Love to hate

Sometimes I feel eerily in sync with The Hater at the AV Club.

For example: I brought this very ad in to the meeting referenced here as an example of celebrity-enabled body dysmorphia (Photoshop denier Demi Moore being my other go-to on this issue). I was similarly squicked out by the Tiger ad. (Side note: please please please go away, celebrity infidelity scandals…Do. Not. Care.) I already linked to this Hater on the anthropomorphized Crocs. Here’s an example of the sort of marketing technique I’m equal parts fascinated by and disturbed to see in action.

Then there’s this, posted yesterday about VH1’s new shotgun approach to programming. I will not quibble with the gist of the post, because how could you? It sounds like a profound lack of vision, like VH1’s Hail Mary play in the game of viewership relevance. Call me a hater (ha), but it’s the sort of move that’s destined to fail. I think about the performing arts, which, as they struggle to thrive in an economic climate that continues to be inhospitable to big nights out, turn again and again to the warhorse productions that have sold well in the past. When what they really need to do is galvanize constituents with ambitious and visionary planning (see: Michael M. Kaiser).

Anyhoo, slowly working my way around to the point: What I do want to quibble with is positioning the existence of a gap of consumers between Gen X and Gen Y as a fallacy. I am part of this generation, a little too young for Gen X and too old for Gen Y. I tend to identify more with Gen X, but that’s not fully who I am. There’s a similar gap between the so-called “Greatest Generation” and the Boomers – my parents fall in this in-between generation. As an in-between consumer myself, I feel like my cultural identity has been, to some extent, hijacked by louder generations on either side.

Wait. Was that melodramatic? …never mind then.

As a final corollary point, I think that the concept of programming to a specific generation of consumers is kind of ridiculous. Look at it long term: it’s planned irrelevance. Neither should they try to focus on the younger demo. Instead, focus on creating badass programming (if anything associated with VH1 could ever be called badass…) and the audience will follow.


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