Sadly, in our society that is obsessed with assigning focus group labels to everything, this still needs to be reiterated.
For those interested in finding out how advertising got to this ridiculous situation where products are heavily geared towards a target demographic rather than to as many people as possible – I highly recommend to items.
The first is The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, which talks at length about how in the 1950s and 60s companies concluded the best way to sell to a market was to manipulate into becoming a particular type of person.
The second is the critically acclaimed AMC tv show Mad Men. But don’t watch it to listen to Don Draper’s charismatic selling of the art of selling or the nature of the universe and humanity.
Look at how rigidly structured and separated society in the western world was then. How the emphasis on gender, race and class roles and how it integrates with things like police profiling and social injustice.
That is the society that created this idea that products have to marketed to demographics (and that demographics have to stick to their products and adhere to the role they were given) and that is the kind of social values that it perpetuates – what you do, love or want is not as important as who you are.
While not every product has to be aimed at everyone, it really doesn’t take that much work to make sure that your products (or the way you market them) aren’t exclusionary, exploitative or just downright hostile towards some people.