By Adrienne Tallacksen
My daily commute takes me past a local gym. I always look forward to checking out the latest advertisement they have to get people in the door, which is posted on a chalkboard easel on the sidewalk. The handwritten ads sometimes feature quotes (always altered in some way to play up the fitness angle), sometimes verge on offensive (needling those who might not be physically fit), and sometimes they aren't ads at all (a simple "YAY!" was posted on November 5th after President Obama was elected). The messages are often targeted to the Jersey City, NJ audience with references to local restaurants and even our most recent political scandal. Above all, the ads are clever and witty and almost always get my attention.
The gym is part of a small New York/New Jersey chain, so it may be easier for it to target the local audience than it would be for a national advertiser. But new tools are making targeted ads possible on a larger scale. At a meeting of the ANA's Television Advertising Committee Meeting in March, committee members learned about how Canoe Ventures is using community addressable advertising to target television viewers in different markets.
When an ad is targeted at people who live in my community, I feel like I can relate to the advertiser, even if I might not be interested in its product. This can be a powerful connection for marketers to make with consumers.