A new study by “psychographic ad targeter” Mindset Media has divided various popular television shows into the sort of people they attract—and therefore, which sorts of marketers would best be served by buying ad space on them. Surprise: Liberals like Mad Men, people who watch Glee tend to be very sensitive, The Real Housewives Of Orange County viewers are assholes, and fans of The Office are smug (though obviously not as smug as people who constantly remind everyone that they prefer the British version). Here’s how some of the most popular shows break down according to personality type, and what your enjoyment of them supposedly means about you and what sort of stuff you’d probably buy:
Mad Men: Liberals are more likely to watch the show than conservatives by a whopping 124 percent, even though you’d think conservatives would be all about a show where moneyed people in sharp suits commit adultery with abandon. Also, “creative” people are more likely to watch it by 41 percent. Therefore, the target viewing demographic for Mad Men breaks down to “intellectually curious types who tend to more often be dreamers rather than realists” and who also “disdain moral authorities.” As such, they like Apple computers and Audi cars. Don’t even try to sell them Campbell’s soup. Get out of here, Campbell’s soup, with your realist meat-and-potatoes and your patronizing platitudes that carry an unspoken moral authority!
Family Guy: Self-identified “rebels and rule-breakers” are 61 percent more likely to watch the show—meaning anyone who doesn’t like authority and “won't hesitate to make their feeling known with anger or sarcasm”—as well as “risk-takers,” who are kind of the same but “have more bravado” beyond just making sarcastic remarks. These people like DiGiornio and Totinos frozen pizza, because they rebel against the bland hegemony of delivery pizza. They also don’t like Dannon Light And Fit yogurt, which should maybe consider renaming itself Dannon Shit Out Your Insides And Get Cut! yogurt.
Glee: Not surprisingly, the show appeals to people who “are in touch with their own feelings and may even feel happiness or sadness more intensely than others.” For some reason, they like Evian water, perhaps because frequent weeping is dehydrating. They’re also “so-called experientalists,” which means they “go out in search of unique and varied experiences,” even if said experiences are essentially note-for-note recreations of already-established, originally groundbreaking experiences. They like the Volkswagen Jetta.
Dancing With The Stars: “Traditionalists” are 21 percent more likely to watch, as they are “solid citizens” who prefer the “stability and the tried and true”—which is a nice way of saying they are essentially old and boring people who want to watch a show that’s been around in some form or another since the advent of television—as are the “compliant” or “get-alongs.” These people like Kraft cheese and Fiber One. (Seriously, can we not just say, “Old people watch Dancing With The Stars”?)
The Biggest Loser: In addition to those same traditionalists, pragmatic realists “who work with what they have been given” are 20 percent more likely to watch. They like Bud Light, minivans, and Velveeta. These people are the backbone of America.
Real Housewives Of Orange County: “Pugnacious” people who are “unafraid to tell others what they think and value honesty over keeping the peace” are 33 percent more likely to watch, which suggests much of the Housewives’ viewing audience is made up of people who genuinely want to be them. They like Botox and Crest Whitestrips; they dislike affordable sedans as much as they dislike keeping things to themselves.
The Office: In addition to experientialists—who are 44 percent more likely to watch this show, compared to the 24 percent for Glee—“folks who consider themselves superior to others are 47 percent more likely to watch this show. These alpha dogs believe they are extraordinary and happily brag about their accomplishments.” They also like Starbucks and BMWs, and enjoy sneering derisively about the accuracy and relevancy of marketing studies on the Internet.
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