Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Sure Sign of Aging

You know you're getting old when you start making dated references and you get blank stares. It happened to Johnny Carson. Even Jay Leno still makes O.J. Simpson and Menendez Brothers jokes. You have to fight against getting stuck in a certain era. You gotta stay current.
I failed miserably last week. I was working with a young woman on a television programming project. She asked me what times of day I would like this event to run. I said, "I don't know. I don't think it matters. Just do Dr. Pepper: 10, 2 and 4."
Blank Stare.
"Dr. Pepper? What do you mean?"
Then, I explained to her about the numbers on a Dr. Pepper bottle. Then, she Googled it. It turns out Dr. Pepper hasn't manufactured the 10-2-4 bottle since 1971. She said, "I wasn't even born in 1971." Of course she wasn't. Do you think she knows who Johnny Carson was?
The 10-2-4 reference endured for a while after that, but I have to acknowledge it has been almost 40 years since they had 10-2-4 on the bottles.
I demand a comeback. I need a nap.

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Anonymous said...

Oh the horror...the agony.. time has slipped by oh so fast. I've used references that were met with blank stares. When I taught classes at Centenary, I would illustrate lessons with quotes from pop-icons of my day...which I thought would drive home the point only to find the "blankest of expressions" from my then GenX students.

Things like "Tet of '68", "mood ring" and trying to explain why the "White Album" was one of the most significant music collections were lost on most of the class.

I've had to trade in "Joe Walsh" for "Creed", "Boston" for "Nickelback" and Emmy Lou Harris" for "Amy Winehouse"... (...gotta say that is one disturbed young gal!)

10-2-4... oh how I remember the days... BTW (TRIVIA ALERT!)...did you know that: the 10-2-4 stood for the recommended times during the day when a human body needed a little "pick-me-up"?
As I recall, an old study on human metabolism revealed that there are specific times during the day when the human body experiences an energy slump due to metabolic processes. The makers of Dr. Pepper seized this info and turned it into an ad campaign promoting and extolling the virtues of Dr. Pepper as an "Energy Drink".

Sooo in essence, Dr. P was promoted as one of the first Energy Drinks similar to today's Red Bull, RockStar, etc.

And so history repeats itself.

(Above info vaguely recalled from an episode of PM MAGAZINE: Chuck & Becky Go to Dallas and visit Dr. Pepper Plant circa 1982.... and they say TV wasn't educational.)

Darrell said...

Actually, I did know that. I probably saw PM magazine.
let me ask, Did Becky wrinkleup her face at any point while she was talking about it?

Pat Austin Becker said...

The one that kills me is when I talk to my students about Vietnam (which they thought was in Hawaii) and then they say, "Oh my GRANDFATHER was in that!" Ouch.

Anonymous said...

Wrinkled her face in manic expressions and twanged away in polysyllabic expression.

"No's not controverShul... it's COntrow-versseEEAALLL!*" ( If I had a beer for every lesson in pronunciation from Beckers...I'd have to get a new liver!!)

Ken Jenkins said...

I was in a night class at LSUS, and remember I am only 31 years old. But we were talking about bad marketing ideas and I brought up New Coke. The professor was the only other person who knew what I was talking about. Brutal.

Anonymous said...

Hey how about the Clear Pepsi Campaign from just a few years ago...came out about the same time as Zima and then we had "Clear this"...and "Clear That". About the only thing that was clear was that no one bought into it and nothing sold. I'm still amazed at Zima. I tried it once...and in my clear zucks!!