I graduated from college with a degree in marketing, so I somewhat enjoy watching how people sell themselves or their products.
Here's a specific example that made me laugh.
(Disclaimer: I may have blogged about this already. It's getting difficult to remember what stories I've shared.)
A couple months ago I was in Wal-mart with my boys in the video game isle, and I heard a girl behind me say "excuse me". I turned around to see an attractive young girl, probably 17 or 18 years old. She had on a short skirt, a t-shirt that appeared to belong to her little sister based on its size, and a lot of make up. I could tell she was trying to impress someone. I also noticed that she had on a Wal-Mart name tag, but not the pleasant Wal-Mart blue vest. Was she breaking the dress code?
It didn't take me long to realize that she was not trying to get my attention. She was trying to get the attention of the scraggly headed 14 year old next to me looking at the video games. This guy looked like a typical gamer. He had on a t-shirt, wrinkled jeans, and had long curly hair that looked like it hadn't been brushed in a couple days. I was a little shocked that this attractive girl was trying to speak to this much younger teen. When I was his age, this is the kind of girl that never spoke to me. Once he looked at her, here's what transpired…
Girl: "Hi, have you ever used Axe hair or body products?"
Dude: (shocked that she was speaking to him) "Uh…. No"
Girl: "Are you familiar with Axe products?"
Dude: (trying not to get caught staring at her chest) "Uh… No"
Girl: "Well you ought to check 'em out in the health and beauty section.……"
She went on to explain how popular their scents and sprays are with girls his age and how she'd be glad to give him a 20% off coupon if he'd try them out.
After I witnessed this interesting marketing strategy, I wondered….
- Target Audience… teenage, un-kempt, slacker, gamer = yes. 30-something, overweight, father of young-uns. = no. She didn't offer me a coupon.
- Was her attire part of the marketing strategy, or just her trying to express herself?
- How successful was this strategy? I bet if she had offered to show him where the health and beauty section was he would have walked with her.
- Did he get offended that she tried to sell him something to make him smell better? It's like being offered a piece of gum. Never say no. It's impossible to tell if the offerer thinks you need some help in the breath department or if they want a piece and are just being nice and offering to share.
I've seen many Axe commercials and magazine ads since then. Based on what I've seen both in person, and in ads. I bet they're selling a lot of body spray.