Worst Demographic Targeting Ever: Hannah Montana Tickets Given Away on Digg

Digg   Hannah Montana
I usually do not make it a habit of pointing out badly implemented online promotional campaigns. However, in this case, I could not help but point out one of the worst demographic targeting that I have ever seen on the web. Hannah Montana tickets are being given away on Digg.

As you know, I am a pretty big fan of Digg.com. I try to get over there as often as I can. For the last few days I could not help but notice the Hannah Montana tickets being given away on Digg. Seriously. I keep seeing an ad for Reliant Energy; if you switch to Reliant Energy then you will have a chance to win Hannah Montana Tickets. Here is a screen capture I made of the ad running on Digg:

Hannah Montana Tickets

Whoever made the decision to run an advertisement for Hannah Montana tickets on Digg.com didn’t make a very bright decision, in my opinion. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and say that it’s one of the worst demographic targeting decisions that you can every possibly make.

Hannah Montana Tickets

I’m not saying that there are not any pre-teen girls from Texas who hang out on Digg and talk about techy stuff, but the last time I checked, pre-teen girls are not typical Digg.com users:

According to ZDNet.com, “Recent published Digg demographics indicate that the Digg community is 94% male and generally twenty or thirty something techies earning $75,000 or more.”

As you might recall, if you want to advertise on Digg, you need to go through Microsoft. Even Microsoft publishes the demographics on Digg to their advertisers:

These are the key demographic* indicators:

– 66 percent male
– 42 percent 35 to 49 years old,
– 26 percent 21 to 34 years old
– 44 percent with annual income $75K and above
– 68 percent college and above education
– 14 percent professionals
– 10 percent executive or managerial occupation

* Source: Alexa.com, June 2007

Hannah Montana Tickets ad

Nowhere do I see any indication that anyone possibly remotely interested in Hannah Montana or Hannah Montana tickets would be hanging out on Digg. But again, perhaps I might be interested in switching to Reliant Energy and giving the tickets to my daughter. Wait. I don’t have a daughter, I have two sons, aged 7 and 20 months.

I just don’t get it. Someone please enlighten me.

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  1. Jacob says

    Hi Bill,
    I think you hit the nail on the head about giving tickets to a daughter…if you had one.

    I don’t think the targeting is nearly as bad as you say it is. Advertising Hannah Montana tickets, especially when it’s coming from an energy company, wouldn’t be well targeted to a pre-teen girl. In my opinion, if that’s the type of ad an energy company is going to run, they’d definitely want to appeal to doting dads, of which there are probably quite a few on Digg, based on the 35-49 age demographic and presumably at >$75,000 income, some disposable income that is well spent on their daughters.

  2. Jimmy says

    Well, to my knowledge (unless I don’t live on this planet), the majority of people over the age of 35 most likely have kids. Not to mention that the majority of those individuals on Digg make a decent income that enabled them to spend some of that income on their kids.

    You with your 7 and 20 month old kids probably don’t represent the entire Digg audience.

  3. Bill Hartzer says

    I would personally have taken a different approach with this. I would not have advertised on Digg; you cannot assume that I have a daughter that would want those Hannah Montana tickets. I agree that there are a lot of people on Digg who earn more than $75k, but how many of us would just sell those tickets on eBay if we won them?

    Any how many would see the ad and click on it because we wanted to win Hannah Montana tickets?

    The approach I would have taken on this would be to run that same ad on sites where Hannah Montana fans are…targeting the 12 year old girl who wants to win the tickets–they would have a lot of influence on getting their parents to switch electric companies so they could have a chance to win Hannah Montana tickets.

    If I were an advertiser, I would have certainly run an ad on Digg…and perhaps give away a free Airbook or a free iPhone if you switched electric companies. Not Hannah Montana Tickets.

  4. Sarah says

    I have to agree that they are off with the target market completely. All I can say is maybe they were hoping to appeal to some Dad’s of young girls. Or on the flip side they are betting that she is so popular that the demographic doesn’t matter which is ridiculous.

  5. PhoneBlogger says

    I have to agree that advertising Hannah Montana on a site where most people don’t even know who Hanna Montana is, may not have been the best decision. Even though I am sure there are visitors to this site who have kids who are fans, the odds of this advertisement converting into a sales is very low compared to targeting an audience composed of the fans themselves, mostly 9 to 15 year old girls.

  6. Brian Chappell says

    Careful posting ticket related things here Bill, unless of course you don’t mind the ticket brokers flocking over here asking to buy links from you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Agreed though, completely off base here.

  7. Adword Affiliate says

    The ads on Digg have been horrendous lately, to the point where I’ve switched on adblock pro….

