If it sometimes feels like advertisers don’t treat you like a human being, don’t worry, they do.
It’s just that they treat you like a bunch of human beings packed into one.
We recently stumbled across a packet from Little Rock, Ark.-based marketing data firm Acxiom for their “Life stage segmentation system” called “PersonicX® Cluster Perspectives.”
Acxiom has broken down American society into 21 composite characters at various life stages according to income, marital status, number of children, age, etc.
The PersonicX system “enables you to see the dramatic difference between the consumer behaviours of the affluent, retiring couple living right next door to the young family just starting out. PersonicX helps you tailor your marketing strategies with a level of precision only offered by a household-level segmentation system and the most accurate, up-to-date data source in the market.”
The descriptions of these consumers are hilariously, impeccably detailed.
We picked the 7 best ones and reproduced them in full below.
BEGINNINGS, A DAY IN THE LIFE
Name of protagonist: “Jimmy”
Wakes up…late because he stayed up too late playing games online the night before. Grabs a quick shower and has leftover pizza for breakfast.
Spends the day…at the car dealership where he is a salesman. He’s a good salesperson and is already above quota with four days left in the month. He spent half the day talking to his new girlfriend on his cell phone.
Talks about weekend plans to…play a game of football or basketball with friends, or catch a movie and come back by the evening to go see one of his favourite local bands that is playing down at Joe’s Pub and Pool Hall, one of his regular hangouts. Has a meeting with…his sales manager to discuss a deep discount for his new girlfriend. She wants that new black Pontiac G6 that they got in last week.
Spends the evening…meeting his roommate back at the apartment. They order pizza and watch Adult Swim or reruns of Family Guy as well as the reality TV offerings on MTV. He has a few beers at the apartment and texts his girlfriend while checking the game scores at ESPN.com. Later, he and his roommate go down the street to The Tavern where he meets his new girlfriend.
Goes to bed at…1:30 a.m., flipping between…WWE Wrestling and MTV.
TAKING HOLD, A DAY IN THE LIFE
Name of protagonist: “Maria”
Wakes up…grabs the remote and flips on alternative rock radio. She gets up, goes to the kitchen, grabs a bottle of water and goes to the third bedroom that doubles as the workout room. She runs on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
Spends the day…researching a big liability case for the law firm where she works as a paralegal. She calls her husband and reminds him that it’s his parents’ anniversary and that it is a good idea to at least offer to take them out to dinner that week or cook a dinner for them in their gourmet kitchen. Talks about weekend plans to…go camping to get away from it all. The weather is supposed to be perfect for it, finally cooling down after that heat wave.
Has a meeting with…the group of attorneys that is working on the case to discuss the fact that they were not going to have any case based on precedents of two similar cases.
Spends the evening…driving to the athletic club and playing tennis with her group of friends. Meets her husband for a late dinner at Jay’s Pizza. She has soup and salad with a Corona Light beer. Later they spend time online shopping for a new TV, hopefully one of those nice flat screens with HDTV and a Blu-ray player.
Goes to bed at…11:30 p.m. after a half hour of pilates, watching…Scrubs reruns
TRANSITION TIME, A DAY IN THE LIFE
Name of protagonist: “J.D.”
Wakes up…and notices a small yellow spot on the ceiling of the bedroom in his doublewide mobile home. He thought to himself that he didn’t completely seal the leak in the roof. He knew his wife would be angry. She told him he needed to use a roof sealant, not the caulk in the toolbox. He made some instant coffee and took a shower.
Spends the day…working as a foreman in a paper products factory. He has a team of four truck loaders that report to him, and a typical factory schedule: involves punching the clock and working 8:00 to 5:00 with two daily, 15-minute breaks and an hour for lunch.
Talks about weekend plans to…go hunting. Deer hunting season starts this weekend and he’s got a lease to hunt on some property with several guys at the factory.
Has a meeting with…his deer hunting buddies to make plans about who needs to bring what to the property lease this weekend.
Spends the evening…adjusting the throttle body on his wife’s car and putting some more caulk on the roof while she makes dinner. They have sloppy joes made with a canned mix and watch King of the Hill and CMT. His wife cleans up the kitchen and spends the rest of the evening reading magazines.
