“We have envisioned this as the first fragrance for the technosexual generation,” said Mr. Murry, using a term the company made up to describe its intended audience of thumb-texting young people whose romantic lives are defined in part by the casual hookup. Last year, the company went so far as to trademark “technosexual,” anticipating it could become a buzzword for marketing to millennials, the roughly 80 million Americans born from 1982 to 1995. A typical line from the press materials for CK in2u goes like this: “She likes how he blogs, her texts turn him on. It’s intense. For right now.”
I never thought I’d live to see the day when txt sex was deemed to be cool enough for an advertising campaign, even if Beckham does it.
In a NY Times article about the advertising for the fragrance, Lory Singer at marketing agency Coty, says that “technosexuals” are open to marketing messages that other age groups wouldn’t respond favourably to by explaining that technosexuals:
“… are much more empowered, but they are unshockable. They have seen everything from 9/11 to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears without underwear. They see everything instantaneously that goes on in the world.”
Well, if you’ve seen Britney and Paris without knickers…
Now I’ve got to try to crowbar this post back into cybersoc.com… The NY Times article doesn’t just quote people from established marketing agencies and Calvin Klein fragrances, but goes to several bloggers and presents them as experts:
“Youngna Park, 24, a freelance photographer, would seem to be just this kind of individual and consumer. She has been interviewed by companies looking to tap into the millennial mind-set (though not by the researchers for CK in2u). Ms. Park moved to New York two and a half years ago and began taking pictures in restaurants and writing an online food column for Gothamist, a blog for urban markets. Her network of friends and professional contacts was forged partly through the Internet, and she has occasionally dated people she met online.
She would seem an ideal candidate to illustrate the term “technosexual,” if the idea did not immediately turn her off. “That’s such a weird phrase,” she said. “I just imagine kids putting on cologne to sit behind their computers. That’s really weird.”
They also interviewed Zach Klein (no relation) who was a partner in CollegeHumor.com. He told the New York Times,
“What’s most interesting about our generation is that it is very obvious when brands are attempting to market down to us when they use our own vernacular or types of personal technology. It’s very transparent, and I tend to shy away… abbreviating in2u like that is lame,to put it simply.”
It’s nice to see the NY Times using blogs and bloggers as a source of content and context within their articles.
Calvin Klein, however, has fallen back on that old build, manage and own model:
“To seem more authentic, Calvin Klein is trying to reach consumers on their own turf by creating an online community, whatareyouin2.com, patterned after sites like MySpace and Facebook. The company has invited students at film schools around the country to submit shorts addressing the theme of “what are you into?” and their clips can be found on the site.”
Instead, they could axe a few of those hardcore web developers who like to build complex social software systems and instead use their site to showcase and link out to third party services like myspace, facebook, youtube and flickr – along the way giving users the tools they are used to using and that work, embracing the audiences of those service, and reducing technical, editorial and moderation costs too.