April 30, 2014
The Polluted Fountain Of Youth
Anyone who's ever had a parent knows one thing for sure: Old people think young people are idiots.
If you're young, your parents hate your music, hate your haircut, hate your friends, hate your language, hate your clothing... it's an inviolable rule of nature.
This is nothing new. It's been going on for generations. Ever since youth culture emerged about 100 years ago, every generation of parents has thought that every generation of kids were a bunch of bozos.
The only people who don't seem to know this are us geniuses in the advertising industry. According to us, older people don't just admire young people, they long to be like them.
It's no coincidence that people in the ad industry tend to be young. All this youth worship is really just narcissism masquerading as business strategy.
What our agency masterminds don't seem to understand is that there is a difference between wanting to be youthful, and wanting to be like young people.
People of a certain age certainly want to be youthful. But their idea of being youthful is being like they were 15 years ago. Not being like young people are now.
I think Michelle Obama wants to be youthful, but I doubt she wants to be like the doofuses in Taco Bell ads.
Now that people over 50 are dominating our economy, it's about time agencies (and marketers) learned to draw a distinction. There's a difference between wanting to be youthful and wanting to be like young people.
Ask your parents.