12 April 2006

trading up

I heard a consumer research term used in a TV spot recently - trading up.

(from the editorial review of the book by the same name - "...growing segment of the American middle market with more disposable income than ever. They're talking about people who take shopping tips from Oprah and Martha, swear their washing machine makes them happy, and dine at "fast casual" restaurants instead of burger chains." (amazon.com))

I am very familiar with the term, as I did a project on the democratization of luxury during my advertising internship in college, and I've read books such as Living it Up - America's Love Affair with Luxury and Snobbery: The American Version. But I wonder if the average consumer would know of it. Has it been getting press in the news and such?

The TV spot was for Quilted Northern toilet paper. It shows a woman ordering a ridiculously complicated coffee drink at a Starbucksesque place - something like a tall soy two-pump English Toffee latte (not really, that's what I order, but it was just as complicated and lengthy to say!). Then the woman is walking through the toilet apper aisle of a store, and you hear "you trade up for everything else, why not your bath tissue?" I suppose this particular toilet paper is a little more expensive and squishy. It's clever, but would the average toilet paper buyer even know what the hell this means? Or is it implied clearly enough?
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