Political Microtargeting: Yes Pe-can?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Micro-targeting has become an invaluable tool for marketers and politicians alike. Amy Gershkoff, Director of Analytics at MSHC partners, a political communications firm, discusses how what's in your fridge can predict who you're going to vote for.


Amy Gershkoff

Comments [43]

dc from QNS

The book THE BLUE PAGES tells you a lot about companies and which party they make contributions to, and how they treat their workers. Like Starbucks gives 100% to Dems, and Dunkin Ds gives 100% to Reps, according to the authors' research. But most consumers don't know about these numbers, and therefore they're probably just buying things for taste, atmosphere, etc.

Anyway I really just wanted to say that the guest never really shared much. It was disappointing that she kept saying the same thing over again, that what people purchase in general is indicative of who they are... but she never really went on to give concrete examples. Booo.

Apr. 19 2008 06:37 PM
Maria from Jackson Heights

You can find Indo-Chinese food in Jackson Heights, QUEENS!

Apr. 16 2008 11:43 AM
chestinee from Midtown

I had the most unpalatable chinese food in venice (lido) ick!

Apr. 16 2008 11:39 AM
chestinee from Midtown

That was wisdom, using the whole animal

Apr. 16 2008 11:34 AM
Josh Saltzman from Jersey City, NJ

These so-called micro-targeters ought to examine consumer feelings about micro-targeting in political campaigns.

They might be surprised to find that many Democrats are revolted by the concept. Perhaps the cynical mentality that voters are nothing but a set of consumer preferences helps to explain why Clinton trails Obama in the polls

Apr. 16 2008 11:31 AM
chestinee from Midtown

Have you ever been to Ming Teh in Ft. Erie Ont. Canada?

Apr. 16 2008 11:30 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

Taken from Post #22:
One of Chick-fil-A's Corporate Purposes, as listed on their website is:

"To glorify God by being a faithful steward to all that is entrusted to us."

They sell fried chicken! This is NOT God's work. This seems like transparent, shameless pandering to people who aren't smart enough to think beyond the loaded, emotional rhetoric some organization tosses to them. And I'm sure there'd be plenty of good Christians out there who would probably snort at this ridiculous statement too.

Apr. 16 2008 11:24 AM
Jamal from Manhattan

Chik-Fil-a gets a lot of funding from the SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION, most of the scholarships that the company gives out is in conjunction with teh SBC. It is true that most Seventh Day Adventist do not eat meat it is also more relevant that the Seventh Day Adventist "holy" day is Saturday, so being closed on sunday would have no relation.

Everyone in the south knows this:)

Apr. 16 2008 11:24 AM
erice from SOHO

I'm a sushi eating, latte drinking, Whole Foods shopping, Republican -- I guess I'm the part who eschews such studies. As Mark Twain said: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." That's why I hate marketing and marketers, that's neither here nor there.

Apr. 16 2008 11:23 AM
Seth from Astoria

When we were younger, my sister boycoted Coke because they sponsored Rodeos in our Area. She saw rodeos as cruelty to animals. Animal rights might be a democratic thing on its own, but it also, for her, links with being against hunting, and guns, and of course the gun-toting republicans. An example of purchases and political corelation.

Apr. 16 2008 11:22 AM
jc from east village

I agree with many other writers and especially, Gene. What a load of piffle.

This is completely beside the point, but I really wish people would say that they have a hypothesis or a guess and not misuse the very confident word THEORY. Saying "just a theory" when you have a hunch is just wrong.

Apr. 16 2008 11:22 AM
MCH from Brooklyn

Dr. Pepper as far as I know is owned by the Hunt family of Texas, about as Republican as they come. That may or may not inform people's choice of Dr. Pepper as a drink. I just hate the taste.

The Ben and Jerry's endorsement plays into the "elitist" stereotype.

Apr. 16 2008 11:22 AM
Laurent from Croton Falls, NY

What she's saying about "your choice of [item] is a political statement" is just _not_ true. It is really disturbing to hear someone who is supposed to be an expert in "analytics" make such a basic mistake.

