Who is the target audience of the evening news?

At the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference Les Moonves, president-CEO of CBS Corp., voiced quite the concern when he remarked, "I am concerned that average watcher of the evening news is 61."

If I were Les, I would be concerned, too. Why are younger people not watching the evening news? An assumption can be made that the younger generations are not as engaged in society as older generations. Think Leno’s “man on the street” segments where people can’t come up with the name of the Vice President.

But I don’t think this is the whole story. I think we have always had disengaged people. The reason that younger generations are not tuning in to news broadcasts is because they are getting their information from other sources that package it to match their lifestyles. Online websites that offer RSS feeds, and are instantly updated with the current news stories serve these generations that have come to value immediacy.

And, the evening news isn’t exactly set up to attract younger viewers. If your local news is anything like mine, 50% is weather, not exactly the right content to get Gen X and Y to close the lids on their laptops. If newscasts are interested in appealing to younger viewers they need to do some research, offer content relevant to that demographic and try to integrate content to the Web where this generation spends their time.


Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its Red Bull

Adweek points out this ad from Red Bull that came under attack from Italian priests and was pulled. Apparently they weren’t too keen on the idea of a fourth Wiseman bringing Red Bull as a gift to Baby Jesus. I always thought that Red Bull contained Myrrh, but I guess I was wrong, as it is mainly used in Chinese medicine. Go figure.

So the question is: does the controversy surrounding this ad and its removal from the airwaves help or hurt Red Bull. Well if you think of their audience as being young people who crave energy and are a bit rebellious (though I am pretty sure most of their sales come from stressed out, overworked creatives), then this little episode is pretty much on brand.

I’m sure the suits at Red Bull would never admit it, but this fits right in with their image.


Audience Driven Through Consumer Modes

An interesting article in the October 29, 2007 issue of Advertising Age is a great example of an audience-driven marketing strategy. Rick Milenthal, CEO of Engauge, lays out the six most relevant “consumer modes.” These are: Entertainment, Information, Discovery, Connecting, Sharing and Expressing.

Milenthal posits that consumers engage with different media with purposes, goals and needs. These can be sorted into consumer modes. Great advertising recognizes these elements and satisfies them.

This is just another way of saying that marketing needs to provide the consumer with the information they are looking for in the way that they are looking for it. Marketing should not take the form of pushing the company line down the throats of consumers. Consumers are savvy and will tune out on those message that are not relevant.

So what mode are your customers in when making purchasing decisions for your product? Are they in the entertainment mode? If so, your advertising needs to be entertaining.

Sounds simple, right?