Ok, let’s put this into context. Since I can’t publish this post until after the competition, I’ll date it for you. It’s February 13, Whitney Houston died yesterday and I’m knee deep in research for the NSAC competition.
The last few weeks have been about nothing but finding the one thing that connects Nissan to the Millenials. We found it. Everything for the Millennials right now is about the nostalgia that these young people are now experiencing.
In your 20’s, you get to look back on all of the fun things that happened in your youth, from the toys you played with and the activities that you participated in (like playing outside) to the boy bands you loved. For me, I had a love for Duran Duran. I was torn between John Taylor and Nick Rhodes. As a teenager, nothing said “Rebel” to me more than a boy that had the courage to wear eyeliner and still be a man’s man, so I’ll just leave my nostalgia trip into my teens right there.
As we all know, as I hit my 20’s, I became a hippie revivalist. I love bell bottoms, Jimi Hendrix, the whole gamut all the way to wanting my own Summer Of Love. It’s a very tangible emotional connection to me because my rebellious nature enjoys their anti-establishment view of things. Along with that, being a hippie revivalist of the 90’s, I was also into the grunge scene from Mother Love Bone to Pearl Jam and Nirvana. (I still love Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, who doesn’t?)
Now comes the comedy, which brings us to my activities for the evening. I just got done watching videos of the Spice Girls, *NSync, The Backstreet Boys and a few other 90’s tween bands. Ok, someone call the dentist, I think I have cavities and a severe case of sugar shock going on. By the way, my gaydar totally tripped off when I watched Lance Bass…how anyone couldn’t know that kid was gay back then is beyond me, but like I say, I don’t care if you’re blue, green, aquamarine, gay, straight, whatever, I’ve got respect and love for you all the same so it doesn’t matter if that kid was gay or not, it’s just surprising that people didn’t figure it out until he came out.
Oy veh. I’m holding on to Eddie Vedder’s Doc Marten’s for dear life. I have a severe need to cuddle with a piece of Kurt Cobain flannel as well. Mid-way through going through the hundreds of vids on YouTube, I had to boot up “Smells like teen spirit” to even get a rational view of the world. I am absolutely just mortified and repulsed by all of that sugar rah-rah. Matching suits? Ok, yeah, The Beatles did it, but oh wow, my 40 year-old body can not handle watching that enormous expanse of mass media induced sugar. I dare you, go back and watch a few hundred pieces of tween media from the 90’s and I swear to you your teeth will hop out of your mouth, look at you and say, “Really?”
I mean, it’s bad enough that we’re going through Pokemon, but to hear grown men, I’m talking 22-year-old men, swooning over Tommy the Green Power Ranger, it’s enough to make me want to vomit. I cannot believe what is coming out in the focus groups I’ve been doing. It makes me want to run screaming like a madwoman into the night going, “NO! No more! I can’t take it!” Seriously, I’m beginning to believe their whole lives were sponsored by some toy or some boy band.
But then, oh yes, I had to hear from my sweet darling Amanda (who I love dearly) say, “If *NSync put together a reunion tour, I would BUY THAT TICKET.” When she said that, I nearly keeled over. Oh, my body internally convulsed and I prayed for the ’03 Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial featuring Dirty Vegas’ “Days Go By” and remembering sitting on the balcony of The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel surrounded by movie and rock stars, watching The Eagles at the hotel’s opening. By the way, watching The Eagles live totally rocks. Don Henley on drums for the win. Ok, for all of you Gen-X’ers who need a bit of help, here’s a link to Henley’s “Boys of Summer” to ease the sugar shock.
Don’t get me wrong, while the other students in my class were mere tweens dreaming of getting their parents to take them to a Spice Girls concert, I was impersonating Baby Spice at the nightclub I was working at, in a dance team skit for “Wannabe.” This was of course followed up by me getting up and doing a solo as Meredith Brook’s “Bitch” just to get the sugar sloughed off my body as quickly as possible. But getting up and doing an edgier song was never enough, I had to follow it up by raving to some of the great electronica of the late 90’s. Oh yeah, when I booted up the Spice Girls tonight, my body involuntarily convulsed with all of that sugar going on.
It’s not easy being 40 and going down memory lane with these young people. I want to keep my mind open, I really do, so I did my best to stuff all that sugar down my gullet without throwing up, but oh man, it was a rough one.
On their list of things they love from their childhoods I could understand, like No Doubt or Third Eye Blind. Those I could get into, after all, who doesn’t love Gwen Stefani? But things like Pogs, Arthur, The Magic School Bus, Rugrats, Doug and other things just flew over my head. Sailor Moon? Really?
I guess I’ve gotten old, or simply my love of all things “groovy” go over their heads just as much as Tamagotchi goes over mine. When they said “Tamagotchi” in the focus group, I went “WTF’ie?” Even after Wikipedia’ing it, to the shame of my technojunky background, I still don’t know WTF it is! LOL
Yeah, their sense of nostalgia is completely different from mine and I’m doing my best to embrace it. My fave though is my gal Lizzie who, when I asked for soundtrack cuts, gave The Spin Doctors and 4 Non-Blondes. Bless you Lizzie. Bless you.
But, I’ll cap this off with the commercial idea that sprang from my head after hearing Amanda wanting to buy a ticket to an *NSync reunion show…it’s my idea of a perfect Superbowl ad to kick of a campaign. I’ll leave it to you to judge it.
A girl driving an orange *NSync themed Nissan Versa pulls up to a stoplight, girl bops to the sounds of the song “Bye Bye Bye” as the radio blares the song and out the rolled down car windows.
Another car pulls up, this time a black and blue Backstreet Boys themed Nissan Versa pulls up, the sounds of the song “Backstreet’s Back” come out of the speakers as the radio blares the song.
Each girl has a small photo of their boy band icon framed and attached to their sun visors.
Each girl lowers the visor, blows a kiss and says a line to the photo, disparaging the band supported by the other car.
An “imaginary” Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys appears in the passenger seat of the Black Versa, looks at the driver and says, “You’re not going to let her get away with that, are you? Show her what it’s like to be a part of the Backstreets.”
An “imaginary” Justin Timberlake of *NSync appears in the passenger seat of the Orange Versa, looks at the driver and says, “C’mon baby girl, you can take her. We’re *NSync, you and me.”
The “imaginary” passengers disappear as the two girls glare menacingly at each other, revving the engines of their cars, getting ready to drag race when the light turns green.
As the light turns green, before the girls can hit the gas, a Nissan Leaf goes flying by both of them with Britney Spears’ “Oops, I did it again” blaring out of the stereo.
Logo fades in:
Nissan. Innovation for You. Innovation for All.
Fade to Black.
I don’t get to write that ad for competition because I’m not on the “creative” team. Oh well, at least I get to write it for my Ad Copy-writing class. Do you think an ad like that would go viral? I’d say yes and I’m positive Amanda would hit “share” on Facebook in no time flat.
But that ad will never see the light of day besides to you nice folks.
My semester thus far can be summed up in a single word: Stymied.