That is just "Statistics 101" can't confuse "correlation" with "causation". Yes, it may be absolutely true that--as it happens--people with a liberal bent tend to drink less Dr. Pepper, or whatever. That's just a statistical observation, though. It absolutely _doesn't_ mean that drinking Dr. Pepper is a reliable indication of your political beliefs, or even _worse_, some kind of political statement.

Apr. 16 2008 11:22 AM
Dr, Vinnie Goombatz from Manhattan

I think Micro or Targeted Advertising is as
useless and distasteful as almost everything
else that offends me. I don't want to know about
anyone's sexual, political, or religious beliefs.
Keep it in the bedroom,,, there is only one day
that one's pollitcal opinion is important, and that is on election day.... I wish all these
advertising and social persuaders would get a
real job growing food on the farm or picking up

Apr. 16 2008 11:22 AM
Ira Schwarz from Manhattan

re Chick Fil A, if they are Seventh Day Adventists then they should be closed on Saturday, not Ernie's Bike shop on Amsterdam and 84th st...when I tried to get my bike fixed on a saturday and found that they were closed, I thought at first that they were Orthodox Jews, but no actually Seventh Day Adventist who close on Saturday but are open on Sunday

Apr. 16 2008 11:21 AM
CJAX from NJ

Just to set the record straight the founder of Chick-Fil-A is a Southern Baptist. Anyone who understands the meaning of not working on Sundays also will understand many of the Blue laws still in effect in regards to selling alcohol and doing commerce on Sunday "The Lords Day". These Chick-Fil-A are found heavily found in the South but growing stateside.

Apr. 16 2008 11:21 AM
Giovanni from Paris

Seventh Day adventists would close on saturday not sunday, right?

Apr. 16 2008 11:21 AM
Lisa from New York, NY

I think this segment was non-sense.


Apr. 16 2008 11:19 AM

What is the difference with what this lady does, and what Obama said in SF? They were/are both pandering to select audiences and trying to convey to said audiences similar views.

Another issue is I have eaten at Popeyes, but when I do, I certainly don't air my belief system for the worker to make note of. How do they get this information? And what type of dubious things can come from that? Certainly it could be tainted no?

Apr. 16 2008 11:19 AM
jonjon from brooklyn

Domino's is ant-abortion... or so I've heard.

Apr. 16 2008 11:19 AM
John from Jersey City, NJ

I used to work at a Chick-fil-a in Georgia. Chick-fil-a was started in Georgia and S. Truitt Cathy, the founder, is a DEVOUT Southern Baptist. I was subjected to a prayer meeting upon the grand opening of the store I worked at.

Apr. 16 2008 11:19 AM
R West

One of Chick-fil-A's Corporate Purposes, as listed on their website is:

"To glorify God by being a faithful steward to all that is entrusted to us."

I also will not eat at Chick-fil-A due to their policies and who they donate to.

Apr. 16 2008 11:18 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

This is nonsense!

Apr. 16 2008 11:18 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Wow, this really is bunk. I agree with all above. with national brands, it is location based. Some companies target certian demographics too, that may be cultural or racial.
I tend to vote Democratic and I'd prefer Dr. Pepper, if I drink soda, and scotch (though not together.)
I wonder if Republicans tend to eat Churches Chicken because it has "church" in the name...

Apr. 16 2008 11:17 AM
hjs from 11211

everyone knows senator clinton was on walmarts board like 30 years ago. why do u keep bringing that up are you a obama supporter!

Apr. 16 2008 11:16 AM
jonjon from brooklyn

People who drink Moxie are mostly Democrats, but that's because you can't buy it anywhere else. I also think you have some issues if you enjoy Moxie - tastes like Scope.

Apr. 16 2008 11:16 AM
Rachel from New Jersey

If Chick Fil-a was SDA, they would be closed on Saturday, not Sundays...

Apr. 16 2008 11:16 AM
MLJ from Brooklyn

The founder of Chick Fil-A (or however you spell it) is a conservative Christian, he is an anti-abortion activist and donates loads of money to these causes.

