We live in a world of personalized, micro-target marketing that, thanks to artificial intelligence, has become equal parts amazing and appalling:
- Amazing: Brand X knowing exactly what I buy and suddenly popping up on my IG feed with a way cool product I MUST purchase.
- Appalling: God knows who else, besides Brand X, has my personal information and what they plan to do with it?
I mention hyper targeting because I must admit to being left completely dumbfounded (a state of mind with which I’m very familiar, btw) by a new campaign from the fine folks at TD Ameritrade (TDA).
First, click on this link to see their TV spot.
Now riddle me this: To whom is TDA aiming its commercial?
It has to be Baby Boomers since, aside from Steve Carell’s horribly bad 2008 remake of “Get Smart”, absolutely no one under the age of 60 will possibly understand TDA’s lame attempt to leverage a TV show that ran from 1967-1970.
From Gen Z types to Younger Millennials and from older Millennials to Gen X’ers, no one will “get” the subtle comedy thread embedded in the pitch (especially TDA’s use of “Would you believe?” in the middle of the 30-second commercial). For the uniformed, Would you believe…. was Special Agent 86, Maxwell Smart’s, signature line.
Getting back to the introductory paragraph, how could marketers who are armed with mountains of data explaining exactly how to reach younger and middle-aged audiences choose, instead, to play a nostalgia card that no one in their target universe will get (as in Get Smart)?
- Would you believe smart investors will be befuddled by TDA’s tagline, “Where smart investors get smarter?
- Would you believe egregious target marketing mistakes such as this happen all the time?
- Channeling Maxwell Smart one last time, would you believe the TDA marketing types are anything BUT smart?