There’s a reason why my 18 year-old kid brother Jake loves watching VH1’s I love the 80s. Even though he was born in 1990. The kitschy, fashion-insane era of the 80s captures his interests much more than the 70s or 90s.
There’s just something about big hair and tight gold pants that makes ya wanna dance.
So how does young consumers’ love for the 80’s reflect in their behavior and attitudes? Youth-friendly brands like American Apparel and Urban Outfitters, whether they’re trying to or not (probably not), pay homage to the 80’s with their product lines and advertising.
Urban Outfitters’ line of home electronics, like USB-connected tape decks and iPod boom boxes, is tears-for-fears terrific. Media is looking back to the Regan era too, with the new Knight Rider.
But so how do “us kidz” — specifically Gen Y — interact with products and media to bring us a taste of the 80s retro pallet we love? Here’s some observations, split into five areas:
- CONTENT: Web content = memory recall. You Tube lets us reminisce on songs from Starship, or commercials with George Costanza singing about McDonald’s… even if we weren’t there to see it first, like my kid bro.
- ENTERTAINMENT: Movies are our way back. With the drop in cost of DVD duplication a few years ago, obscure 80s films are making new fan followings. Like my favorite
- MARKETING: Leslie & the LY’s, the internet celeb with gem sweaters, know whats up.
- AESTHETICS: It’s not fun unless it’s fugly (Yea, that stands for fucking-ugly). The rise of the amature MySpace aesthetic, brought on by the democratization of design and style on the Web, ties nicely in the 80s retro… where it often seemed to be the uglier the better.