Pull Your Pants Up! Stop The Sag! We’re Better Than This! These are political rallying cries that can lately be attributed to everyone from President Obama to comedian Bill Cosby. The goal? It is a plea to urban youth to upgrade their fashion statement from “pimpin’” to “professional.”


So how does one counter, counter-culture? Well, it’s a simple case of marketing 101 – Knowing Your Audience.


Does anyone reading this remember the term “For-Shizzle?” For-Shizzle was a piece of slang brought into this world by Snoop Dogg. Initially, he was the only one to use it, but eventually it seemed like everyone under the sun was adding “-izzle” to the end of everything to give it a touch of “cool.”


The marketing 101 lesson here was that if Snoop Dogg was able to bring that term into the world, he was also very much capable of taking it out. And that he did. By slinging his signature catch phrase for the now largely defunct AOL in commercials with Jerry Stiller and Lee Iacocca, he took the cool right out of For-Shizzle. Once mainstream America heard those words coming out of Mr. Iacocca’s mouth, it was just about the last time anyone ever uttered the term in a non-ironic attempt at humor. By bringing For-Shizzle to the masses, and in particular, the older masses, Snoop had sucked the cool right out of it.


So, what would the perceived leaders of our culture have to do to take this knowledge and use it to their advantage? The answer is simple. Bring it to the masses. The surest way to kill a trend is with oversaturation, and surely as Lee Iacocca and Jerry Stiller were able to help Snoop kill off “For Shizzle,” that same demographic could be used as an invaluable marketing tool by our fashionably frustrated leaders. 


Generations Beyond’s proposed solution: Want to get kids to wear their pants around their waists again? Just throw Betty White in some sagging pants in the next awful Scary Movie trailer. Have her do a terrible rap and plaster it all over the airwaves. Invite the creepy old man from the Six Flags commercials to join the party. Within weeks, magically, pants will start to rise. No kid in their right mind wants to take his fashion cues from an elderly woman. The lesson? By knowing how your audience will react to marketing, both positively and negatively, you can achieve the goal you’re after. Now, if  President Obama or Dr. Cosby need us for anything else, we’ll be here Monday through Friday, as usual.

Jesse Wroblewski

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.

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