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Once Upon A Time For the Baby Boomer

A recent marketing text I was reading, “Creative Strategy In Advertising” 10th Edition, by Bonnie L. Drewniany, and A. Jerome Jewler, reminded advertising students that when it came to Baby Boomers,  the way to sell them -- was to tell them.  These 74 million strong are more MGM than MTV.

Going through the stories of the internet to coordinate that thinking with the latest articles,  I came upon not an advertising story but a product story that defined the 15 Biggest Baby Boomer Brands (try saying that five times fast) that defined the generation.  Ironically, while looking the items over, I remembered how many of them were sold (and continue to be sold) not with quick cuts and loud music but real stories within their (TV) ads. As noted on the site:

Levi’s:   Around since the 1850s but defining the 1950s and beyond – Levi’s is a true American classic. Not a story here, but an anthem for the latest generation – a little more MTV in the Go Forth campaign.

Volkswagen: The beloved Beetle and two of the most beloved storylines ever told about the ugly little car in 60 seconds – Doyle Dane Bernbach’s “funeral” and “snow plow” spots.

Pepsi: For the younger generation and meant to be the young person’s alternative beverage. Before it was pulled off the air due to the controversial music video that debuted after it, Madonna’s Like a Prayer got a two-minute narrative thanks to Pepsi.

Clairol: Before hair color was as easy to change as nail polish (and had many of the same colors as well), women didn’t want anyone to know their dying secrets. The boomer is right in the middle – too young to hide the color activity and too mature to go with a Pantone(r) green tint. As evidenced in the infamous “Does She or Doesn’t She?” commercial, only her hairdresser really knows for sure.

Like boomers themselves, these products have grown, prospered, revamped and revitalized to meet the millennium years as well as the needs of the latest generation. They are old familiar friends no matter how many years since they've arrived.


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Reed Marcus January 10, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Speaking of advertising... I find that certain commercials do a very good job of getting my attention. However, I am not a fan of the "sandwiching" type comericals. That is the practice of running a 15 second or 30 second ad, then doing a station id, a news blip, and or a tv series quick ad, and the returning to a REPEAT of the same 30 second ad (thus sandwiching other content with the same ad on both ends). It bugs me. Fake de ja vu!
Lauren B. Lev January 11, 2013 at 09:19 AM
That technique of "sandwiching" has a lot to do with frequency -- the media buy requiring that audiences need to be exposed to the message a great deal of times before it's remembered. The other technique -- "bookends" is a lot more effective -- the first 15 seconds is the opening of the spot -- say, "I have a bad headache and need to take XYZ." Actor takes headache medicine and then next commercial is another one from the parent company. Then actor comes back and in the last 15 seconds says "Ahh, my headache's gone." It is a technique that has people potentially staying tuned in for the conclusion -- a slice of life where the problem is solved because product is the solution!

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