Friday, August 22, 2008

Gen X marketing gone terribly wrong

I've been meaning to get this entry out there. It's about the JC Penney commercials that I'm not getting. It tries to be the Breakfast Club with kids who were not born when the film came out. And it pisses me off (almost as much as the stupid Swiffer commercial where the chick runs around her house mopping to Devo's "Whip It" - or should I say "Swiff it good.")

Here's the thing - Xers hate when marketers commercialize stuff from their youth - unless it's really funny. It may have been accepted that the Beatles "Revolution" was used to sell Nikes, but this kind of marketing is not effective within this demographic. And when I looked online to see what the "kids" were saying about it, I found all sorts of questions like "What song is that?"

Anyway, grab a barf bag and check out the commercial.

Okay, so have you ever eaten something that you didn't like, so you need to take a sip of pop to mask the nastiness? Consider this a refill on me:

Oh, yeah, kids. The band is Simple Minds. And I had the tape!


Anonymous said...

Yes! I immediately thought that was quite possibly the dumbest commercial ever made.

Carla S. said...

Aw come on, let's just be flattered that our generation's pop culture is now hip enough to be copied by the kiddies. After all, up to now it's just been the boomer's stuff they've ripped off. And with 90210 2.0 coming out, I worried they'd skip over our stuff and go straight to Gen Y nostalgia. It's nice not to be forgotten.

And BTW, one of my favourite movies. Didn't you totally crush on Judd Nelson?


Anonymous said...


I was so lame in high school. Emilio was my guy. But today, Judd definitely is. It's funny how marrying a former burnout (and currently brilliant environmental journalist - changes your outlook.


Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

U R SO RIGHT! My husband has been complaining about these commercials since they appeared a week or two ago. What a bunch of junk. Idiots. I added you to a new link list "Other Great Gen X Blogs." You certainly have a lot to add to the ongoing dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Well. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

The first time I saw this ad, I was like what the fuck!

I hate it, hate it, hate it!

Makes me grind my teeth!

As a guy I was totally crushing on Ally Sheedy in this movie. I know, Molly Ringwald was sweet and all, but I just dug Allison more.

But of course, I wanted to be John Bender when I was in high school. And tried to be, without much success.

Bit of trivia: John Cusak was original slated to play John Bender but Judd Nelson snaked it away from him. Even so, John Hughes did NOT like Nelson and they fought constantly on set. Or so goes the myth.

Doesn't matter not. Cusak has got the better career.

Kristina said...

Two things I don't get about this.

1) Since the kids won't get it, it's targeted toward us, right? parents pick out their teen-agers' precise outfits? Sure, parents have veto power over sluttiness and the credit card, but are there really GenX parents out there dragging their kids to JC Penney and telling them to dress like Molly Ringwald whether they like it or not? I suppose not, and since kids don't know what they're talking about, what's the point? (Other than to amuse the people who actually made the commercials. They must have had a riot.)

It makes much more sense that My Little Pony and Care Bears are back, because we have more control over those purchases.

2) I haven't studied the "looks" in detail, but don't they all look more or less the same? Which is the precise opposite point of The Breakfast Club?

It always bothered me that they prettied up Ally Sheedy in the end. Emilio should have loved her, weirdness and all. They didn't cut Judd Nelson's hair so that Molly Ringwald thought he was tolerable.

Wow, I've given this way too much thought, obviously!

Anonymous said...

That commercial is just bizarre. It's like the advertisers finally figured out what made US cool, but realized they had to translate it to another generation. Badly. Complete failure. Like the surface images could ever replicate the deeper message within. Or whatever deeper message is within any John Huges movie. Well, that creeps me out for the day!

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