They have Found My Niche
by John Norberg, humor columnist s

They've found my niche.

Everything today is targeted.

Products are developed for niche markets and advertisers go to great lengths to promote them to the targeted group.

For example, television shows are created for a certain age group so sponsors can buy advertising on the show to promote their products to the specific target audience.

I was thinking about this the other day while I was watching one of the few TV shows that interest me anymore.

When it came time for a commercial break I noticed it was sponsored by three pharmaceutical companies promoting cholesterol and blood pressure lowering drugs along with pain relievers for arthritis, hearing aids, a denture cleaner, a funeral home and a five-CD collection of greatest hits from 1957.

I immediately went to the telephone and ordered the greatest hits collection.

The message in all this for me was very clear.

I've got to find myself a new niche! I have finally fallen into the off-target age group.

Me: I can't believe it. Every time I turn on a TV show I want to watch it's full of ads for old people.

Wife: What do you expect? Look at the shows that you watch. Do you expect to see Sarah Michelle Gellar selling herbal shampoo on a History Channel Show titled: "Jet Engines of 1950-55?" I'm amazed they can get anyone to sponsors the shows you watch. I always thought those programs were just a public service to give men your age something to do when there are no sports games on TV.

Me: Just once I'd like to have a TV show I like sponsored a video game, or Max Factor or even Coke or Pepsi. The only drink advertised on the shows I watch is Metamucil.

Wife: All right, let's look at this from the advertisers point of view. When was the last time you actually walked into a store and bought something? Companies are not going to waste their advertising budgets trying to reach someone who doesn't shop and buy anything. Maybe you should try watching something different on TV, something the younger target groups like. It might be good for you. It'll give you a fresh perspective.

I don't think so. I am a strong believer in parental warnings being used at the start of most of the TV shows of today: "Caution, the following program contains scenes that will objectionable to parents and basically everyone other than a small number of troubled 12 year old boys. Viewer discretion is advised. This show is not suitable for mature audiences.

Being off-target is a problem for many of us.

Do you know how many movies are being made today for 55 year old men?

Me at the movies: "Let's get out of here. We've made a terrible mistake. We're in the wrong theater.

Wife: "This is the theater for the movie we picked.

Me: "It can't be. Look around you. This theater is packed.

Wife: "Of course it is. This is supposed to be a great movie.

Me: "You don't understand. That's not how it works. Usually no one goes to the movies I like. If a lot of people are here, there's something wrong. And look at how young all these people are. Some of them don't look a day over 35. Let's go find a theater with 10 or 12 people in it so I can see a movie I'll enjoy.

That's the only nice thing about being off-target these days.

It's never crowded at the things I do.

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