Goes to bed at…10:30 p.m., watching…nothing. His wife can’t sleep when the TV is on or music is playing.
FLYING SOLO, A DAY IN THE LIFE
Name of protagonist: “Jackie”
Wakes up…gets out of bed after hitting the snooze button several times. She listens to a station with an urban format. She has a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries and a Rockstar energy drink before heading to the subway from her apartment a few blocks away.
Spends the day…working as a compliance assistant in a brokerage firm downtown. She tried being a sales assistant, with dreams of being a broker, but quickly decided that it wasn’t for her. The job isn’t exactly executive level and her parents wonder why she didn’t finish her college education. She opens a can of chicken for lunch in the break room and catches up on the office gossip with her girlfriends. Talks about weekend plans to…go dancing with her friends at the new club that just opened.
Has a meeting with…the compliance manager. She does a good, thorough job and has good relationships with her co-workers, but her data entry speed is just a little slow. She’ll need to work on it if she wants to advance to team leader.
Spends the evening…grabbing a quick drink with co-workers after work and then rides the subway back home. Reads the new issue of Cosmopolitan magazine that arrived in today’s mail. She fixes pasta and a pre-made spaghetti sauce for dinner and surfs the Internet checking job sites and making a purchase here and there while watching a movie she had rented.
Goes to bed at…11:30 p.m., watching…reruns of Scrubs.
MIXED SINGLES, A DAY IN THE LIFE
Name of protagonist:”Malcolm”
Wakes up…warms up some Entenmann’s cake for breakfast and washes it down with skim milk.
Spends the day…looking for a new job on the Internet, and listening to Urban radio, missing his first class at Phillips Community College. He hates the instructor and figures that he was going to drop that class anyway.
Talks about weekend plans to…hang out with his buddies, checking out the latest dance club and maybe go to the opening weekend of the latest movie.
Has a meeting with…his financial aid counselor to find out if he could still receive financial aid if he drops the course.
Spends the evening…working the late shift in the grocery store. It’s a boring job, but the two M.O.D. (Managers on Duty) are ok to work for. He’s a checker for part of the evening, then a stocker. He gets off work at 2:00 a.m.
Goes to bed at…3:00 a.m., watching…Family Guy
CASH & CAREERS, A DAY IN THE LIFE
Name of protagonist: “Derek”
Wakes up…hits snooze on his alarm clock/sound machine. It is 5:00 a.m. His back has started to hurt recently and he takes a moment to stretch and work out the kinks. He jogs his usual three miles regardless of the weather. He would run farther, but there’s not enough time. He gets back to the house and logs on to get tickets to an upcoming rock concert.
Spends the day…at his job as an educational administrator at Bridgewater Academy. He’s preparing for a meeting with the Academy’s largest benefactors to provide a construction update on the new science building.
Has a meeting…with the fertility doctor. He and his wife have been trying to get pregnant for a few years.
Talks about weekend plans to…play golf on Saturday with some colleagues, then have friends over for dinner, comparing some newly acquired wines. Spends the evening…reading a John Grisham novel. He can’t take it to work because all of the instructors give him a hard time about reading “that best-seller trash.”
Goes to bed at…10:00 p.m., watching…nothing. He has to get a full seven hours of sleep for his morning run.
MIDDLING SINGLES, A DAY IN THE LIFE
Name of protagonist:”Richard”
Wakes up…tunes in to NPR and catches the morning news. The meteorologist is predicting rain today. He jumps on the subway; its shoulder-to-shoulder as usual.
Spends the day…at his cubicle in the insurance claims department, researching his company’s benefits policies and watching the CNN news ticker run across the bottom of his screen.
Talks about weekend plans to…give Paula, his 36-year-old “friend,” a call even though it has been two months since they last talked. He has two tickets to the John Mayer concert and thought she’d be a fun date. Afterward they could grab a bite to eat.
Has a meeting with…his travel agent to discuss plans for an upcoming trip to the Bahamas with his buddies. He has noticed that the agent is very attractive and recently divorced.
Spends the evening…working out at the gym. He showers and then heads home for dinner, making pasta and watching The Office. After dinner he updates his profile on Facebook just to let his friends know what’s going on.
Goes to bed at…11:30 p.m., watching…a new TV show he just downloaded off of the Internet.
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