  8. Dito says

    Who ever approved that add for digg is a class ‘A’ idiot. Maybe they were trying to build on her recent popularity, but still, digg is the wrong place.

  9. Mark Barrera says

    The thing that must be remembered is that the ad MAY NOT have been purchased via the Digg site or Microsoft’s Digg advertising page.

    Many of the behavioral retargeting networks and other ad networks purchase large blocks of advertising across many sites and Digg is usually included due to its large audience. So when an advertiser runs a campaign they may not know all of the sites that their ad may show on and they probably aren’t creating this campaign to be run specifically on Digg.

    I had a client ask about their ad being shown on Digg once and it turned out that their behavioral retargeting campaign was the culprit. This wasn”t a bad thing for them because the only people seeing the ad on Digg were people who had been cookied from a recent visit to their site. Their fear was that everyone was seeing the ad and the demographics of Digg didn’t support their target market much like in this case.

    That being said – Have you been to any Hannah Montana websites recently Bill? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. John McDonald says

    Well first of all they probably realized that paying for advertising was the only way they’d ever get the product on the front page of Digg :)

    Of course these tickets are mostly sold out and several hundred dollars each, so I’m not too surprised that they’re targeting high income groups. If the margin of a sale is high enough, they only need a few sales to make it worthwhile…

  11. SEO Milwaukee says

    Another clear cut case of money to burn. I deal with the advertising of a couple fortune 500 companies and eventually you get tired of arguing and just fall in line. Some say any exposure is good exposure, but there comes a point…..

  12. Patrick Burt says

    This sounds like the results of a terrible, terrible ad buy. We all look at it and think it’s strange. Digg doesn’t mind because they’re getting the high CPM these ads produce, and the company doesn’t mind because they’re still building brand awareness with a demographic that does take care of the energy bill.

  13. Ajay Shroff says

    What I would love to see is the click report for that banner. Maybe it is a great gift to teenagers as you pointed out.

  14. tv brackets says

    There are a lot of blogging moms out there, many of which who would love to win HM tickets for their daughters. There are probably even a few dads who would want to win them for their girls (though they would never admit that to you). So really as hot as HM is, it couldn’t have been that bad.

  15. Home Security Guru says

    You’re definitely right about this. Very poor judgment. I could think of hundreds of sites that would be better for this promotion. There are not many digg users who would dig Hannah Montana. You have to wonder who decided on that placement and who gave it the green light. They probably just looked at digg’s traffic numbers and jumped the gun.

  16. Rom @ PR4 Link Directory says

    We couldn’t simply judged whether or not the Ad worked as we don’t have access on the stats.

    However, I think it is more on the poor judgement of Reliant Energy to offer the tour tickets.

  17. Kelly Rusk says

    Last time I checked, pre-teen girls aren’t buying their own Hannah Montana tickets & I think the parents may fit digg’s demos so I don’t think it’s too far off.

    And until ads can tell if you have a pre-teen daughter or not, they won’t be perfect.

    Honestly I started out agreeing with you, but by the time I was done the post I changed my mind. : )

  18. Tim from Red Deer says

    Like said previously, just because you have a daughter doesn’t mean you want the tickets. It does sound like a funny marketing idea to me.

  19. Nascar says

    It is largely possible that they were hoping to find parents of young girls, and Digg may not be the worst place in the world to find them, however I have to agree that something along the lines of an iPhone or something like that would go much further. Maybe a Zune being that it’s through Microsoft.

  20. geri says

    I sure am glad to be old enough to not have children who are into this young woman… Those tickets have caused way too much problems.

  21. Hannah Montana Fan says

    I think pretty much everything having to do with Hannah Montana & Miley is scripted and handled by her handlers. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because she’s only 15 and needs handlers.

    Sure, Digg may not seem like the best place to offer HM tickets, but you better believe that a LOT of the folks there have money to spend & daughters that like HM, and Dad knows that.

    Yes, they were being given away with a Reliant purchase but I’ll bet there were a bunch of Dad’s on Digg that took notice of those ads and even opened their wallets so they could be a hero to their daughters..

  22. salvia effects says

    I watched Hanna Montana from last 8 month and I like the series so much and she is so cool but its so funny thing is I didnt know her name still now.

  23. Go Public says

    Yeah, it could have gone either way… I doubt the ROI for this campaign was great, but I’m sure there are plenty of Digg users that are fathers, so the person above made a good point… however, I don’t think that it’s the best place to advertise that. I’m sure Digg didn’t mind, as long as the customer wanted to pay for the ad.

  24. Hanna Montana Concert Fan says

    Unfortunately we’ll start to see more of this happen over the next 12 months as mainstream advertisers begin to take more notice of the power of social networks such as digg. It’s a shame really as the relevancy will be lessened for the regular users that made it popular in the first place.