Apr. 16 2008 11:16 AM
chestinee from Midtown

This is beyond silly

Seventh Day adventists don't eat meat!

Apr. 16 2008 11:15 AM
Gene from NYC

What a load of piffle.

Apr. 16 2008 11:15 AM
Shirley from NYC

Chick-Fil-A (pron. Chick fillet) is found mostly in the South and owned by a devout Christian. The restaurants are not permitted to operate Sundays. It being a Republican food makes sense.

Apr. 16 2008 11:15 AM
Lisa from New York, NY

I think you are overthing it.

This is about demographics... for example Chick Filla is mainly in the southern and mid western bible belt and it a Christian company... therefore, it attracts a certain consumer.

If you look at the demographics of the where the brands are popular, they reflect the local political strength.

Apr. 16 2008 11:14 AM
George Showman from Red Hook, Brooklyn

The real danger seems to be that with such targeted marketing, voters are never 'surprised' or educated, but simply hear what they want to hear and follow their assumptions in all cases.

It's terrible for public discourse, and thus, I believe, for democracy. Is there not a better way to campaign?

Apr. 16 2008 11:14 AM
anthony clune from Brooklyn

I'm a dem and I love WHISKEY!
But seriously, marketing people are so sad and desperate. The world is complex and this kind of stuff is stupid and a waste of my time.

Apr. 16 2008 11:14 AM
James from Yonkers

The fried-chicken breakdown is not so surprising to those of us originating a little bit south of New York. Cick-Fil-A is, in my (democrat) opinion, the most delicious fast-food chicken chain in America. They're also widely known as being founded and headed by a very openly evangelical Christian family.

Apr. 16 2008 11:14 AM
Micheal from New York

What would be interesting is to find out what the disease differences between Democrates and Republicans are, or liberals and Conservatives, based on this fridge assesment.

Apr. 16 2008 11:13 AM
Tony Bruguier from San Jose, CA

How did you test for over-fit? Is there a real predictive value? If you use too many variables, you can "predict" anything.

Apr. 16 2008 11:13 AM
Rachel from Yonkers

The fried chicken distinction makes sense because Chick-fil-A is owned by conservative Republicans who, I was told growing up in Texas, donate to pro-life causes. Also, Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday to allow its customers and employees to go to church. Not spending money there was a political decision of mine in high school even though they have delicious fries.

Apr. 16 2008 11:12 AM
Rob Wilkens from Levittown, NY

To the host:

It's pronounced 'Check Filet' or "fill-ay" despite being spelled "chick-fil-a". You pronounced it chick-fill-ah

I wouldn't have ever heard of it had I not attended a southern university which had one in the student union. Also, I did find one (not sure if it's still there) near Atlantic City, NJ (off the Atlantic City Expressway, I believe on State Road 40, there is a mall which recently had one in the food court, I believe it's the 'hamilton mall').


Apr. 16 2008 11:12 AM
Nelson from NYC

As a brown-liquor drinking Democrat, I take umbrage!

Apr. 16 2008 11:12 AM
charlene from austin, tx

Chick-fil-a is pronounced like chick filet. I know it's confusing. It stumped me when I first moved to TX.

I would add that it is astounding how popular Dr. Pepper is in TX. But I'm seeing that regardless of the person's politics.

Apr. 16 2008 11:12 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

Some of this stuff has to do with locations... if there's one food chain that only exists in "red" states, odds are good that more Republicans will eat there.

But how does this even prove to be useful since you'd have to somehow acquire the information of what the habits and behaviors of each of these people are. I mean, if Barack Obama is going to use my love of Diet Pepsi to sway me, how would he know I like Pepsi in the first place?

Apr. 16 2008 11:12 AM
jonjon from brooklyn

I'm about as liberal as you can get, and I love Dr. Pepper. I also hate hate hate Pepsi.

Maybe Dr. P. is a conservative drink she's it's nigh-impossible to locate in New York and the East Coast...

I would say that Mr. Pibb is more of a Republican drink, and Dr. Pepper is the educated person's bubbly caramel soda of choice.

Apr. 16 2008 11:12 AM

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