Greensboro, N.C. - The average person encounters 1200 to 1600 ads every day. Companies are clawing for your attention, and your cash. Some ads are obvious. Others are a little more subtle. Some make it obvious advertisers see us as one big, moving target.
"Everything is for sale now. Everything is sponsorable," Bouvier Kelly Digital Media Specialist Jennifer Lassiter said.
High Point University Communications Professor Phil Watson added, "People are getting together in a room figuring out, 'how can we get them? How can reach them?"
Whether you're in your car, enjoying a game or walking downtown, messages are everywhere.
Lassiter said, "We try to figure out what their typical, day to day activities are. What kinds of things do they come in contact with on a daily basis? Are they reading the paper? Are they watching TV?"
Advertisers target you in two basic ways. A "direct" approach tells you exactly what the product is and why you should buy it. A "peripheral" approach is a softer, less obvious sell. For example, you might notice on some TV shows, everyone drives the brand of a car. Thirsty after work? Companies can pay to put an ad on your beer coaster. From the scoreboard to the gas pump, everything is for sale.
"The Army once sponsored the inside of Porta-Potties. It said, 'When you're ready to go, so are we,'" Lassiter said.
In today's world, it's all too easy to become a walking commercial.
"The cost of printing such things like custom bags and cups, etc is much easier than it was 20 years ago. However, now, there is almost a status symbol tied to carrying that Abercrombie bag through the mall," Lassiter said.
If you think advertisers don't know you, log-on to your *free* Facebook page or check your *free* Gmail account. Yes, those *free* services have a price tag.
Watson says, the companies are essentially saying, "We're going to take every piece of data we can on you so we can put ads in front of you." Advertisers can spend a few bucks on a targeted ad directed at people likely to purchase the product.
"They'll tell you, if you want to reach women between the ages of 25-30 who live in Connecticut, who ride horses and love pizza, Facebook says, 'We can deliver that market to you,'" Lassiter said.