A case study: know your demographic


I’ve always been fascinated by the difference between the jokes you can tell your friends but you can’t tell to an audience. There’s a fine line you have to tread because you don’t know who is out there in the auditorium. A lot of people are too easily offended.” Billy Connolly


The demographic tool in the YouTube views report is invaluable, but many people don’t look at it as all they are looking for is views. This is where things can go wrong.


As we discovered…

Case study: “How to measure for a sports bra” (can you see where I’m going with this..?)


This film was produced a number of years back as an aid to sell Shock Absorber Bras off the retail site:


As you can see, the film has a healthy viewership and we ranked for “how to measure for a bra”, “how to tell if your bra fits”, “sports bra” etc etc.

Although this is a good lesson in knowing thy audience. When we looked at the statistics, something become very apparent…

We were reaching out to the wrong demographic. Not intentionally, but if you put up a film using the exceptional sports model Jenny Pacey having a bra fitting, you’re going to attract the occasional male viewer. Or in this case, quite a few…


This isn’t necessarily an issue – the ‘wrong’ demographic reaching your video is fine as long as they watch it all the way through. It’ll actually make your video more popular.


However, when you are selling sports bras, not many men are going to buy them. Plus YouTube will recommend to people fitting that demographic, further exacerbating the issue.


Know your demographic

In 1999 Budweiser ran potentially the most well known advertising campaign. The ‘Wassup’ YouTube and TV campaign was highly acclaimed for bridging across every demographic.


‘‘In our lifetimes, we’ll never see so much value created from a single idea. It makes Budweiser a brand for every culture, every demographic and every community. It makes Budweiser a younger, hipper, more contemporary brand.’’ Busch of Budweiser


Website traffic to the site increased by over 300%. The expression became a pop culture phenomenon and was parodied worldwide.

However, sales for the beer told a different story. Sales only rose by 2.8%. Some specialists have put this down to the fact that the advert was more successful with young people, a demographic too young to buy alcohol.

I’m not sure how many adults went into a bar and said ‘Wassup’ or is that just me?


It’s not that important really though…is it?

A classic example of getting it wrong is the Groupon advert that was shown in the highly sought after Super Bowl slot. It totally missed the mark. To be be fair Groupon are well known for their support of the plights covered in their campaign, but the intended audience didn’t get the irony.


306 “likes” 1359 “dislikes”. The whole campaign took the tact of parodying itself.


“When groups of people act together to do something, it’s usually to help a cause. With Groupon, people act together to help themselves by getting great deals. So what if we did a parody of a celebrity-narrated, PSA-style commercial that you think is about some noble cause, but then it’s revealed to actually be a passionate call to action to help yourself?” Groupon


What they actually did was to make fun of the Americans for being shallow – suggesting that they’d only care about other cultures if they can save money on a deal somehow. This advert is also rumoured to have upset the whole nation of China.

Social media is a great thing but it’s also great for fuelling a back lash. Here’s a few comments from Twitter:


— “Dear @Groupon – over a million Tibetans have been killed during Chinese occupation. Your ad wasn’t funny.

— “@Groupon seems to have achieved the unique feat of paying $3M to lose customers who previously loved them.”

— “Hey @groupon, instead of buying from your deals, I’m going to donate to Tibet. Who’s laughing now?


Taking into account the “Brit’s love of irony” –  It would be interesting to see if the adverts had had that effect in the UK. Do you find them offensive?


Stats. They tell the story. 

It can be a brilliant move to plan an advert that gets talked about and seen (rather than a ‘boring’ corporate video), but do two things before and during. Think about the audience you are looking to attract – does the advert appeal to them and when the ad is live, check that it’s hitting its mark.

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