In the midst of a grunge revival we’re seeing the cultural icons of 30-somethings used as selling tools.
But surely this is a generation who are uncomfortable about being marketed to? This is the generation who lapped up Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo’, saw themselves reflected in ‘Reality Bites’ and ‘Fight Club,’ got worked up about ‘McJobs’ and vented to Nirvana. The common thread was that commercialism is simply not cool.
But they seem to have left this vitriol in the 90s, and accepted their childhood icons being recast as ad men. At Christmas they had their heartstrings plucked by the gentle John Lewis cover of their revered Smiths, and they laugh along with BA Baracus reminding them to “get some nuts!” And it appears that nothing is sacred – even the holier than holy Yoda has come out of retirement to sell for Vodafone, and has found himself competing head-on with Kermit and Miss Piggy, who are batting for Orange.
As we’ve discussed before, personal memories are precious things – and brands should take caution before messing with them too much. In this nostalgia avalanche, will the children of the 70s want to reclaim their own cultural history and resent anyone who co-opts it, especially for profit? Have we reached a saturation point and begun to annoy this “anti-brand” generation? Brands should beware a Star Wars fan scorned.