You are what you watch. Except when you aren’t.

Dog watching television According to psychographic ad targeter Mindset Media, the television shows we watch provide a  unique insight into our personality and can help brands better target their marketing spend (insert link).

For example, modest people, says Mindset Media, are more likely to watch 'Deadliest Catch' while altruistic types, such as Ed Moed, dial up cooking shows like 'Rachel Ray.'

Hmmm. Color me skeptical about all this psychographic psychobabble.

In describing viewers of my favorite show, 'Mad Men', Mindset says it attracts creative types. (No duh. The show's about an ad agency.) But, the creative types who watch 'Mad Men' are also emotionally sensitive (Well, yes, that's me.) and intellectually curious types (Damn, right again.) who tend to be more often dreamers than realists. (Whoa. Back off, Mindset. That's not me!)

Mad Men watchers are also liberal (Gee, these guys are pretty good.) and prefer brands such as Blue Moon and American Express. (I order sauvignon blanc, but I do like a Blue Moon on occasion and carry an AmEx card.) Mindset says I wouldn't be as interested in Campbell's Soup or the Cadillac Escalade. (That's putting it mildly.)

Mindset analyzed viewers of other shows as well, including ‘The Office’ which, while it's gone steadily downhill, is still a favorite of mine. “Like Michael on the show,” says Mindset, “watchers of The Office think they are superior to others.” (Rubbish.) In fact, says Mindset, fans of ‘The Office’ believe they are extraordinary (Which I am.) and happily brag about their accomplishments. (I'm a shameless self promoter.) Viewers prefer Starbucks (Not me. The coffee's way too bitter.) and the BMW Series 3 (Now, this is scary. I own an M3.) They dislike McDonald's (The word 'loathe' would be more appropriate.) and the Lincoln Town Car. (I'll ride in one, but you'll never catch me behind the wheel.).

All in all, this psychobabble stuff IS pretty impressive. Their analysis of me based upon my viewing of ‘Mad Men’ and ‘The Office’ is eerily accurate.

BTW, in case you watch ‘Glee’ (which I can't stomach), you're “in touch with your own feelings and may even feel happiness or sadness more intensely than others.” I'll bet you didn't know that, did you? You also drink Evian and drive a Volkswagen. You dislike Quaker cereals (What's your issue with Quaker cereals?) and the Chevy Silverado. (Does anyone like that car?) Oh, and as reluctant as I am to add this in, Mindset says ‘Glee’ viewers are closest to viewers of ‘Mad Men’ when it comes to being creative. Not true. We ‘Mad Men’ types rule.

So, what's your favorite TV show and what do you think it says about you? I'd go on, but I need to DVR 'Eastbound and Down.' I'll bet Mindset would have a field day with viewers of that show.

20 thoughts on “You are what you watch. Except when you aren’t.

  1. I’ll have to copy Ed and ask him to weigh in. Ed, Peter is the second Repman reader to have mentioned a similarity between you and the Sopranos character Richie Aprile. Personally, I don’t see it.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing, Mok arena. I’ve noticed my business partner, Ed, will purposely walk in front of me and my fellow employees. I assume he’s doing that to show that he’s leader of the pack? Re: your viewing habits and my now-instant ability to determine exactly what brands you’ll like and dislike, here goes: you like infomercials for hearing aids, prefer shopping at CostCo so you can buy (and store) in bulk and see a 9mm Glock as the ideal stocking stuffer. You’re less likely to buy Purina Cat Chow, Campbell’s Soup for One, and own love birds.

  3. My guilty pleasure is watching ‘The Dog Whisperer’ and I don’t even own a dog.
    I have learned some of Cesar Millan’s technique and I have applied them with my boys at home.
    My biggest take-away is mastering the walk and using calm-assertive energy.
    -Master the walk – Walking in front of my boys allows me to be seen as the pack leader and to let them know that I am in control. I need to show my kids protection and direction. If they don’t follow me, they will never learn to be disciplined.
    -Using calm-assertive energy – A pack leader doesn’t project emotional or nervous energy . When I am with my boys in unchartered territory, I need to project to my kids that I am relaxed and confident but always in control. If I show fear or lack of control then my boys will sense this and they will not follow.
    Other favorite shows includes ‘Hoarders buried alive’ and all ‘Law and Order’ episodes.

