Marketers should tailor ad campaigns based on the way different segments of the population consume information, according to TNS UK.

Through a combination of focus groups and online research TNS has identified five different ‘eating plans’ that it believes marketers can use to create more effective ad campaigns.

The theory is that consumers are suffering from ‘Information Obesity’ due to the number of different communication channels that now exist, and as a result brands are struggling to communicate with their audience. 

To cut through the noise, TNS identified the following groups:

  • Fast Foodies – Consume the easiest, sweetest and tastiest data they can find
  • Supplementers – Motivated by the wealth of information available and consume as much as possible across all areas especially digital
  • Carnivores – Refuse to consume anything but the meatiest chunks of information
  • Fussy Eaters – Think of these as the digital sceptics who are loath to consume information even via traditional means
  • Balanced Dieters – Maintain a healthy balance by never consuming excessively, these consumers source their information from a variety of media

TNS group director Stephen Yap said brand marketers can use the segments to predict consumers’ receptiveness to a particular marketing or comms strategy.

In reality each of the five will be represented in the audience of the major brands, but typically there’s an element of targeting in all campaigns that will be based on certain demographics or segments. What we have done is introduce another way of targeting based on the way in which people process information.”


He said that brands should think about who they want to target and optimise the creative and the choice of touch points accordingly.

For example, if a campaign is particularly aligned to fast foodies they might want to create small, bite size messages through Twitter. That’s very important because for this eating plan the social dimension is crucial.”

Brands may be able to overcome the popular suspicion among consumers towards targeted advertising by tailoring the tone and style correctly.

If you ask people if they like targeted ads they will always say no as we’re programmed to say we don’t like ads, but the reality is quite different. The most successful ads are those which provide tangible value, so we want to give better information about how brands can use information and the value of the information.”

You can find out which ‘eating plan’ you fit into by answering this survey.