows (Chopin Potato Vodka?). Whatever.

  • Next page: Double-page ad from Sun. Someting about sharing. Skip.

  • Next page: double-page ad from Hitachi ("Inspire the Next"? Was something lost in translation?). Blah.

  • Next page: Acura car. Whatever.

  • Next page: Microsoft Windows XP. No thanks.

  • Next page: UPS. You're the boss. Competing with FedEx Kinkos. Fine. I don't want to go to either. I want them to come to me.

  • Next page: Emmy Awards. Architectural digest sometingorother. Huh?

  • Next page: full page Verizon ad with some guitarist. Ad copy barely readable.

  • Next page: Microsoft and Wired. An event! Cool! Oh, wait. It's already passed.

  • Next page: Rackspace. Okay, good to keep an eye on them.

  • Next page: Ah, the first of the watch ads. Back in 1999-2000, Wired had so many watch ads it's was like, what is this, a watch magazine? Ever notice almost all watch ads show the same time on their watches? 10 minutes after 10.

  • Next page: double page ad for a Land Rover speeding through a downtown city. Just what the world needs.

  • Next page: Bikini babe ad for some kind of Vodka. Who drinks this stuff?

  • Next page: CDW ad depicting an unhappy office worker, head in hand, frowning at his PC. Maybe if he bought a Mac...?

  • Next page: Adobe Acrobat ad featuring a photo of a hippo. A good analogy, considering how bloated Adobe's acrobat reader app has become. I use Preview.app.

  • Next page: GE 3-sided fold-out ad to position itself as eco-friendly. Um, right. I've not forgotten what they did to the Hudson.

  • Next page: full page ad for Audi S4. Good grief, Audi, you've ruined the grille.

  • Next page: feels like an insert, perhaps aimed just at me in San Diego? An ad whose copy begins: "how do you turn four million tons of glass, steel, concrete and brick into pure poetry?" In other words, buy a condo in this hideous new tower going up in San Diego. Swell.

  • Backside of condo ad: a Breitling watch ad. Time: 10:09.

  • Next page: TIAA-CREF ad. Completely irrelevant to me.

  • Next page: Two-page spread showing this badass new Dodge Charger car. I will not buy one. I do not want one.

  • Next page: Full page ad for the New Yorker Festival. Cool, an event! One I would love to go to! If only!

  • Page 52-53: Lexus ad. I don't want a GS430. Not enough legroom.

  • Page 59: Microsoft Windows XP. Yikes. Not gonna happen.

  • Page 60: Toyota ad. No thank you.

  • Page 67: Mitsubishi car ad. Do. Not. Care.

  • Pages 68-70: Double page ad for Creative something or other. Kudos for designing an ad that so feels like WIRED editorial, they had to put "Advertisement" at the top of the page. But still, not interested.

    Well, you get the point. One ad in the first 70 pages is relevant. As for the rest of the magazine, more booze, more watches, more cars. Not want any of it.

    Now, Business 2.0 is even worse. More booze, more cars, more watches and crap. No thank you.

    Posted by brian at July 24, 2005 04:14 PM

  • Comments

    The sad thing is, this has ALWAYS been a problem with WiReD, as this article at Suck.com from nearly ten years ago demonstrates:

    http://www.suck.com/daily/95/10/06/

    Posted by: jima at July 24, 2005 05:29 PM

    Man, I'd forgotten how much I loved reading Suck. I've no doubt that I'm reading something regularly today that is driven by the folks who created Suck... Do you happen to know what they're up to?

    Posted by: Ignobilitor at July 24, 2005 07:16 PM

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