Thursday, 31 July 2008
Having worked some menial job in 'experiential' marketing for the last few months and written dumb copy for a big clothing brand's online 'fanzine' for the last year or so, I'm painfully aware that people love to find ways to get their hands on teenagers' money.
Selling stuff to teens is way easier than selling stuff to adults, because you only need to remember that all teens are melodramatic narcissists and then you're away. All you've got to do is you make them think their situation/lame MTV-created 'subculture'/school exams/virginities are crucial, cutting edge or important and you've basically got them. You can then sell them what you want when they're blinded by the sense of satisfaction of finally being recognised as the geniuses/pariahs/subcultural heroes they feel like. All you need do then is put an energy drink in the hands of someone they think they look like (Gallows) and they'll buy that fucking energy drink. Or you could get pictures of the Horrors playing a computer game like I am trying to do at my shitty job now and then people who think they are like the Horrors will buy that.
Of course, one of the simplest ways to make money off of these dumbdumbs is to make movies about them that they then watch because they're super lazy as well as self obsessed and love to sit in a dark room because you can't see their spots and they can make out and finger each other too.
The old teen movie moneyspinner trick has been going on since the dawn of teenagers in the early fifties, back then they were written by amateurish opportunistic directors and made on a showstring, now they're developed by teams of marketing men and star Freddie Prinze Jr. I am fascinated by both extremes because of the way they treat their target audience: like retards with wallets. Which they are.
In the fifties shit was simple, every one of these movies had the word 'teenage' in the title so the audience didn't get confused. They were all about bad behaviour and saying fuck you to the man, except the protagonist always got his comeuppance as they had to disguise them all as morality tales so parents didn't get upset, kind of like how the voiceover on 'Britain's Most Dangerous Drivers' sounds concerned but it's actually just car crash porn. These movies were called JD movies, partly because it stood for Juvenille Delinquent and partly because it stood for James Dean, who was essentially who the main protagonist was always based on. About three years ago I got obsessed with the idea of these movies and bought a bunch of them on DVD from Selectadisc, I can promise you they are all totally unwatchable after the first ten minutes as the acting and script is so bad but the trailers are really cool. Thankfully they are on youtube in abundance. I watch them for the clothes, the babes and the fear mongering.
Using the rule that those movies are maybe how teens would have liked to perceived themselves in the fifties (as a bunch of badasses), today's kids see themselves as dull, pedestrian dickheads who never do anything except have boring sex in their 'dorm rooms' and talk about feelings.