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Advertising: Is It Based On Perspective?


There’s this old Seinfeld episode that revolves around a Dockers commercial about khakis. Below is the scene and, for reference, the actual commercial in question:

The episode itself is funny (or perhaps I’m biased because I believe every episode of Seinfeld is hilarious). The unintended result of this particular episode is interesting, however, because it shows that different commercials appeal to different people, and how all advertising used to be done. I know, it’s fictional, but in reality, aren’t there commercials you don’t care for? And yet, they continue to be played because somewhere, someone has seen it and bought the product.

And it’s as simple as that - mass marketing. I don’t believe Jerry Seinfeld is the intended target for the commercial. He says, “Tan pants...why do I buy tan pants? I don’t feel comfortable in them.” His girlfriend, on the other hand, says she likes the commercial. Could it be that she was the target market? Perhaps she would buy cotton Dockers for her boyfriend? In the rest of the episode, you don’t hear George opposing the commercial. You know what else? George is always wearing cotton pants, whereas this is the only episode I can remember that has Jerry wearing khakis. I know, it’s fiction. My point is that some people buy Dockers, and that’s why the commercial existed.

Instances like this is also why internet advertising has become so effective. Why waste money on people who are not your target? With social media, Google, etc, I can get very precise on my target market, making my ROI much better.