Missing the Target

February 28, 2010

I recently became a member of AdsoftheWorld.com and have viewed numerous advertisements and marketing ploys every day since. One of my favorites is by the agency Prolam Y & R done for Kitadol.

Courtesy of AdsoftheWorld.com

This is an excellent ad. The visual execution is fantastic, the copy is congruent with the message being conveyed, and the copy placement/style is good. So what’s the problem? This ad is targeted towards men.

Kitadol is a form of acetaminophen, and apparently there is a menstrual-relief-specific product as well. Barring the occasional gender-curious specimens or science experiments gone wrong, the only people who will be needing this product are women. Now I don’t have any research data in front of me, but I think it’s fair to say that most women buy their own “I hate you PMS” pills.

As for the boyfriends, husbands, and “What the hell am I doing this aisle” fathers that may be generous enough to throw this into their shopping cart either out of sincerity or personal defense; they are not the ones making the decision on which brand to buy. If they have any common sense or previous second-hand PMS experience, they will buy what the woman wants them to buy. There will be no man “shopping” through the variety of these pills and making his own decision on which to buy. I acknowledge the fact that there are always rarities in any population as well as extreme situations, but even then the number of male shoppers would account for a very, very low percentage.

While this is a great ad, does it do any good? It’s a clever idea and I give a lot of kudos for that, but it’s aimed at the wrong audience. Period.

How many companies are wasting money by promoting their product or service to the wrong audience? Do you have any examples of this?
That pun you noticed about 10 seconds ago…it was intended.


I came across this ad in the book Contemporary Advertising and thought it was very witty.

At first you think Gold’s Gym is just being environmentally friendly and simply positioning their name in a place where people who care about their physical appearance are likely to be. Then you read the line “And pick up the trash, too.” What a great double meaning for the first line!

I love it when a company can cleverly put a double meaning on something that is actually relevant to their business. There may be a small percentage of people who read it and never notice, or don’t get it. But I’m willing to bet that the majority will understand it rather quickly if not after a few seconds of thinking. And isn’t that what you want? Get your audience to not only see your name, logo, or slogan, but to get them thinking? This means that they are spending and extended period of time dedicating their thoughts to your company’s message and your message only. It’s a winner!

Do you have any favorite ads that use a double meaning?