Friday, January 31, 2020

The Typical American Essay Example for Free

The Typical American Essay Donald Trump has done much for the image of the typical American through his show, â€Å"The Apprentice,† and its focus on brand marketing to an individual. Throughout time, especially when it comes to advertising, the focus has been to nail down, specifically, what it is that makes a typical American a typical American. But are those traits just stereotypical of Americans as they used to be? Or do they suggest something much deeper about the American public—that behavior as a consumer can be actually be targeted, without much overall difficulty, using a combination of internal and external marketing by focusing on stereotypical beliefs, psychological profiles, and an understanding of basic human intelligence. To begin with, internal marketing focuses exclusively on the individual â€Å"you† of a company, striving to spotlight on their motivations and beliefs while gaining trust and reputation. For example, Ford Motor Company would use internal marketing to evaluate the needs of their employees and to become a better employer for those needs. This can be seen in media advertising as well, as more and more commercials focus on the audience â€Å"you.† Everyone can relate to the stressed out mom with the Renuzit spray as she cleans up her kid’s soccer mess. While the consumer here is not part of the Renuzit company, they feel, by the method of advertising, that they relate to the message presented. External marketing is more about the business itself and how they manage to position themselves in front of the consumer. This medium of marketing is more difficult to qualify because it is in the presentation itself that makes this mode effective. For example, Ford Motor Company is advertising at a dog show and at a car show. At the dog show, they will surely be overlooked as anything more than annoying sales people because their method of presentation holds no true meaning for them, while the car show would explode with excited consumers because they are positioned in front of their target audience. So, to be honest, the factor that has the greatest influence on an average consumer (like me) is both internal and external marketing. It would be hard to feel the deep Renuzit â€Å"homey† vibe when watching a stressful horror flick on the Sci Fi channel, but it would be a much more well received bit of advertising if the Learning Channel was on and Martha Stewart was cooking something yummy in the kitchen. Even in something so small and simple as random household commercial, both internal and external marketing are essential to see decent results. Moreover, the internet has taken this idea to a whole new level in advertising. It used to be that a basic site could attract visitors simply because it existed out there in the vast world wide web. But things have changed. Now, for a website to have any luck, whatsoever, they have to not only have targeted content, but also targeted keywords. Whole businesses have sprung up claiming to be able to properly optimize a website for the search engines—their philosophy: target a consumer based on stereotypical beliefs, psychological profiles, and an understanding of basic human intelligence in how people go about searching for the information they are hoping to find (Word Partners Ink). This process is just as complicated as it is for traditional advertisers because the potential visitors have to be exclusively targeted to get any results. This means that if a website is selling cat food, they have to use keyword rich content illustrating the most common search terms for cat food. Maybe name brands, or maybe even breed. The fact is that even as technology grows and looking at Americans as â€Å"typical† by using stereotypical methods sounds politically incorrect, it is still the only method for effective sales, even in the online media. According to the article by Anne Cronin (written more than a decade ago) the â€Å"typical American† exhibits certain identifiable traits. Since some of the traits are so outlandishly true, it’s best to go over each set and compare to the â€Å"typical American† now. Cronin begins with a â€Å"white woman who is 32.7 years old, [who is] married and a mother, owns a home in the suburbs with three bedrooms, two telephones, no answering machine, with two TV sets, cable, and a VCR.† This woman is the woman of â€Å"Stepford Wives.† Her home is her castle and she is still young enough to feel beautiful while she keeps things clean. This woman could still exist today, but with a few modifications. It would be hard to find a household without two TV’s (most probably have four, with two computers), but the telephones would be cell phones, as even kids as young as nine are getting them now that companies like Disney and Verizon have hit on that need, and the woman would probably be divorced with two kids while still living in the suburbs off a nice alimony check. Cronin continues with the woman’s lifestyle: â€Å"she works for a private company as a clerical worker, she (and probably her husband) does not own a gun, does not smoke, does not know anyone with AIDS, spent two hours driving yesterday (probably errands, maybe work), and she read a newspaper today.† The hilarious part is that this woman probably does not exist today. If she doesn’t smoke, she probably knows someone who either has AIDS or has died from AIDS, and if she isn’t a clerical worker, she probably didn’t read the newspaper today. Cronin’s article attempts to pinpoint the â€Å"typical American† woman from the early nineties. Things have definitely changed, but her reasoning is sound. And, her theories could still be applied to identify the traits of the typical American today by focusing on beliefs, psychological profiles, and an understanding on basic human understanding. The world has changed drastically in the last decade. War, tragedy, terrorism, and disease are vastly more prominent than they were just ten years ago. With the hit on 9/11, not only was security throughout the nation revamped, but so was the American consciousness; meaning that men and women had to take a broader understanding of their world if they wanted to survive it. And, perhaps that understanding is a bit more cynical than it used to be. Suburbia has essentially been replaced with powerful business women and internet entrepreneurs. Analyzing and pinpointing the typical American has become something of a carnival game on the internet on OK Cupid’s website. Here, a visitor can take the â€Å"Are you a Typical American test† to find out how they rank as a typical American. The questions are quite illuminating, as are the results. There are 25 questions in all (and a screen name must be chosen at the end to view all results), much reminiscent of the questions found on the â€Å"Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader† TV show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. But this doesn’t mean that they are easy. In fact, many of the questions have more to do with lifestyle than outside knowledge (though many United States history questions are asked), which makes for interesting criteria for the â€Å"typical American.† After taking the test, despite being somewhat mortified by the results, it became clear just how easy it is to call a typical American a â€Å"typical American.† Even shows like â€Å"Millionaire† and â€Å"Identity† (to the far extreme) hit on this ideal: that the typical American exhibits particular traits, mainly targeted by how much they weigh, how much fast food they eat, how much they watch television, and how much they know about their country. Sadly, that’s all it takes. A marketing genius would be hard pressed to find any other determining factors (they might throw in homey comfort and hobbies, but that’s about it). Overall, pinpointing the traits of the typical American has become something of a pastime for â€Å"typical Americans.† With the rise of the internet and TV game shows, this ideal has hit a new high. But, so has the effects on the marketing and advertising world. As the world changes, and the typical American changes with it, so must advertising and how those traits are analyzed and determined. However, while these things change, even drastically, the methods for identifying the traits of the typical American have not. Still, no matter the mode, the method must focus on beliefs, psychological profiling, and a basic understanding on how the average American thinks. Works Cited. Cronin, Anne. â€Å"Typical American.† New York Times. 1992, pg ES5. OK Cupid. â€Å"Are you the Typical American Test.† 2007 Human Rainbow. Word Partners Ink. â€Å"Search Engine Optimization.† 2007 Word Partners Ink.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.