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Sunday Lifestyle

Remember the 3,000 pairs of shoes?

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez Ventura - The Philippine Star

My background is 33 years in advertising, a profession that ordinary people do not fully understand. Let me try to explain a part of it to you in broad strokes.

In advertising you first have to define your market — people you are going to advertise to — demographically and psychographically. Demographics means statistics. How old are they? Male or female? Which segment of the population do they belong to in terms of spending power? Class A if they are very rich, a very small percentage in the Philippines. Class B if they are moderately rich. Class C was divided into Upper C and Lower C, Upper C meaning probably employees at the managerial level and Lower C, probably at the secretarial level. Then you have Class D, which means a bit of income, like drivers, kasambahays. And Class E are the very poor, the slum dwellers, scavengers, the least educated. Demographics gives you general data, useful depending on your product. If selling very expensive watches, definitely target the A. If selling a soft drink, then the market will be A, B, Upper and Lower C. Demographics is only part of the knowledge required.

Also, know the people you will advertise to psychographically. From Google:

“Psychographics are the attitudes, interests, personality, values, opinions, and lifestyle of your target market.” Psychographics deal primarily with what people feel, their interests, activities, opinions, beliefs.

Psychographics go way beyond age, gender and income level. Psychographics tell you why people buy. They’re less objective but they’re very useful.

So how would I define my market for an expensive, delicious butter ideal for baking? Demographically, chefs, pastry chefs, AB housewives. Psychographically, those who love to bake, are discriminating about taste and texture, don’t care about expense. Demographically, I know the language I will use. Psychographically, the manner, the look, the design is indicated.

Why am I writing this now? Because of the way I observe — from my limited vantage point — the way election materials are being handled. I have been writing since I was 44 years old and I am now 77. I have been a columnist for 33 years! Even I cannot believe it has been that long.

I never was a Marcos advocate. The President himself was very intelligent but they — he and his government — took a lot of money from the country and wasn’t punished enough for it. Now his son, who has no real credentials to make him worthy of becoming a leader of anything, is running for the position of president? Have we forgotten so quickly what happened that led to People Power? Have we forgotten the film footage that was released then? Do we not remember Imelda’s 3,000 pairs of shoes that became a handle for her excessiveness?

I remember. I was in the United States at the time rallying outside the Philippine consulate in San Francisco. I served on the committee that organized a full reception for President Cory Aquino’s first visit to the United States after she became president. I worked in the background until 3 a.m many nights fixing the seating arrangements, the tickets, answering the phone calls from Americans, many asking for more information. The most uttered remark was about Amelda’s (that’s the way Americans pronounce “Imelda”) 3,000 pairs of shoes.

Now here we are, 35 years later, watching Bongbong Marcos campaign for the presidency. I mean, how stupid are we to allow it? That’s the question I ask. I’m not getting any answers. How quickly we have forgotten what we went through to put an end to the hardship that the Marcos government brought to those who were not their cronies or their psychophants! But I was told or I read somewhere that they have British consultants who are managing their campaigns, who have decided to focus their messages on the D & E classes of our population. And that makes sense to me because of my advertising experience.

Why the D & E? Demographically, they are the least educated, probably have more younger people who are less than 35 years of age, and they are very poor so they can be bought. They also have the numbers. The D & E classes are the biggest population base here. Psychographically, they easily believe whatever they are told. It is not easy for them to discern lies. They had to hire the British to teach them that? They would not have believed a Filipino who told them exactly the same thing. Isn’t that the old colonial mentality at work?

I think those of us who are intelligent enough to think, old enough to remember well the atrocities they created, need to do everything we can to prevent the Marcos name and their allies from winning again. Our country needs to purge itself completely of the wrongs of the past. We must work together to make this happen. We must pray for a cleaner, better, kinder world and future for us all.

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