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An article in a recent issue of American Demographics concluded, “The ultimate aim of the new phase of marketing is to reach consumers with specific messages about how products and services tie in to their personal lifestyles.” The shirt company Phillips-Van Heusen seems to have taken this strategy to heart, pairing standard shots of its conservative shirts with tag lines tailored to fit. Does the $8 million campaign, custom-targeted to such editorially distinct glossies as Martha Stewart Living and GQ, work? You decide:

“Shirts for men who watched Basic Instinct in slow motion.” —GQ

“Shirts for men who fell hopelessly in love and still are.” —Martha Stewart Living

“Shirts for men who got the free sweatshirt when they subscribed… Shirts for men who got the swimsuit video when they subscribed… Shirts for men who want to exchange the sweatshirt for the video.” —Sports Illustrated (three-page ad)

“Shirts for men who are good. Shirts for men who are good for one thing.” —Cosmopolitan

“Shirts for men who commonly experience déjà vu…Shirts for men who commonly experience déjà vu.” —Out and the New York Times Magazine (two-page ad)

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Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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