Evian babies in your face. Just like their GenX parents.

29 Aug

evian-roller-babiesLove it.
Hate it.
Creepy.
Unfunny.
I absolutely love this video! Watched it over and over!

These were some of the comments I received back when I asked GenX friends how they felt about the Evian commercial. You know the one I’m talking about: where a most unrealistic realistic choreography of babies skate to the tunes of Rapper’s Delight. If you have yet to see it, I think this conversation will just be easier if you watch the video before I go on.

Now, as my focus is more along the lines of marketing to generations, I’m going to write about this Evian commercial through that lens. The main point to understand about this ad is that it puts Society on notice that Boomers are no longer the generation with primary influence on children. It tells business owners and marketing departments, with a very in-your-face ad, that a different generation, specifically GenXers, are now your primary target audience for all things baby- and kid-related.

I deeply believe that this ad could not have been made five years ago; not for technical constraints per se, but for cultural considerations. The fact that it’s coming forth now — at this time– is part of why it’s so important, compelling and informative for anyone marketing to parents and/or GenXers.

See, American GenXers (born 1961-1981) are ascending into mid-life, with their eldest being 48 years-old in 2009. The generation in mid-life always has the primary influence on the generation in childhood, which in the U.S. right now is the generation called Homelanders (born 2003ish + approx 20 years). Homelanders’ childhood will mostly be shaped by the worldview that GenX adults have toward children. (For a deeper perspective on generations, I recommend any work by William Howe and Neil Strauss; The Fourth Turning, in particular.)

For now, a few key points for mar-com pros to consider –

GenXers are the primary generation in parenthood years now.

American GenXers are currently 28-48 years old and are the primary market for any company needing to reach parents. They are the predominant parents of high school kids, middle school kids and elementary school kids. And while there is naturally an increase in Millennials (born 1982 – 2002ish) having their first babies now, it’s the GenXers who will have the primary cultural impact on parenting for the next 15 years or so. GenXers are not a small generation: the largest actually, based on 2005 U.S. Census data. There are 81 million of them in the US.

Style is important. Both yours and theirs.

Personal style, branding and individual expression are important to GenXers. Most GenXers really want your company to have some style while you’re trying to sell to them and once you’ve earned their business. Look again at the babies in the Evian commercial: These are not Millennial babies, cooed over, dressed to the hilt and surrounded by abundance. The babies are all in simple, white cotton onesies. But don’t let that fool you. These babies are stylin’ because they’re living their style, expressing it, being it. And trust that their GenX parents are identifying with that sense of style, even if they do find the ad a little bit “creepy.”

You’re advertising is welcome, but don’t ever think you can ever fool a GenXer with hype.

One of the most-telling GenX markers of the Evian babies commercial is the quiet, gentle, pink-background, yet clearly disruptive, billboard-style messages inserted into the video. Evian makes no bones about this creative conception being their ad. They don’t brand the babies with logos (notice all the babes are in simple white cloth.) They don’t sneak the logo onto a large, blatantly placed billboard in the background of the video. Did you see an Evian water bottle held in the hands of a loving parent, cooing nearby? Nope. The commercial designers stop the “movie” to do a brief commercial and then get right back on beat with the music and fun. The product does show up brilliantly at the end, functioning as make-shift cones the babies skate around.

Just remember: with a GenX audience, be clear about your intention to market to them … and then do it with style.

Let’s rock. You don’t stop.

********

Originally posted here.

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