One of the most volatile issues facing American marketers today may be demographic, targeted marketing. This is particularly so when it comes to segmentation that picks out certain “ideal” groups as potentially good customers, while ignoring others as lousy ones.
It seems innocuous enough on its surface. A TV spot for a diabetes drug might feature black actors. Why? Studies show that minorities have a higher prevalence of diabetes than whites, and some minorities have higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death. It’s not that other spots don’t feature whites; it’s that minorities can be considered an especially appropriate demographic for a particular drug, and thus are targeted by marketers.
Here’s something similar that’s a bit less clear, a bit more problematic: The maker of Kool menthol cigarettes specifically targets the black demographic, tying its product image to a hip and sophisticated lifestyle. Newport and Salem, other mentholated brands, similarly orient their advertising disproportionately to blacks, and the response has been overwhelming: 80% of adolescent African-American smokers use menthol cigarettes.
There’s something about this film that’s a perfect embodiment of love, suffering, redemption and
self-abnegation, of wrong choices, of regrets. Of resignation. What does it have to do with marketing and stoicism? There is no need to ask. There is only the need to watch, observe and feel. Ah hell, do I have to be consistent?
OK. Let’s all take a deep breath and think about this for a moment: As to the flaws in the film, yes, it’s a murky transfer and shame on them! Further, the “features” which modern DVDs lard their releases with are laughable … a little bio of Leigh, a cast list, no interviews, no nothing. So much for extras.
That leaves us with this film and its accouterments … writing, filming, editing, and acting. First, it’s a masterful reduction of the whole novel, minus the lengthy disquisitions on Christian apologetics which Tolstoy larded on the original, and the postscript after Anna’s death. Anna in all her trembling glory is here, together with Dolly, her sister in law (so contrasting, because Anna helped put Dolly’s marriage back together, only to see her own fall apart); and Kitty, who was saved from the indifference of Vronsky and later who recognized the constancy of Levin (another solid marriage, in contrast with Anna’s own).