You know something's gone viral when it starts as a video monologue and then ends up running as a text column in The New York Post. That's the case with the above Craig Ferguson diatribe about how first, the advertising industry, and then, the media industy, created a culture of youth, on the belief that if they hooked people young, they'd be brand loyalists forever. As it dovetails perfectly with a post I did recently on how freakin' insane it is that advertisers -- and therefore the media -- continue to point their efforts at the 18 to 49 demographic, or, on a day when they are thinking particularly out of the box, 25 to 54, I'm running it here.
Says Ferguson, who if you don't know is the host of CBS' "Late Late Show", which follows "The Late Show with David Letterman":
In the 1950s, late '50s, early '60s, a bunch of advertising guys got together on Madison Avenue and decided to try to sell products to younger people. "We should try to sell to younger people because then they will buy things their whole lives ... "You can read the full text of Ferguson's rant, here. But do yourself a favor and watch the video instead. It's partly, as usual, Ferguson's hilarious delivery that makes this work.
So they told the television companies, and the movie companies, and the record companies -- and everybody started targeting the youth. Because the youth was the place where you were going to be able to sell things.
What happened was, in a strange kind of quirk of fate, youth began to be celebrated by society. This was in a way that it had never been at any time in human history. What used to be celebrated was experience, and cleverness. But what became valuable was youth -- and the quality of youth was being a consumer.