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How To Attract The 18-34 Crowd: Say
November 22, 2003 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Oh fuck! Are you interested? Let me guess: you're 18 to 34 years old, right? Oh it's a dandy little word, for sure. But is it enough? Here's yet another brilliant marketing idea dreamt up by the 35-50 thoroughly fucked-up Texan reader-research crowd! [Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (23 comments total)

 
Just an observation about teens and "curse words":

In my English class, everyone had to read Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. The copies the school provided had the words fuck, shit, damn, et al. censored (via asterisks). Every kid noticed this, even those that hadn't done more than flip through the book.
posted by thebabelfish at 2:30 PM on November 22, 2003


You know...this article brings up a good point:

Where exactly CAN a person find the full-length Paris Hilton sex tape?
posted by ColdChef at 2:46 PM on November 22, 2003


Yeah, when me and my fuckin' bros used to get fuckin' stoned, y'know, fucked the shit up on fuckin' Mexican dirtweed and then put on the fuckin' Stones's fuckin' Let It Bleed and then get fuckin' wasted on fuckin' Rainier beer and talk fuck shit about all the fuckin' heavy chicks we'd like to fuckin' ball but couldn't fuckin' get next to if we fuckin' tried--oh man, could we fuckin' bullshit!--it was like fuckin' party all fuckin' night and fuck the fuckin' day, I mean, like, who needs that fuckin' nine to five crap? Fuck that shit! I mean, fu-u-u-uck...


Ah, I remember the 60s...
posted by y2karl at 3:03 PM on November 22, 2003


Seriously ColdChef, the most interesting fact discovered by reading this article is that "full-length Paris Hilton video" returns a surprising zero hits on google.
posted by palegirl at 3:18 PM on November 22, 2003


Man, I remember getting the crap beaten out of me for using that word. Is there really a word nowadays that evokes the same sort of response?

Or are we all desensitized?
posted by tommasz at 4:09 PM on November 22, 2003


Or are we all desensitized?
I think we are indeed.

As someone who works for a newspaper, I think this guy's got it more right than wrong. I'd argue he seems to be looking at this from the frat-boy perspective, in that all kids aren't getting liquored up and sleeping with anyone, and any publication that took this as a matter of faith likely is going to repel as many people as it attracts.

But the idea that kids aren't stupid and in fact appreciate irreverance as well as relevance does tend to be lost on a lot of fifty-ish editor types who think they can skate by on "attitude," whatever that is.
posted by kgasmart at 4:21 PM on November 22, 2003


Isn't it kinda like that bible thing that steals the style of a teen girl magazine? Maybe regular newspapers should stop trying--there are alternative(?) weeklies in most cities and millions of blogs with news, and newspaper sites as well--I think younger people who care about the news are actually just going to the sites (or google news or reuters, etc...) instead of buying the actual papers or picking up a new freebie.
posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on November 22, 2003


It's worth noting that the Observer is the local alt-weekly, and most everything they do that's not related to food, music, movies, or other culture-esque things is very tongue in cheek, especially local stuff. So I'd take this as a hearty mix of satire and criticism.

That said, both the AM Journal Express and the Quick! have been shoved down my throat on the daily commutes for the past two weeks. And both of them are the Inside Edition of news-journalism. The only reason that either one of them is worth picking up is for the comics in the Quick, which include Boondocks, Bizarro, and Get Fuzzy. But I can read all of those online anyways. I'd rather read my book, thanks.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:47 PM on November 22, 2003


I heard Dan Savage (of Savage Love fame and an editor at Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger) promote this same idea at a college journalism conference this spring in Seattle. His basic idea: Get rid of the notion of a family-friendly newspaper. Lose Marmeduke and other stupid comics only old ladies read. Say Fuck in headlines. Let reporters disclose their own biases in stories and occasionally write columns, because hell they, of all people, should know when somebody's lying and all the backstory you can't say in those official third-person stories.

I ran with this idea when I vyed for editor in chief at my college paper, the emerald. I lost. No big deal, as I now have a real job at a real newspaper, but I'm convinced regular newspapers will continue to alienate those between 16-40 if they can't get to their level. It might even run them into the ground, who knows.
posted by Happydaz at 5:05 PM on November 22, 2003


"Holy Fucking Shit!"

