Saturday, October 16, 2010

Off-Target Demographic

Sorry... I've been slacking recently. Anyway, on with the show.

If you spend enough time on TVTropes, you'll know that there are certain tropes which get the Troper community up in arms, especially when they are used in Real Life. Hollywood Pudgy and Hollywood Homely can be especially egregious.

While reading through the outraged reactions of Troperville denizens to some particularly over-the-top instances of women being Hollywood Pudgy, a thought came to me. "There are an awful lot of people who don't think that a woman needs to be a size 4 in order to be attractive enough to be in movies. So why aren't people making movies for them?" One thing that I've noticed about the entertainment media industry is that it appears to have only a single target demographic - if you fall outside of it, no one cares that you exist, even though you're likely in the company of millions of other people - at least some of whom must have disposable income that Hollywood and/or Madison Avenue would love to get their hands on. But you see this in other areas - news outlets all tend to act the same, despite the fact that Fox News has demonstrated that there is a market for political reporting in other stripes, you're either Fox News, or you aren't - there doesn't appear to be much of an attempt to reach people who don't find the constant sniping between the two camps worthwhile. By the same token, the 24-hour news cycle has created a certain sort of cable news model that people constantly complain about - and the major players always explain that this is what "the market" wants - seemingly oblivious to the fact that the volume of complaints about it that they get must hint at a different market that isn't being catered to - and therefore is waiting to be tapped.

But no-one ever seems to want to make the decision to go after that other market. Maybe they don't see it as large or wealthy enough to be profitable, or they don't want to be seen as abandoning the mainstream for a "fringe." Or maybe we simply need to be louder about our tastes?

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