They’ve come to take my music.

I heard today that the Pogues were used in a Subaru commercial. Haven’t seen it. I hope it’s “Sally MacLennane.” This isn’t quite as bad/good as “Blister in the Sun” advertising fast food (BLURGH!) but it’s a little surprising.

My generation (I’m 45) is now the target of semi-random generational marketing. Many of us are established and have extra money (note: if you are in this group please contact me). We’re also dominating the marketing business itself right now, so the lazy ad person will remember what lit up the night in 1986 and think “that’s what will nail it!”

In this spirit I offer some suggestions to those who want to reach the semi-lucrative market of Gen X middle-aged people, those of us who aren’t $20K in debt with no house and chronic medical problems. For instance. Let’s move on.

Shipbuilding,” by Elvis Costello. A couple dancing slowly in the sunset on the deck of a ship somewhere in the Caribbean. “Is it worth it?” he sings, as he swings her around in his arms and she smiles upwards. V/O describes selling points, ad ends with Elvis returning to sing “we should be diving for pearls.”

Lost in the Supermarket,” by the Clash. Song plays as mopey 40ish housewife pushes cart around drab yet overlit market, looking at identical cans. Red tag catches her eye, prominently featuring supermarket loyalty card logo. She picks up a jar and smiles: it’s Goober, a delight of her childhood. Outro with slowing fading bassline and slogan on screen: FOUND.

I was going to put some reggae in here but that’s all been heavily prepped by Caribbean Vacation Culture and marijuana. On we go.

I Need Love,” LL Cool J. Middle-aged African-American professional guy driving his upscale SUV through traffic, frustrated. Everything goes wrong, traffic, drink spills on him, phone rings and it’s his jerk boss, etc. Finally arrives home to wife and kids who open door both holding Cokes, and handing him one. The three enjoy the beverage on the porch. Slogan on screen, “COKE” fades into “LOVE.”

Senses Working Overtime,” XTC. Attractive woman of a certain age clearly plagued by multiple allergies. Sneezing shot, eye rubbing shot, pulling back in terror from plate of food. OTC medicine introduced. Closing shot with happy woman enjoying some if not all of her sensuous experience in life.

“The One I Love,” R.E.M. Flower delivery. Not much else to say here.

I Will Dare,” The Replacements. Parallel shots of hopeful-looking man and woman of a certain age looking at computer screens, reading emails, on the phone, meeting. Clearly some sparks in the air, shared laughter, fade into new couple walking down the street away from camera. Logo and url of dating service.

and finally,

Debaser,” Pixies. 2015 Hyundai Andalusia minivan.

It’s. A. Shoe. Store? (Hello, Jeanketeers!)

So, I was trying to find a cheapass pair of cheapass flip flops to replace my worn-out cheapass flip flops. And of course, I end up at the excellent zappos.com. Not finding what I need, and realizing for other reasons that I am way poorer than I thought this week, I gave up buying anything. And then I sorted the flip flops by price seeing “highest first” just to see how nutty that was. It was about this nutty. ” Rejuvenate your warm-weather-wardrobe with these high fashion thong sandals” indeed, at $240. But that wasn’t the good part! The good part is the random customer testimonial that Zappos chose to put on that page, which I quote in full below.

Dearest Zappos Customer Loyalty Team — Zappos is like nothing I have ever encountered in a store, online or otherwise. The promptness of service, total ease of return (you guys really know how finicky shoe freaks are!), constant inquiry as to how you may serve us better, and your customer evaluations (which have helped me tremendously in evaluating a particular brand/type of shoe) all create the “perfect” shopping experience! I have even told total strangers (who I perceived were frustrated in shoe-shopping) about you; and, have shared your .com address with everyone I meet who evidences any inkling of being crazy about shoes (the latest was the admitting clerk at Palestine Regional Hospital!). It is really refreshing and comforting to encounter the spiritual-material balance in your concept of merchandizing. This is difficult to explain; but, Zappos takes away some of the “guilt” I feel in buying more-and-more shoes instead of sending more money to Hope International or Heifer International or Catholic Medical Missions…or any of the multifarious, marvelous organizations “out there” who are helping create a healthier world. Because you reveal the people behind the product, you bring home the truth that by our high standard of living (which includes having more than two pairs of shoes: Sunday-go-to-meeting and every-day), we are able to provide the income for numerous folks who will, in turn, contribute to all sorts of worthwhile social programs to renew our Mother Earth! Yes, I do realize that there may be a fine line between Imelda Marcos and one who appreciates comfortable footwear; however, as I try to stay on the “good” side of the line, I certainly appreciate Zappos.com! (Have you ever considered contributing a percentage of every shoe purchased to Hope International or Mother Theresa’s Missions or some such worthy cause?) God hold you all close, “in the very hollow of His hand” (an old Gaelic blessing)! Sincerely, Di M

~ Di M, June 05 2006