Marketing is a guesstimating science that attempts to play to the specific "interests" of a target audience.
In short; although marketers will cringe at my definition, marketing is the series of actions a company strategically research and execute to best reach the ideal target market. Marketing is a process that centralizes the concepts of assumptions, stereotypes, and an inherent desire for both consumers and the company to be realized as an ideal version of oneself. I love marketing, I love the ability to craft messages unique for a particular audience. I am interested in the social science, of being able to profile an audience.
Stereotypes are generalizations about the typical characteristics of a person or a group based on their appearance, place of origin, education, and or employment. Stereotypes are how we innately classify and catalogue our surroundings.
For example; I have believe that California is always sunny and a perfect 80 degrees.
As a Canadian I find this commercial hilarious, as it plays of the stereotype of Canadian weather.
Stereotypes have been villainized as a judgmental categorical internal physche library Dewey Decimal system. We are warned about the dangers of stereotyping in grade school. Crafting conclusions based on stereotypes is a flawed and societal dangerous process. Especially if the stereotypes play to a negative image.
Ironically, on the positive, when a marketer plays to affect a desired psychosocial consequence the campaign will be crafted to play to an idealized stereotype. As a consumers, we are comfortable with stereotypes that portray a lifestyle we aspire to achieve. The use of celebrity endorsement and geographic marketing techniques have been successful because they play to an inherit wish for personal recognition, while poking fun at the present short comings.
Marketing is subjective, and will always be victim of criticism and false advertisements. As consumers, I believe that we demand and find comfort in the embellished stereotypes. As consumers we like stereotypes, until they push to far and offend a very real insecurity with in us.