The Sixties Are Back, Man

When I was in high school, there was a lot of interest in the 60’s, partially due to the reissuing of classic albums on CD. And Nike used “Revolution” in an ad, while Neil Young said he’d never sing for a brand.
Now, once again, the Sixties are back in vogue in advertising.
From The New York Times:

The growing prominence of the ’60s is partly a result of the election of Barack Obama, whose paeans to hope and youthful followers bring to mind the idealism associated with the ’60s.
The decade “evokes a time when young people were seeking to change society,” said Tim Ellis, vice president for marketing at Volkswagen of America in Herndon, Va., and “trying to break free from a stale, tired way of life.”
“I see a lot of similarities with what’s going on with today’s youth,” he added.
Volkswagen of America, a division of Volkswagen, is featuring vintage VWs — a 1963 Microbus and a 1964 Beetle — in a campaign that uses the brand’s heritage to promote its current models.

Is he right? Do today’s kids and teens really care about the Sixties? I’m asking ’cause I generally don’t know. And it’s 40 years later, which is several lifetimes in pop culture. In advertising, it seems, use of that imagery is a creative crutch we tend to revisit every few years or so.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.