2012-02-01_1804In a bid to increase my sporadic blogging from a once a week with occasional breaks schedule to a twice a week schedule, I’ve decided to create two new columns:

1) Practical Tactical Tuesday

2) Theory Thursday

I’m aiming for an interesting theoretical post each Thursday, followed up by perhaps a case study or a quick and dirty how-to on the following Tuesday.  In between, I might throw in some shorter link-based posts, lists, and interviews, but I’m not promising those on any kind of regular basis — just the Tuesday & Thursday content.

So look for the first ever Theory Thursday post tomorrow, and in the meantime, here’s a quick thought and a cool article worth sharing:

“According to the Bible, when Christ stood up and made his sermon on the Mount he preached to the masses. he didn’t get up on that rock and say, ‘I’d like to talk to 18-25 year old ABCs, with a predisposition to change and a disposable income of X.’ No, he got up an preached to as many people as possible.”  – Sir John Hegarty

And here’s a pretty good article talking about this exact same advertising mistake:

The King’s Comeuppance: How the Hottest Ad Agency of the Aughts Fell from Grace

P.S. Hat Tip to my colleague, Steve Rae, for forwarding the Slate article to me.


  1. Jon on 02.02.2012

    Does the phrase “exact same advertising mistake” mean the mistake of hitting just one very specific demographic? After reading the article I must admit i had to read your comment a few times before I saw it that way. Initially I read it as saying “to as many people as possible” was the wrong approach. I even copied a line out of the article to show how that was wrong (Crispin never once made a VW or Burger King ad this sweet and endearing, tickling every demographic at once).

    It is early and i am not up to speed yet. Thank you for reminding us we can reach many at once.

  2. Jeff on 02.02.2012


    Sorry for the lack of clarity. But, yes, you eventually came around to what I had intended. I quoted Hegarty because I agreed with him that reliance on targeting over messaging was a mistake, especially when using mass media. [Note, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t situations when you shouldn’t “choose whom to lose” just that mass media reaches, um, the masses, and something with broad appeal benefits from messaging that’s as broadly appealing as the product]

    The Slate article reinforces that point. On the surface, targeting heavy users of your product makes sense. But mass appeal products like fast food, advertised over mass media, really need messaging capable of speaking to everyone (aka, “the masses”).

  3. Jon on 02.02.2012

    Thank you. And know that it was not your writing but my fuzzy mind this morning that caused the problem.

    Where I work (a church of about 3k on a Sunday morning) recently was re-branded so there has been a lot of talk about how to reach out now so i love reading your post as I think about how to reach parents and others who care about children.

  4. Donnie Bryant on 02.02.2012

    Jesus spoke to as many people as possible and let His message separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.

    Targeting definitely has its place, but getting the right message out is of paramount importance.

    Good stuff, Jeff. I’m looking forward to reading your new columns.

    P.S. Those BK commercials were the worst, weren’t they?