Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welcome to the Target Demographic

Several years ago, a friend of mine actually called me on the phone, upset that a Led Zeppelin song was being used to sell Cadillacs:

I told him then, "Welcome to the target demographic. You're in your mid to late 40s now, they assume you have disposable income, and this is how they're gonna get your attention. It's just going to get worse."

At one point, I sort of thought I had arrived when advertisers started using songs from my era, like "Smoke On The Water":

Or "Thick As A Brick":

Or even "Instant Karma":

I mean, at least they were advertising enjoyable things like cars, restaurants, and sneakers (although I suspect Mr. Lennon is still spinning in his grave)

Speaking of spinning in his grave, I really didn't even mind it too much when the Volkswagen folks appropriated the late lamented Nick Drake for one of their commercials:

But the Times They Are A'Changing. Now the songs of my youth are being used to sell blood glucose monitoring systems. This is the target demographic I've entered. I sure hope the members of Three Dog Night and/or the estate of B.W. Stevenson, this song's writer, are getting royalties from this:

And this? This is the travesty that actually inspired me to post this. Every advertiser who has ever used a rock song in an advertisement should fall down on their faces and beg forgiveness from The Youngbloods for this use of "Get Together" (you may have to turn up your volume if you want to hear this, although I can't imagine why you would):

I mean... come on. The entire hippie movement has been reduced to an animated disposable diaper commercial culminating in what is an obvious allusion to Woodstock? This is sadder than sad. There once was a time when our artists weren't sellouts. I only hope that the members of AC/DC had no control over the deal that is causing their first album in 8 years to be sold only at Wal-Mart. I don't want to wish any bad things on AC/DC, they've worked hard for a long time, but I hope they don't sell a single disc at Wal-Mart, and that this will prevent this sort of deal with the devil from being made in the future with any other rock group.

If only we could harness the energy of all the dead rock stars who are now spinning in their graves, we could completely eliminate our dependency on foreign oil.


Herb of DC said...

Let's face it--the sad truth is that everything has a price tag these days.

But that Luvs commercial is sadder than sad. God I'm really depressed now. I need my pumpkin.

Mike said...

My soninlaw is a Pearl Jam fan. He's been pissed about CSI for a long time.

Bilbo said...

I don't know what's worse...the Youngbloods selling disposable diapers or the fact that I'm approaching an age when I may actually NEED disposable diapers. I think I'll call Mike for advice.

Gilahi said...

herb - Why does the price tag have to be good taste? Some of the very few things I hold sacred are being desecrated by Madison Ave. Get me a pumpkin too, will ya?

Mike - Can't say that I've ever seen CSI. Which Pearl Jam song have they ruined?

bilbo - See above. He may refer you to his son in law.

fiona said...

Ok I agree... to a point.
Some of the ads do make my kids want the "oldies" downloaded onto their I-Pod thingies so in a "sorrowful" for us way, they are keeping the music alive

Sean said...

What a great last line!

Today, it seems like many current artists want companies to use their music in their commercials. (ex. U2 and Coldplay for IPOD)

Gilahi said...

fiona - I suppose that's something. Personally, I used to sing my infant daughter to sleep with ELP's "Lucky Man", Edgar Winter's "Autumn", or even Deep Purple's "Soldier of Fortune". That's how I'd prefer to keep the music alive.

Sean - Thanks. I suppose they make a lot of money that way, if that's what they're after...

suicide_blond said...

while i am OF COURSE far toooo young to be in the demo ;-) the diaper thing kinda makes me wanna drive a caddy full of glucose monitors off a bridge..

Herb of DC said...

Someone was featured in the blog log in the Stanley Kaplan Washington Post Metro Express today and was within a word or two of being quoted correctly.

Yay you!

Phil said...

Well it isn't long until the attendees of Woodstock are going to need diapers, so it makes sense.

Gilahi said...

sb - I know just what you mean. When they start using In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida to sell Barbies ("E-chords are hard!"), then please stop by and pick me up before you get to the bridge.

herb - Thanks for letting me know! And I'm above the photo, too! I have arrived.

phil - So the famous announcement would be something like, "We've gotten word that there's some bad diapers out there. Don't use the brown diapers. Repeat do not use the brown diapers." Extra points to anyone out there who has any idea what I'm talking about.

bozoette said...

I knew I had hit the Target Demographic when I heard "Aqualung" on the Muzak at Safeway. Gah.

Brown diapers? Possibly a reference to the brown acid that Woodstock Nation was warned against?

Gilahi said...

Funny. I saw an interview with one of the members of Velvet Underground who said that he heard Lou Reed's "Walk On The Wild Side" on department store muzak. He said he just wanted to go to the store manager and ask, "Do you know what that song is about?"

And... DINGDINGDING!!! We have a winner! No more calls please. Bozoette has correctly identified the above diaper reference. You get the promised extra points! Those extra points plus the $10 you kick in will get you a $10 gift certificate.

bozoette said...


Add to Technorati Favorites