I didn’t really do a lot of family dinners growing up as a sprightly-eyed jumping bean, just beginning to find my ways and means in this great world of ours. For me that meant great things.
For one, I was able to get in the me-time, that is so important to a developing young man, when all my friends needed to go in for dinner. Another thing that was rained down upon me like gifts from the heavens was my ability to be in charge of creating my own menus each day; the self empowerment I gained could not be overestimated. Finally, I really was able to take full advantage of not having to get involved with any direct conversations with irritating family members. This also was great, as it gave me an opportunity to develop my avoidance skills, such as: indirect statements and comments and solidly rooted passive aggressiveness.
This last unintended gift from a vacuum of family dinners has served me well, although at times it seems to me to be something like knowing Latin. It’s an amazing and enviable talent, but, remains virtually useless without a counterpart with which to engage. For example, if my girlfriend wants to use her run-of-the-mill direct conversation skills and I want to pull the indirect-ace-up-my-sleeve out, it is not well received. I hate that and I need to find a girl who likes sweeping things under the rug; then we could really get things done. It’d be like holding majority control of both legislative houses.
I have noticed that I have begun to apply my disdain for direct conversations to anything direct. Such is the case with direct response advertising. You put me in front of a pile of direct response ads and tell me to start clipping coupons and we’re going to have some serious filibustering. Our styles just conflict.
The point of this to those companies looking to advertise their businesses is this: advertising and specifically direct response advertising can only maximize its desired goals when the marketing is received by an appropriate and welcoming public. You need to know your audience, just like my girlfriend needs to know that I think that band-aids are better than solutions.