More proof that The Onion is the future of journalism.
posted by keswick at 5:27 PM on November 22, 2003


True Story #749:
Long long ago, I messed around at "open mike night" at a Los Angeles Comedy Club (not a real famous one, but the owner had previously been a partner at a real famous one...). After a five-minute bit that contained one very strategically positioned "fuck" (as part of a quote from a former girlfriend), I was taken aside and told that while they had no prohibition of the word at the club (Geez... Robin Williams worked there once...), the owner preferred if I didn't use it as a VERB...
posted by wendell at 5:52 PM on November 22, 2003


Man, I remember getting the crap beaten out of me for using that word. Is there really a word nowadays that evokes the same sort of response?

Or are we all desensitized?


Bastard, said with the proper inflection, will definitely earn you a beating in some parts of the United States.
posted by Prospero at 5:56 PM on November 22, 2003


"thoroughly fucked-up Texan"? As a Texan, I'd love for y'all to ease up on the stereotypes.

(Especially since these are Dallas papers we are talking about, and the rest of the state doesn't cotton to Dallas representing us. Sorry, Ufez Jones.

But, I agreed wholeheartedly with this: "It's worth noting that the Observer is the local alt-weekly, and most everything they do that's not related to food, music, movies, or other culture-esque things is very tongue in cheek, especially local stuff. So I'd take this as a hearty mix of satire and criticism.")
posted by pineapple at 6:44 PM on November 22, 2003


Yeah, cuz obscenity equals intelligence. Or relevance.
posted by rushmc at 7:02 PM on November 22, 2003


metafilter: fuck fuck shit-fuck shit
posted by joedan at 8:11 PM on November 22, 2003


You know...that brings up another good point:

Where exactly CAN a person find the full-length Paris Hilton sex tape?
posted by ColdChef at 8:38 PM on November 22, 2003


A relevant item from the Onion:

22-Year-Old Fuck Complains Of Age Discrimination
SAN MIGUEL, CA—Passed over for a promotion at Barton Financial Services, little 22-year-old fuck Darren Meeker filed a lawsuit against the company Monday, claiming to be a victim of age discrimination. "Just because someone has 20 years of experience, that doesn't automatically make him more qualified than my client," said attorney Martin Lippman, who represents the whiny shit. "In his first seven months on the job, Mr. Meeker has more than proven his potential." The little prick was unavailable for comment.
posted by gregb1007 at 9:00 PM on November 22, 2003


This is happening all around the country/world, actually, not just in Dallas. The competing Chicago newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, have been pushing similar youth-oriented tabloids with similar names Red Eye and Red Streak, respectively); so far as I know, neither has used the word fuck yet, but then I don't actually live in Chicago at the moment and only see them occasionally.

Both of them repurpose the parent papers' content with shorter articles and more 'tude, especially evident in the attention-getting cover photos and heds they use. (Ironically, perhaps, the Sun-Times is a tabloid format paper, but has less evident tabloidishness than the lesser of New York's two tabloids. When a new publisher took over a decade ago, he lamented: Actually, I think it's kind of gray. Not much has changed. The Sun-Times is basically professionally intimidated by the Tribune's comparative sophistication.) Both have more entertainment-oriented content and advertising, and neither seems to assume it's the reader's primary source of news.

And ultimately, these papers are not out there to be successes in their own right, anyway. They are loss-leaders intended to draw readers to the parent newspaper, and to forestall the loss of advertising dollars to externally-based publications with better understanding of the young adult market such as Metro and New City (or New Times, the Phoenix-based owner of the Dallas Observer). This defensiveness of purpose shows.

Oh, you actually wanted to snark about 'fuck' (or is that snark about fuck)? Sorry for the derail.
posted by dhartung at 12:39 AM on November 23, 2003


Your derails, Dan, are entirely new railway systems, lovingly laid down and always affording new vistas - they're that useful and transportive, yes they are!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:04 AM on November 23, 2003


Wow, I got, like, 2 paragraphs into the article, and just puked.
posted by pemulis at 1:33 AM on November 23, 2003


Heh. It's entirely not worth it, ColdChef. Here's some of it. (Right-click and save the link. Or CMD-Click. Whichever.)
posted by Hankins at 7:04 AM on November 23, 2003


Thanks, Hanks.

You're right. I am underwhelmed.
posted by ColdChef at 8:07 AM on November 23, 2003


"Although, they're not aimed at young people so much as they are at young ad buyers who place ads aimed at young people,"
That about sums it up.
posted by Blake at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2003


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