Apr 13, 2010

Guido Boy vs Mr Interesting (Who Ya Got?)

Demographics & Pyschographics: they're different

Watch who you invite over --- the image lingers

Promotions are a key aspect of the hospitality business. Two local businesses are currently using the 'meet & greet' variety of such in hopes of drawing attention and traffic to their facilities. But while having that common denominator, the actual celebrity chosen by each one highlights not only a different target market but also a different perspective on what exactly the concept of celebrity is all about in this age of disjointed and scattered media.

Take the upcoming grand (re) opening of Mare DiscoTeca in Saratoga Springs. Here, at the site of the semi-legendary 80's hangout The Metro, lies what has since become the proverbial white elephant; a piece of real estate that can't seem to find its groove and sustain a successful business model. Most of that blame lies in the fact that succeeding owners have tried to shoehorn an upscale/urban lifestyle vibe into the scene; generally a poor choice for tourist traps like the Spa with tried and true track records of drunken mayhem, bad food and Top 40 cover bands.

Apparently, the new management of Mare didn't get that memo and are set on again trying the same old doomed-to-fail formula. The early advertising reads like a cliché, with all the buzzwords out of a SoBe – wannabe setting, such as “dress to impress” and “respect the “neighborhood” --- complete with a lineup of DJ's with their hats on backwards spinning someone else's creative output, of course.

Then we have Mare's upcoming grand opening special attraction; the single individual designed to immediately stamp this establishment with a brand image that will carry it forward into an era of continuing and long term glory. That person is known as Ronnie Magro, set to appear live and in-person.

For the (thankfully) uninitiated, Mr Magro has a starring role on a TV reality show called Jersey Shore. The basic premise of this gem is to follow around a bunch of young Italian Americans as they spend their daytime doing not much more than hanging out, lifting weights, swearing and arguing with each other, followed by nighttime theatrics of going to nightclubs, drinking too much and getting in fights – sometimes with members of the opposite sex. I guess it's time to bring that party to Saratoga!

At least that's what Mare seems to think. They've identified their target market (young 20-something culture drones) and are plucking an 'of the moment' individual that they hope has enough buzz to drag a good number of them down to Maple Avenue to be in the Mighty One's presence for an evening. The guess here is that they might be right, although the (well-deserved) “I think I'm gonna puke” reaction from the neighbors certainly doesn't bode well for Mare's long term hopes, as it has suddenly become the symbol for all things gone wrong in the community. Oh, well.

Contrast that with the mysterious gentleman known as The Most Interesting Man in the World. You've seen him pop up in Dos Equis beer commercials; a sophisticated, worldly gentleman with a bevy of gorgeous women at hand and a slew of personal triumphs that would put Seinfeld's Mr Peterman to shame. In one word, this guy is simply suave. Wouldn't we all like to be just like him? Yes; yes we would. In his words, “I rarely drink, but when I do it's Dos Equis.” Wouldn't we now like to do the same? Yes; yes we would.

Here lies a spoof – or better yet: a goof – of the very concept of a media-driven hero for the masses. Those who get it are those one-step removed from the LCD (lowest common denominator) drivel that is the normal course of action from the broadcast television world. You know, the shit like Jersey Shore! I have no doubt that this campaign is a successful one, with sales of what should be considered nothing more than your usual piss-poor Mexican beer likely going right through the roof. Bravo to whatever creative agency came up with this guy.

I have it on good authority that TMIMITW will be coming to the area as well, set to appear at the Bomber Mexican-style restaurant in Albany +/or Schenectady in the first week of May to coincide with Cinco de Mayo.

So there's a pretty good contrast for you: two media personalities making local appearances, each appealing to a different psychographic audience and bound to set the tone for their respective sponsoring host's brand image.

Which one do you think will have been the better investment? An interesting question. Stay thirsty, my friends...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you know: he received the Lifetime Achievement Award.