Come on you know you’re not so young

Is it just me or has everyone been seeing the pictures on Instagram, and Twitter that have various young people modeling Duran merch?

I’m not posting them here, but you can easily find them here, here and here on Duran Duran’s Instagram page

The first time I saw one, I scrolled past and didn’t think twice. It was only later on when  one of my friends mentioned the “youngsters” that I thought to myself, “Yeah, that kid was pretty young, wasn’t he?”  

Then later, I saw another comment. This time on DD’s Instagram page, congratulating them on the “diversity of the models.” Truthfully, I hadn’t noticed. I just made a mental note, and went on about my weekend.

Later on, I noticed a few other comments that caught my eye. Most  had to do with the age of the models in the photos, as opposed to the assumed age of their fan base. These weren’t congratulatory in tone, either.

First of all, I don’t think anyone would argue that the models in the pictures are young – regardless of what kind of “link” there might be from the models to the band. Secondly, to the best of my knowledge from what I’ve noticed at the Duran shows I’ve attended, the average age of their fan base is significantly older than what is represented in those photos.

Ideally, the band wants to be relevant to a wide range of ages. We’ve written about that at length on this blog, and while I want to be fair to those, such as myself, who have been around for decades – I also get dollars and cents. The wider age range of people who like them, the more is going to get sold. It’s really that easy. On the same token, I’ve been to just shy of fifty shows now, (I know that many have been to far more, and I salute you.) and lately I have paid significant attention to the age and gender of the audience.

Their audience for their live shows is still predominantly female, although there are definitely men in attendance. That doesn’t mean there are NO men present – it means there are simply fewer.  As for age, I do think it runs the gamut now that you’ve got parents taking the second (and sometimes even third) generations to see Duran Duran, but overall, in the vast majority of cases, we’re all kidding ourselves if we really believe that teenagers are beginning to take over the fan base at their shows. I can’t tell you who is quietly buying their albums and never saying a word about it online, but I know what the average Duran Duran concert-going fan looks like.

They look like me. And probably YOU, too. 

So, back to those disparaging comments. There seems to be a lack of understanding of why management would choose to advertise the band’s merchandise using young people rather than people who accurately represent the age of their fan base. I get their feelings, and part of me does agree. But then, I say the same thing about ALL clothing ads. Or make-up ads. Or anything else. Everything is marketed for that beautifully golden demographic of which I am no longer part. It’s a miracle I buy anything at all, really.

I have a difficult time stomaching the idea that I’m over the age of 45 now and am being thrown out to pasture by the marketing geniuses of this world. I also can’t blame them, exactly. Don’t get me wrong, I’d LIKE to blame someone. Really, I would. But truly, is the band doing anything wrong by having young kids wearing their band merch? I’d love to look and feel young and vibrant, wouldn’t you?

Maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s not about the demographic at all.  Instead, maybe it’s the feeling we get when we go to a DD show or put on our favorite Paper Gods hoodie?  Sure it’s total spin on my part, but at least it’s positive!

I’d just rather not spend the time I devote to the one thing that makes me happiest (outside of my children and dog, that is) by tearing them apart for a marketing choice. Yep, this is kind of a new thing for me. I’m not saying I’ll ignore EVERY thing they do that I don’t love, but this time – they’re getting a pass. Yeah sure, I wish they’d have real fans wearing their stuff….but maybe those kids really are. I don’t know.  On the same token, I also know the overall imagery works a lot better with young, beautiful, energetic kids wearing it, like it or not. Who wants to see me, my bifocals and my 46-year old body in a hoodie? Probably no one. I get it.

The reality is, we all know who their fans are. We know who goes to the shows, listens to their music, and buys the VIP tickets. It’s not typically someone like my oldest – who occasionally swipes my vintage Wild Boys t-shirt and wears it to school. Sure, there are exceptions out there. But on average? It’s me. And you.

And you know, maybe you’re kind and invite the kids and spouse/significant other to come with you every once in a while and share your joy. And that’s cool, because that’s how this whole fan thing works…as long as they know to get the hell out of your way once the band hits the stage, right?

-R

 

11 thoughts on “Come on you know you’re not so young”

  1. Great, interesting blog! I saw young models modeling Duran Duran’s merch t-shirts on Twitter a few days ago. I feel it’s better to have models (late-40s) who were teens back in the ’80s modeling for Duran Duran t-shirts than young models. I feel you, Daily Duranie. Love & peace. 💙✌

    – The ’80s SLB Fan
    Note: I was a child of the ’80s, not a teenager of the ’80s (in case you ask me).

  2. I’m 56 and have been a Duran Duran Fan since their creation! I love seeing these youngsters wearing Duran Merchandise. I really hope that they are True Fans. I might assume that the Models may be asked who Duran Duran are by those of their age, that are not familiar. If so, the Merchandise will raise awareness and bring more Fans on board. That would be awesome!!!

  3. LOL, maybe they should have a couple of younger people and one in their base fan age group pose together. That way it would look like they are illustrating how different generations all love the band. There could be a parent and a couple of teens or college age kids. They could even show a family with a still young looking grandma, her son and his baby/toddler to show off the merch they have available. The son could be taking a selfie with his baby using his phone with a Paper Gods cover, lol. Grandma could be in one of the sparkly tees looking proud of her Durane family. Hey, why not?

  4. I think it was a cool wise decision to “use” young models.
    They have to appeal to the generation of their children, it’s their time. We had ours, the Eighties.

  5. Hello
    1st time poster here, these guys & girls aren’t models though they are modeling duran duran merchandise. Finn Laister is Wendy’s son others guys & girls are his classmates. New merch isn’t selling as much as they want so this serves two purposes one to sell the merch obviously the other to project that youngsters are into the band that DD is still cool. Although these aren’t any random “fans” but are manager’s son & his pals.

    1. Using Duran kids would be too clichéd I suppose since all of them are close to hitting 30s except for Roger’s son Julian who’s a baby.
      Sorry for two replies moderator please combine them if it’s cluttering.

      1. I think that a lot of fans look at this kind of thing and wonder if management understands who they are marketing to, assuming that they themselves, should be in that group. On the same token, I don’t think FANS understand that in order to grow the band’s audience, they must market to people who aren’t *already* listening to Duran Duran, and might possibly buy merch and music. I suppose it’s a double-edged sword in many ways…you don’t want to alienate the fans you’ve already got, but you also need to attract new listeners/fans – and those people aren’t necessarily in their 40s. People my age aren’t, by and large, looking for new bands to follow, at least not in the same numbers the kids are. I get that. It’s taken me a long time to come to that understanding, particularly since I *am* a fan and don’t even really work in this industry – but I get it! -R

    2. I understand. I used the term “models” purely because they are, in fact, modeling the clothing. I mean – for all intents and purposes – and truthfully, because I didn’t know who they were, I didn’t want to make unfair assumptions. I had heard one of them was Wendy’s son, but I didn’t know what his name was or, for that matter, which one was him. I understand where management is coming from on this, and I’d be very curious to hear whether or not having young kids marketing the merch this way really works for them. I hope it does. After all, of course I want to see the band be successful! -R

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