Xaxis: Relevant at Any Age.
Matt SweeneyFebruary 25, 2015
I had the good fortune of sitting next to Carol on a Metro North Train a few weeks back. I had seen her on the train for months and always wondered what her story was. Well, it didn’t take long before she elbowed me to show me an ad in the New York Times for a $4,200 handbag and asked incredulously, “What idiot would pay $4,200 for a handbag?” Carol is originally from Canada, raised her family in Southport, CT and will proudly tell you that she is 82 years old and has been riding the train for the past thirty years since her children graduated from school. She works around the corner from the Xaxis offices in New York and is a regional manager for the visiting nurse service (the trained nurses that go into people’s homes that need help but are unable to get to a doctor’s office).
She then asked me what I did for a living. I told her that "I work for a media company that finds idiots willing to pay $4,200 for a handbag.” She looked disapprovingly at me until I asked her what she was most interested in besides dedicating her life to the sick. She said gardening and cooking. I explained the difference between analog and digital by showing her my iPhone and comparing it to her copy of the New York Times and then explained that the company I work for understands what people are most interested in, and then shows them ads that are informative and relevant. I went on to say that we are in the business of “Making Advertising Welcome.” She said that she found advertising tedious and intrusive. We discussed the pros and cons of an ad supported internet. She said she sees the benefits of information at your fingertips, and the ability to connect with friends and family every day in her job. She thought it would be terrible if that were to go away for the people she serves.
What finally resonated with Carol was the idea that she would not have to be bothered with $4,200 handbag ads, ads for reality TV shows, or “those stupid ads with a couple holding hands in separate bathtubs. If the medication worked as well as they claimed, you would only need one.” Excellent point. I quickly pivoted and painted a vision of ads for organic pesticides, new healthy recipes, and rock salt that gets rid of ice without damaging slate walkways. I think she got it and was okay with advertising that was more personal like those we serve at Xaxis.
As we pulled in to Grand Central Terminal, she asked when Xaxis would clean up the mess that is television advertising. I told her within the next three to five years, as long as she had a “Smart TV” with Internet connectivity. She told me that a Smart TV was an oxymoron, and in parting suggested, I “be careful on the slippery sidewalks.”