Gross Ads Target Teens

Aug 26, 2002

Advertisers are finding a way to connect to the powerful youth market that commands $170 billion in annual spending power with inane, often gross teen humor, reports USA Today.

Some new examples, include:

  • Bugle Boy: The first ads for the brand since the 1980s show guys in their
    jeans and a Jack Russell terrier with a fetish for the jeans, acting out with
    a behavior known to embarrass dog owners worldwide.

  • Dr. Pepper: Two guys sit at a table in a sandwich shop and battle over a
    spilled drop of Red Fusion with straws in a tug of war to see who can suck
    up the final drop.

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: In the first big campaign for the candy in 15
    years, guys are so absorbed in eating their favorite candy that they are oblivious
    to anything else including a dog who has bit his owner’s thigh and didn’t
    let go.

  • 7-Eleven: In an ad to promote the Mountain Dew Blue Shock Slurpee, a teen
    freezes his tongue with the slushy drink to get ready for a tongue piercing.
    In another spot, a guy is so enraptured with getting the last taste of his
    Mexican-snack food taquito that he mistakenly licks his friend’s fingers instead
    of his own.

Moderator Comment: Do consumer/retail marketers worry too much about who they might turn-off with their ads to the point that the ads become less effective with their intended target audience?

Frank Kern, director, 7-Eleven brand marketing was quoted
as saying, “The campaign is irreverent and attention-getting. The intent was
to speak to that target, but we didn’t want to alienate anybody.” [George
Anderson – Moderator

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