Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Obnoxious Club Kids

This Braun ad I spotted in a recent issue of Redbook is so awful I’m not even sure where to begin.

It presumably targets mothers who have a bit of disposable income and like to see their college-aged sons clean-shaven. So, to be fair to Braun, if you’re not one of these mothers already, pretend you are and let’s see how well this ad works on you.

If you’re like most “mothers,” even before you can contemplate the confusing (i.e. meaningless) headline WEAR YOUR FACE, I’m going to guess something even more confounding stops you.

That prick kid they picked for the photo shoot

Sure, he’s handsome. But he looks like a total jerk. The kind of kid who definitely does not remember your birthday or even to thank you when you … give him a razor. Not that he won’t be grateful. It’s just what he needs to chop up the expired Percocet tablets he bought with that extra $20 you so lovingly slipped into the card. (Until he realizes it’s an electric razor, which will take a while since he’s stoned out of his mind.)

But hey, “life is one big classroom”

That’s what appears in quotes under the other picture of him dancing in an awful hat. And it’s probably what this little jerk will say to you (his imaginary mother) when you ask why he has so many “incompletes” on his report card.

Yes, Braun, you’ve convinced us: This really is “the perfect gift for going back to college.” Well, maybe after your son gets out of rehab.

So what have we learned from this?

It’s not enough to know where to find your audience, Braun. You have to understand them, too. And even without spending $250,000 on market research, I’d wage that your target moms would far prefer to see a smiling, fresh-faced college kid on (gasp!) a college campus. And that they’d prefer NOT to think about what’s he’d been up to the night before.

In conclusion, the only thing more awful than this ad is admitting in writing that I read Redbook.

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9 replies
  1. Fran says:

    How is this troubling, obnoxious or offensive? I found it kinda funny actually! Have you seen some of these college kids today!! Props Anna!

  2. Genevieve says:

    To those who find Anna’s thoughts on an ad gone wrong troubling, obnoxious and offensive, you’re completely missing the point. This blog entry isn’t about condemning club kids…it’s actually not about club kids at all. It’s about a critical analysis of mistakes so many businesses make when trying to reach their consumer through advertising that completely misses the mark. Anna’s sharp wit aside, her observations are thoughtful, measured, and usually dead right. I’m a definite fan.

  3. Anna Goldsmith says:

    Fran: Ha! Thank you.

    Genevieve: Absolutely right — this is not a take-down of club kids at all. It’s a take down of a company (or really, the ad agency they hired) who doesn’t understand their target audience.

    And Jim: Ha! Wouldn’t that be funny? Come on, Bob, fess up: Were YOU the C.D. on this?

  4. Brian says:

    I, too, am troubled by your vicious critique of this ad, Anna. Your ‘tude is outrageous.

    I just don’t understand why you are picking on Braun. They are just trying to help college kids get a decent shave. That is a valuable and needed public service. I live in the East Village – essentially NYU’s campus. And the facial hair here is shocking. Handle-bar mustaches. Tom-Selleck mustaches. The-cop-from-the-Village-People mustaches. Then there’s the unspeakable thickets taking root below young gentlemen’s chins.

    I, for one, am glad Braun is helping the mothers of America take a stand against this.

  5. Keke says:

    Bob misinterprets Anna’s “‘tude”. Perhaps, the only reason he finds it obnoxious and offensive is because he has some sort of resentment for strong intelligent women who dare to speak out against conformity to the mass media. I hark back to my favorite T-Shirt when in High School…”I [heart] my Attitude Problem!”

  6. Erin C. says:

    Oops, Bob! Is that a little percocet powder I see in your stache? Hey, it’s alright, opiates will make you moody.

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