Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Targeted Marketing and Oversaturation

As you know, I write about animals here and over at Confessions of an Animal Junkie. I've written about rescues and I have a rescue organization signed up to write regular guest posts at the Animal Junkie blog. Google, Facebook, game sites, writer forums, animal forums -- all see fit to advertise charitable humane organizations to me.

I have rescues now. I've had them in the past, I'll have them in the future. I donate what I can afford to what reputable charities I can. In short, I am a convert. MORE advertising is oversaturation. In fact, from the time I sit down at my computer with my morning cuppa to the time I turn the laptop off at night, I am faced with an unending barrage of images of sick, injured, neglected and abused animals.

Yes, I care -- deeply. Yes, every image tugs at the appropriate heartstring. But sometimes I just need a break from the constant suffering on display, you know. Sometimes I just want to enjoy lunch at my desk without contemplating the fate of millions of dogs and cats. The occasional ad served out is fine. A similar ad on nearly every webpage I open? That just inures me to any of them. Nor does my brain discriminate between them. Is it an ad from the HSUS, the SPCA, the ASPCA, Best Friends, a local shelter? I don't know. I don't look.

It's been suggested this is "compassion fatigue." I don't dispute that. But I do wonder if it extends into other areas as well.

Are there certain targeted advertising themes that are wearing you down rather than inciting you to act?

Does this also translate to the increasing number of book ads we're seeing pitched in tweets, FB posts, banners on author sites and comments? Have you bought books because you're seeing them "all over the place?" Or does seeing them "all over the place" encourage you to run far, far away?

4 comments:

Jo-Ann said...

I try to ignore ads as best I can. Oversaturation just gives me practice to avoid looking at the ad. It's as though a neural pathway has developed - the more frequently I see an ad, the quicker I know to put it in my mental trash can. Does it have a subliminal effect? Very hard to judge (must - have - a - coke...).

Harder to ignore is when you follow a blog that's very interesting, and the blog owner occasionally plants a reference to their own work. Case in point: a certain agent-turned-author who has a blog with 1000+ visitors who has recently released his first MG novel with another hot on its heels. As much as I like the content of his blog, I grind my teeth at every mention of his cutesy character. I'm over the character and have not even tried to win any of the merchandising giveaways.

In terms of my charitable contributions: the Horn of Africa is facing a famine. I made my decision on the basis of the news, not any ads. Mind you, those ads are not as frequent as the scale of the crisis warrants, and it makes me wonder why.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

I'm amazed how quickly we became immune the horror still going on in Japan with the nuclear contamination still oozing into the air and ocean.

I'm amazed at the lack of international response for the famine crisis in Africa.

Maybe our filters are thickened and we've been conditioned to hit ignore. Hard not to hit ignore with the media stimulation (ads) leaping at us from every which way we turn.

vkw said...

This is an interesting question.

Have I purchased a book because of advertisng? Yes, I purchased Dan Brown's last book because the advertising intrigued me as did his appearance on the Today Show. I bought it used, however - so I waited a year. And, I liked the Da Vinci Code.

The book disappointed me.

I think the most effective advertising for me is movie trailers. Sometimes, they really disappoint me because they often don't seem to have anything with the movie. Still - movie trailers are the most effective way to get me to see, rent or buy a movie.

Now, I am bit intrigued by book trailers, though I still need to read the incerts or book descriptions.

The media news ticks me off. A major famine is occuring in Africa and we hear more about one missing woman in Aruba. Does anyone remember why or where the famine is taking place but we can find Aruba ont he map. Another Arab regime is about to fall and we are discussing whether or not the president should go on vacation? How crazy are we?

I guess my point is that I disagree with what the news thinks is important and I either get annoyed or a I tune it out. Because of my intense dislike for the media, I tend to resist anything they promote - i don't facebook, tweet or believe anything they think is important, actually is. Like the Kardishians? What? are we crazy?

I purchase books based upon - Amazon's recommendations on my previous buying history, what others have purchased with my buying history and on reading a few pages of new releases. I also tend to buy authors that I have read before.

So . . . what was the question? Oh . . . car commercials and most ads on television I find easy to tune out.

As for animal abuse . . . well I live with two of the worse cases I have ever heard of. My boys. . . Rocky and Nick. I don't have to read or see anything in the media, I just have to think about them and I tear up - so I deliberately put their past out of my mind and think about today and tomorrow.

vkw

Kay Elam Writes said...

I've worked hard in my adult life not to be co-dependent. Therefore, I was mystified when my world was great, but I had friends or family were watching their's go to hell in a hand basket. I went to see the therapist I check in at moments like this and that's when I first heard of compassion fatigue. She reassured me I wasn't being co-dependent, but said I had a whopping dose of CF which in some ways resembles CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).

Yes, I think CF extends to many areas of our lives. How could it not with TV, radio, the Internet, etc. available absolutely everywhere. We are constantly exposed; we're bound to catch it from time to time. I'm working to build my immune system.