I came across an interesting term today while writing part of my thesis: ‘Aspirational age’.
This is a marketing term that indicates advertising to one age group can have an impact on a wider range of ages. By targetting 16-17 year olds they get those that are younger and long for percieved maturity and older people who long for the time of youthful freedom and health (even if these are false ideals).
I find this especially interesting, because the whole idea of teenage years being any different from any other time is a relatively modern concept, only really coming about with rock’n’roll in the twentieth century. Is it a coincidence that advertising was really getting into the swing of things at around the same time? We invent a concept of freedom, tell people they have it until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, then tell everyone else that it was the best time of their life to market products to them.
It’s a Möbius strip of marketing logic, and I find the idea fascinating!