  4. I have to disagree, Rep. Having worked with Ed, I think he’s more Richie Aprile than Tony Soprano.

  5. Spot on Rep; except it was my sisters who were the bitches, not the Brady girls who I thought I was one of. After all, at one time, I was a true blonde.

  6. I suppose so, Ghost. Don’t get me wrong. I adored Tony Soprano in particular (and see many of his finer qualities in my business partner, Ed, btw). But, there are still some amazingly compelling family-themed programs that stack up well with T & Co. Breaking Bad is one such example. It’s a superb show with lots of family dynamics set against the backdrop of making, selling and snorting crystal meth in the desert.

  7. Regarding Tierney…yes, he is back. I guess he is going back to what he had success with. A newsman/publisher he wasn’t.
    But, I would love to sell him something for 560 MM anytime and then watch him sell it for 110 MM 5 years later. Would a potential prospect want to work with someone with that type of track record? That will be a tough story to spin when trying to win some new business.
    I’m not worried.

  8. I’m with Michael’s parents: After The Sopranos, there isn’t much compelling to watch on TV. Everything else seems to hit a point where realism is compromised, whether it be for a cheap laugh line, to garner ratings or to assuage network censors. And while getting whacked is a staple, The Sopranos is really about relationships and coping. I have no doubt people will still be watching this show long after I no longer walk this earth.

  9. Glad to hear it, Lunch. BTW, I just read that your local PR wunderkind, Brian Tierney, has re-entered the Philly public relations ranks after his aborted newspaper adventure. Wonder what TV shows he watches and what it would say about him?

  10. Rep, everything was right except Bob’s Big Boy…never been! I also just scored a nice pair of Italian made leather loafers for next summer. You and Ed would be most impressed.

  11. So, having become amazingly adept at psychographic psychobabble virtually overnight, allow me to diagnose you, Book. I’m guessing you lean to the left politically, enjoy books and blogs (not sure how I guessed that), prefer a physically active life to that of a sedentary couch potato and often find yourself falling for aging, if distinguished, general medical practitioners. BTW, you may have hated the Brady sisters, but I know I speak for all male adolescents at the time when I say she was a true goddess.

  12. OK, don’t watch much TV but I do enjoy Top Chef (I like to cook). Will watch the Deadliest Catch when episodes are new but even that has gotten old. If I go with the group above me, I too loved All in the Family, enjoyed some of the Sopranos but for nostalgia, it would be Happy Days, Brady Bunch (unrealistic but I still wanted to join the family – my sisters were bitches!) and loved Medical Center and Marcus Welby MD. I wonder what that would say about me.

  13. Allow me to step in and offer some thoughts, Lunch. Based upon your viewing preferences, I’m thinking you adore the Phillies, gorge yourself on a hearty, if unhealthy, meal at a place such as Bob’s Big Boy, prefer flip-flops over oxfords and love the intimacy of dark stairwells. All just guesses, mind you.

  14. Ghost Hunters, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives are my favorites.
    I’m scared to read what psychobabble will be offered my way based on those shows.

  15. I think the Sopranos comment is a bit over the top especially considering that, personally, I find Mad Men much more compelling. Re: shows about American families, I think the bar was set high by Ward and June Cleaver during the Eisenhower and JFK Administrations. Wally, The Beav, Eddie, Lumpy, Whitey and the rest may not have seemed ‘normal’ by 2010 standards, but they had just as many issues as Meathead, Multisanti and Paulie Walnuts. They just didn’t go around whacking one another. Btw, based upon your viewing habits, I’d guess you’d eat at a Moe’s Southwestern Grill, frolic in the backyard with chimps and inhale Pirate’s Booty at your desk.

  16. To quote my parents, “After The Sopranos, the history of television sitcoms and fictional dramas becomes a footnote.” Maybe they are exaggerating – “All In The Family” is right up there as well. Interestingly, both shows are about American families that have economic and emotional ups and downs (like the rest of us), that go through periods of moral ambiguity (like the rest of us), and question either the elder or younger generation constantly as a subconcious way of questioning their own values (like the rest of us). I’m neither a criminal, a bigot nor a bleeding heart liberal. But I found Tony, Archie and Meathead as relatable as any characters ever experienced on the boob tube. I’ll let you research types tell me what that says about my personality – I think the real conclusion is I just like good quality television.