Saturday, November 04, 2006

Stereotypes - do we use them too much

Well Im writing from the lovely city of Newcastle. I have ventured up here to visit a younger mate who goes to uni here. As I have only travelled through the south of the UK when I was a teenager. I thought it would be worthwile checking out somewhere outside of London.

In telling the people I work with about my plans. They begun to give me the lowdown on northerners and what I should come to expect here. To cut it right down. It was guys will beat you up in the pubs if you look too much like a Londoner and girls will walk around in next to nothing in the cold and be pretty much tarty. Well I think everyone has pushed the stereotype a little far.

I actually quite like it here so far. I went for a walk through the city yesterday and down to the river. There is a cool modern art museum that has been built into an old flour mill which really cool. They currently have an exhibit on street graffiti which I am going to go and check out. I have been to a mix of nice places and student dives. But even in talking to some locals outside of the Uni guys. The people are really nice and friendly. I think the stereotype has been well over hyped.

It made me start to think that we often throw a lot of stereotypes around in advertising. My favourite one is socioeconomic groups. This is hilarious. The way that they are developed is so old fashioned and dont account for the growing middle classes and their disposable incomes in most western countries. But we still classify AB's as key and CDs as dropping down a bit. You would probably say that Newcastle is more CD's city. But there are plenty of trendy clothes stores. Been to a few cool bars and heard some very cool music. Had some great food at nice restaurants. Just as good as most London places. So why do we still portray such areas in this way. I also have a keen problem with everyones focus on London. This is something I think we all do as most agencies are from there and thats what the people concentrate on.

I think agencies should start having trips for people around the country and spending time in areas to get to know what they are really about. Instead of presuming what they have grown up hearing from different people.

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