The youth game

I watched the Brit Awards last night and boy o boy did I feel out of touch with the kids!

I only knew the older names; Duran Duran, Boy George, Take That and of course the lovely Cheryl Cole. I had not a scooby on the other nominees and winners. If someone had asked me if I rated Tinie Tempah yesterday I would have thought it was a food dish. Also as I’m a guitar band kind of person there also wasn’t much of interest either.

[As a diversion I gave up playing guitar as a semi-serious occupation when I watched Eric Clapton close up one night when he was with John Mayalls Bluesbreakers. I heard ‘Hideaway’ by them yesterday, checked out the issue date of the ‘Beano’ album which was 1966 making Slowhand 21 at the time. I think I saw them live in 1967. Listening to Clapton playing his version of ‘Hideaway’ is blistering and no wonder I threw in the towel after watching him.]

Back to the Brits. I was thinking about the effect of music fashion/trends on the ad industry and the people working in it. Quite clearly the majority of people in adworld see themselves as being a bit leading edge with regard to music, fashion, the arts, etc., and I’m guessing but this may not be shared by a lot of clients (unless they work in related sectors). Further the same would apply to the customer base of many brands. So it must be difficult to relate to audiences who don’t share the same interests or who have little in common. I suppose that is the job of planning but I remain sceptical about the basic point. A friend who is CEO level in an ad agency went to groups last week of people 50+, he said he simply couldn’t connect on any level and left quite depressed.

Even though there is a great deal of comment about older people getting younger I would bet a large amount of money that most people get stuck in a time zone of music that roughly covers an age period between 16 and 25.  Therefore a 60 year old would listen to music from c. 1967-1976.  Given the average age in adworld is 30, do the same math, their zone will be 1997-2006, already coming off the boil by half a decade!

At Simons Palmer we were having difficulty in agreeing a music track for a Wrangler television and cinema spot; the agency wanted something contemporary and the client wanted something older. To try and break the deadlock I jotted down the top 10 indie bands of that week from the music press, then asked the client to complete a short quiz. Inevitably he couldn’t answer a single question so we won the battle on the day but sadly not the war. But that is another story. As a P.S. the client concerned has remained a very good friend to this day.

I don’t have any mind blowing conclusion for this ramble other than the impact of last night Brits really struck home and made me consider the wisdom of working on brands where the core target audience is under 25! Equally it made me also consider the wisdom of putting 25 year olds on brands whose target audience is 40+.

Where is SAGA’s telephone number?

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