19 June 2005
I wasn't around much before that, so I couldn't tell you if the trend had already started by then, but about the time the 1960s counterculture was taking hold, marketroids had figured out that it was possible, and theoretically profitable, to drive a wedge between young people who were cool, and not-so-young people who were not so cool, by developing products aimed specifically at post-adolescents.
Except, of course, that it doesn't actually work. If there's anything a self-respecting twentysomething hates, it's having something pitched to him because he's a twentysomething. ("It's like we're, like, being used.") It's not that they necessarily want to hang with the elders or anything; it's just that they'd like to find their Special Things on their own, thank you very much.
So kiss Coca-Cola Zero goodbye; it is geared specifically to the Young and Hip, the very model of your modern major marketing, and it will fall flat on its artificially-sweetened face. Lynn gives it the royal send-off:
I love that "a new brand they can call their own." Well what are they gonna do if us old farts decide we like it and start drinking it? Will they call the age police on us or will they just give it up in despair. "Damn those old people. We can't have any brand to call our own."
Damn us, indeed.
Think Honda Element, a funky panel truck built on the CR-V platform, which everyone was sure would appeal to surfer dudes and such and which was far too outré for everyone else. After the first year, the numbers were in, and the average Element buyer was, um, 43 years old.
Hitting a moving target is hard enough; hitting a target that doesn't take kindly to being considered a target is damned near impossible.Posted at 6:02 AM to Dyssynergy
TrackBack: 8:08 AM, 19 June 2005
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The new Coke product, Zero, strikes me as the worst branding mistake since New Coke. For one thing it is taking away the tiny amount of shelf space allotted to Diet Cherry Coke, and it has already been difficult to......[read more]