Monday, April 16, 2007

Scentsational Silliness

Douglas Coupland’s seminal Generation X not only summarized the zeitgeist of an age following the baby boomers but had marketing pundits a reason to dance far into the night. Coupland’s intent for an alternative literary voice became the convenient signpost for sticker-happy marketers to segment a skeptical generation so averse to being targeted with advertising messages.

Post GenX came hosts of handy labels; prominently Gen Y, who, not only embraced consumerism, they enthusiastically rewrote the marketing and advertising rules by actually telling marketing hacks which buttons to actually trigger their allowance spending.

Scores of other jargonlicious labels followed, all of them shamelessly slapping the youth’s foreheads with terminologies that can only be passed off as something earnest when you’re far into your eighth tequila shot. You just don’t say audience. You say aggregating eyeballs. You don’t say preferential. You say Top Of Mindshare. Why settle for lame shit when hip jargons are far more effective in bullshitting clients into megazillion billings.

Which brings me into the recent article from The New York Times about pundits cheering the new generation-defining jargon. We’re not talking about the Google Generation—a demographic weaned post-MTv, but actually grew up with everything humming in an instant. Googlites are a generation so impatient that when Friendster and Myspace take more than ten seconds to load on the browser the user stabs the keyboards with annoyance and call their computers and broadband suppliers’ motherfuckers. Dial up is nothing but a fossil. So is the career of Onemig Bondoc.

Before I got sidetracked by the habits of the Google Generation I was to rant about the new label pundits are poised to slap the “sexy” new demographic emerging from high-gloss cellphones, Skype, and Youtube. This was reported by The New York Times led by pom poms-weilding folks non other than the era-defining Grunge Generation strategy of Calvin Klein’s CK One.

Apparently the geniuses at CK’s strategic division have inhaled too much sandalwood and musk and their brains got so corroded they settled for a new spinoff of the CK One dubbed CK in2u, thereby proving that brand-naming is out of control. This new scent is laser-guided to detonate among today’s “Technosexuals” or as Lori Singer, Coty’s vice president for global marketing says of twenty somethings. “They don’t want to feel that they are being marketed to or spoken at. They are much more empowered, but they are unshocjable. They have seen everything from 9/11 to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears without underwear. They see everything instantaneously that goes on in the world.”

Technosexuals? I don’t know about you but I have an unappetizing mental image of robots humping.

Is Ms. Singer implying that Technosexuals are the savvier Gen Xers in terms of advertising rejection? Isn't this evolution in reverse?

As promising enterprise CK in2u appears, and judging from the name of the product, the enthusiastic Ms. Singer seems too polished and polite to say that this generation are a bunch of retards that are hopeless in spelling. And Calvin Klein seizes the opportunity to reflect the dynamics of a fucked generation who instead of being force fed with Oxford Unabridged Dictionary would be better off with a bottle that promises getting laid.

Welcome to the new era. You can’t spell, but hey, you smell good.

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