Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Outside, the Target Market?

The great indoors, outdoorsSummer is right around the corner, and American families across our fair nation are turning their thoughts towards the great outdoors. Of course, the outdoors really aren’t that great, unless you can bring your computer, inflatable couch and collapsible rocking chair. At least, that’s what I’m led to believe by the latest Target ad.

OK, right about now you’re thinking, “Didn’t this guy just post something about ads,” and “He must spend way too much time looking through ads.” The answer to such astute queries is “yes” and “yes.”

I wouldn’t look at so many ads, if they would stop sending them to me. Somehow I inherited a grave malady from my family gene pool; it’s called bargain hunters disease. I have a hard time passing up a good deal. Luckily, I’ve also been endowed with an ample portion of common sense, which keeps me from buying useless crap. I’m proud to report that I’ve never bought an “As seen on TV” product – not matter how many aluminum-can slicing Ginsu knives they throw in.

Camping Doggy StyleGetting back to camping and the Target ad, it was my afore-lauded common sense that turned me on to something a little strange. The first thing I noticed was the family tent they were advertising. This particular family tent took to heart the notion that pets are part of the family, because right there protruding out of the side was a doggy tent annex. Don’t get me wrong; I love my dog. In fact many a random banter has professed such affection. However, I’m certainly not buying a tent with a canvas-covered canine corral.

I don’t know why I’m so shocked about the existence of such a product. Americans don’t even know what the term “roughing it” means anymore, so why would they expose their pet to such an archaic concept. Instead, according to Target’s brand merchandising team, Americans want to update the camping experience with luxuries from home. This is evident in Target’s ad for the Eddie Bauer Family Tent. Apparently, Eddie Bauer is such a workaholic that he can’t leave his computer home when he’s out camping with the family. Yes, that’s a computer monitor you see inside the tent (see first image). At least Mrs. Bauer has accented the computer with a nice vase of fresh cut flowers.

The Anti-Love SeatMy gripe ends with the Coleman inflatable love seat. If you’ve been able to successfully persuade your significant other to go on a romantic camping trip with you in the woods, the mood will be hurt, not enhanced by the introduction of an inflatable love seat. If that’s your idea of romantic camping, save the $22 and spend it on a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and get drunk on the couch watching a Jerry Springer marathon.

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