Category Archives: pop culture

(Don’t) act your age

In case you hadn’t heard, demo doesn’t define youth. Thanks to Mr. McKinney for posting the link via Facebook.

I’ve been reading a few books lately about issues w/ young people not growing up and how media is encouraging them to not grow up. Personally, it comes off as odd from authors who were on the tail end of the “don’t trust anyone over 30” generation. Generational sour grapes.

This particular research, however, is somewhat sad when you read, “people worldwide delay the onset of adult responsibilities and stay emotionally and physically younger for longer, it is becoming more acceptable for older people to participate in youthful pursuits.”

Hmmm, maybe if “older people” paid attention to non-“youthful pursuits” like personal finance we’d be in a different place right now. Kinda snarky, perhaps, but in light of the books I’ve been reading about youth’s inability to accept personal responsibility, that would assume “older people” can, and from what I’ve been hearing, the “older people” are placing blame like it’s nobody’s business. Who knows better if someone can really afford something than the someone who’s spending the money? Anyway…

Regardless, often times as a marketer it feels like you have to make an intervention choice – being an enabler of behavior (in this example, capitalizing on delayed adult-hood) vs. a leader towards new behavior (building a foundation on which moving to adult-hood is okay and enjoyable). I often fret that we focus too much on the latter vs. the former and this feels like it’s one of those cases. I’m sure this is why the Dead Kennedy’s implored MTV to get off the air back in the day (BTW, research was done by a subsidiary of Viacom).

For levity’s sake, allow me to inject a lyric as I am wont to do. I feel my Creative Zen is appropriately named as it seems to push me toward Zen by providing timely songs as my mind turns over topics…

She said “I’m done with looking back, and you look your age
Which is 37, by the way, and not 28
F**king let them stare, ’cause at this point I don’t care”

– Okkervil River, You Can’t Hold the Hand of a Rock and Roll Man

Sometimes you’ve gotta be the girl screaming at the Rock and Roll man, not caring what others think.

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Filed under media on media, media usage, pop culture, target audience

Exporting US Culture

I’ve been wondering quite a bit lately just how flat the world is in light of the re-enactment of Cold War-ishness seen by Putin and the Bush Administration (whatever happened to lame duck presidents just playing out the string and Eastern European countries realizing the shiny, happy ways of capitalism). Seeing reports the past couple of days that the European economic situation is very much akin to ours confirms the inter-connectedness of certain global markets. But is that really a good thing or that new of an insight for that matter?

Regardless, US culture has always been a huge export that has allowed us influence the world over. So seeing that 20th Century Fox is picking up where Sony did by developing a joint venture w/ Bollywood and looking to see how that may expand into China makes me feel somewhat more secure in our flatness.

Of course, I’m in the middle of a book claiming that the consumption of US pop culture is making all people under 30 stupid.

So, I guess whether you interpret exporting our culture as a sign of our influence or as our subversive way of making the rest of the world stupider than us so we can maintain our standing in the world is irrelevant. It’s flat nonetheless and we continue to find our place in it.

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Filed under books, entertainment industry, pop culture

I’m over this, too

OH, NO! SAG might strike now! The horrors! That whole writers strike diversion really did in the media industry, didn’t it? Joe and Jane Public wringed their hands in agony about the dearth of new “scripted” programming whilst watching American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Hills, not to mention catching up on months of missed viewing of “scripted” programming via Tivos, DVRs and the Internet. Or just spending more time w/ their laptops, gaming consoles and other neat-o electronic devices instead (hopefully their families, too). Oh, yeah, that’s right, that whole strike thingy was about not being paid fairly for distribution via “other” means.

Some of you are now mentally pointing out this will affect that ever popular TV commercial, too. Joe and Jane Public stopped wringing their hands long enough to zip through those, check their email/IM/ social network of choice when they came on, or were more old school and just headed to the kitchen or bathroom instead.

I’ve already posted about the fact that means of distribution are ch-ch-ch-changing and the former arbiters of things that all think good on TV, radio and movie screens are losing their grip. So, add this to the list of things I’m over – apparently my vitriol was not sufficiently relieved. I’m hoping the day progresses with no more incidents.

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Filed under digital distribution, entertainment industry, media usage, monetizing media, pop culture, video

My name is Prince and I am Suing You

Perhaps he’s miffed about turning 50 years old. Instead of figuring out how to leverage the fact that a group of Norwegian fans developed a compilation of covers honoring his birthday, Prince is suing.

(Any of you Minnesotans know where Paul Westerberg stands on digital rights and whatnot? I can’t hardly wait to hear…)

Anyway, this is the same man/enigma/symbol who the NYT recently gushed “has remade himself as a 21st Century rock star” , using a plethora of marketing and distribution strategies and tactics to get his CD into fans’ hands for free via a London newspaper or as a bonus for purchasing concert tickets to remain relevant to a new breed of music fans. It seemed he had realized that the ownership of the brand of “Prince” was in the hands of his fans and they could push it further for him than he could do so himself.

A few Norwegians pay homage and he takes legal action? Since when is it OK to sue people who like you enough to literally sing your praises? Will he make more money by stopping greater distribution of his music even if every international copyright law isn’t followed (no, I’m not advocating for unlawful distribution, just some common sense)? Or could you leverage the somewhat randomness of this to your greater, longer term good and continue to make yourself even more relevant?

In better Prince news, EW did see fit to crown Purple Rain as the best album of the past 25 years. Though I did hear that for the current cover of Rolling Stone’s Guitar Heroes issue, he was supposed to be there but didn’t want to be on the same cover as John Mayer. I think he’s jealous of Jennifer Anniston’s hair.

BTW, I’ve got many issues w/ these EW lists as I came of age the past 25 years, but the main one I’ll point out is no REM albums until #32 and when there is one it’s Life’s Rich Pageant? “Fall on Me” takes precedence over “Losing My Religion” and Out of Time? Come on…

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Filed under digital distribution, monetizing media, pop culture