As we all head to the polls to cast our votes for president today, you should know you’ve been watched. Our actions have been reviewed and categorized by marketing analysts to the point that they say they can predict your vote based on your consumer behavior. Something as insignificant as a tweet about your favorite soda has been documented and analyzed and that affinity for a certain brand has you pegged Republican or Democrat.
If you’re a Diet Dr. Pepper drinker, you’re probably going to vote for Mitt Romney today. If you are a Pepsi drinker, your vote is likely for Barack Obama today. These statistics and so many more have been collected through a task that is called micro-targeting. Tarun Wadhwa reported in The Huffington Post that it became apparent in 2000 that only seven percent of voters were being reached by traditional ads. Something more effective needed to take place, and this is what lead to micro-targeting.
Since our lives are lived so publicly today, thanks to online activity, ads can be delivered to a potential voter based on their personal traits. To accomplish an accurate understanding of voters, tons of facts have been uncovered. As the facts were analyzed, separated, and charted, it became eerily accurate.
National Media Research created graphs, presented in The Atlantic, to organize all of this collected data. The charts tell us what direction people will vote based on their consumption and leisure activities as well as habits. The graph compares high voter turn out to low voter turn out and political affiliation for the two major parties. Then, it highlights a variety of purchase categories like soda, beer, restaurants, and even cars and television viewing.
So, for example, we’ve been broken down by what soda we drink. If you’re a Diet 7Up drinker, not only do you support President Obama, you’re making sure you get out and vote for him today, as you appear in the high-voter/Democrat quadrant. If you’re a Diet Coke drinker, you’ll be at the polls come hell or high water and you’ll probably be voting Mitt today, as you’re in the high-voter/Republican quadrant.
We asked a very small sample of people to own up to their soda and political preferences. Jenny said she drinks Diet Coke and is “so liberal,” having already cast her vote for Obama – so they missed the mark on her! Jordan is also a misnomer, an admitted Diet Dr. Pepper drinker and Obama voter. Kenton is a very loyal Diet Dr. Pepper drinker who voted for Gary Johnson. And Brandi prefers Coca-Cola when she does drink soda and voted for Obama, a moderate position that matched the graph. Overall, the graph missed our followers who shared their votes with us.
The information does get even more interesting, though. Those who vote Romney will most likely be kicking back with a Michelob Ultra tonight, while those who got out and voted Obama are more likely to drink a Guinness. Romney’s biggest supporters probably love to eat at Cracker Barrel while Obama’s biggest supporters love The Cheesecake Factory. Oh, and those who are in the middle, they frequent Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Subway.
The charts are fascinating, especially as you can go through and identify yourself in the information. We’ve been analyzed by where we shop, what we watch on TV, and even what we listen to on the radio. Republicans really like NBC’s The Biggest Loser and the Democrats prefer 30 Rock.
The micro-targeters have done a fantastic job. The data is pretty accurate, a little scary perhaps, but accurate. Regardless of what side you’re on, we say avoid the diet sodas entirely and exercise your right to vote today.
images via The Atlantic
November 6th, 2012