Shopping with The Breakfast Club
My e-mail was buzzing this morning as my other 40something girlfriends were reacting to the new back-to-school ad for JC Penny featuring a re-creation of "The Breakfast Club" with teenagers acting out scenes from the movie while Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" plays.
You can see the commercial and longer "back stories" on the archetypes for the classic '80s John Hughes movie here. You know the drill: the diva, the jock, the nerd, etc. The punk that was Judd Nelson appears to be missing. Must be impossible to find fingerless gloves for the kids these days.
The reaction from my Gen X group is ranging from "sacrilege" to "wow, are we so old now that we shop at JC Penney?" to the realization that "We (the 80’s teens) are now the target of all advertising…..just listen to the music for radio ads, TV ads, and dear God….the stuff is on Muzac. I feel violated."
The Saatchi & Saatchi creation got a bland review from Adweek, which noted that "the campaign will resonate more with parents. Perhaps nostalgia for "The Breakfast Club" is the modern equivalent of watching a Busby Berkeley musical during the Depression." You think?
The oddity for me is that I almost never see commercials these days because with Tivo I just zip through them. But last night I was walking through the living room and literally stopped in my tracks when I saw the kids re-enacting the scene where they were dancing in the library. At first I thought they were remaking the movie. So I rewound it. Hmm, this totally got my attention, a hallmark of a great ad. And then I watched with sad recognition that I'm the middle-aged mom this is aimed at. They are using this movie that I loved when I was 17 because it recognized angsty teens as intelligent beings who had a lot of deep stuff going on in their lives. Now it's a punch line to sell denim jackets.
*Sigh* I wonder what Molly Ringwald is up to these days. Oh yeah, she's starring as the mom of a pregnant teenager in a new show this fall. Ugh. For nostalgia's sake, here's the real dance clip from the movie and note that it's not the Simple Minds song they dance to, it's Karla DeVito 's "We are Not Alone"
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne