In this documentary, PBS uncovers the evolution of marketing. Marketing has moved from targeting large groups, to targeting individuals and smaller segments. With so many messages being transmitted through the media, the line between what is being absorbed and what is not has become blurred. Getting through the clutter is difficult. Every thing is done to break through the clutter. Therefore, marketers need to market to only those who really want to hear the message, and to get those people that hear that message, to have an emotional response to it.
One of the ways to break through the clutter in advertising is to create meaning through emotional or spiritual branding. Marketers are targeting consumers in a way that tries to get consumers to have emotional experiences tied to products. This line of thinking is best displayed in ads like those of Nike that say "transcendence through sports," or ones by Starbucks that say that Starbucks is a "third place meeting house."
What this does is get the consumer to act on emotional response that can be evoked from certain ideas or phrases that an ad contains. It is selling an idea, not a product. This can go even further - it can depict a product as a lifestyle. This approach revolves around people's desire to belong to a group or cult. In this way, Apple i-pod users become a sub-culture, and you can share a special bond with other i-pod users. This is spiritual branding.
Another way to break through the clutter is to aim your messages at one individual, rather than a large segment. This can be done by targeting people individually through a process called narrowcasting. There is a large amount of date available on every person, and this information, for a price, can be sold to...