To Reach The Truly Rich, Television Ads Won’t Do

To Reach The Truly Rich, Television Ads Won’t Do

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Those with hefty moolah to spend, aren't overly fazed by TV spots, argues Emily Steel from the New York Times. Television ads are for those who want to appeal to the "aspirational masses".


Private jets. Grand estates. Fast cars. High fashion.

Images of wealth and luxury abound on television. Yet marketers seeking to appeal to the truly wealthy rarely advertise on TV. Instead, it’s the aspirational masses that most brands are after with their television spots.

Television commercials typically are deployed to reach broad audiences, of which the superrich make up a very small part. At the same time, most wealthy viewers tend to avoid commercials by watching recorded programming on their own time and skipping the ads, or by viewing films and television series on premium cable networks like HBO or streaming services like Netflix that are commercial free.

Not only is it inefficient for marketers aiming at the wealthy to buy television ads, but the cluttered commercial environment on TV — filled with ads for breakfast cereal, diapers and fast-food chains — can also reflect poorly on a high-end or luxury brand, marketing experts said.

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