Invoking "The Sixties": Fidelity Financial vs. Ameriprise
The above has been the most popular (or perhaps most infamous) entry of mine over the last year. I know from my stats that Ameriprise has been all over it. It still gets tons of hits.
Recently, others have been writing about these campaigns. A very good piece by Patrick Somerville for The Simon:
Woodstock, Flower Power and Mutual Funds: How Ameriprise Panders to BoomersWhile I've not seen it (and hope I never do), apparently Fidelity Financial has stooped as low as Ameriprise. Read A '60s Anthem is Sold As Bait by Mark Patinkin of The Providence Journal:
The 1960s were about cultural change and political activism. But in Ameriprise's new commercials, the era's touchstones are evoked in the name of money, money, money.
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is being used to get aging hippies to invest for retirement. It's in a Fidelity commercial. Define irony. I strongly doubt that when a circle of stoned 19-year-olds were passing around a joint with Iron Butterfly on the turntable in 1969, they were weighing wealth-preservation versus growth as they considered the most prudent mix of stocks, bonds and other equity instruments … I find that a bit patronizing. That's how you talk to old people who are, like, I don't know, over 50 or something.Sometimes I'm speechless. Often it's due to gagging. How grateful I am to others when my throat feels like it's been stuffed with a dry mop.
And Mr. Patinkin hints at one of the cautionary themes in my book:
But someone - probably a 29-year-old ad whiz kid who researched boomer music - figured it was the way to hook us.
Update, 27 April 2006: David Wolfe (Ageless Marketing) is now blogging about the Ameriprise campaigns. As always, his erudite and enlightening comments get your brain roiling:
Ameriprise Doesn't Get It
More on Ameriprise's Misreading of Boomers