Marketing/Brands, Schools of Thought, Shorts, Visuals
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How To Successfully Market a Product to Hipsters

Ok, not necessarily hipsters, but something like it, someone like me. By “someone like me” I essentially mean the 18-26 years of age demographic, but more specifically, educated, culture-obsessed young adults that might work in marketing related industries or have studied media extensively at school or both. This translates into an attitude of: “I’m too smart to fall for your marketing ploy. I do your job for Christ’s sake! In fact everything you’re doing, including having your product endorsed by [insert pop star here], is pissing me off.” How do you break through to those smart-ass, social media guru, hipsters? The same way you sell things to anyone: make it look cool.

Of course the irony here is that things that might be “cool” to normal people are not cool to these people. This is not a new concept; lifestyle marketing (and niche marketing) has been going on for ages. I know because I’ve done it myself while working for Red Bull for four years (here I am exemplifying the part where I think I know everything and cannot be swayed by any form of advertisement). But while I’m busy proving the non-compliance of this group of people, I will also prove that we can be won over! This has happened twice in my life.

The first time occurred when I was in Chicago for a wedding in 2010. I was casually perusing SongKick when I saw that the Cold War Kids and Matt and Kim were having a concert near Wrigley Field and it costs… was FREE. I peed my pants with excitement and began to devise ways to leave the wedding early. I recruited my cousin (who definitely doesn’t like Cold War Kids/Matt and Kim, he’s now a prominent Chicago DJ loved by Bros everywhere) and met up with two guy friends from Uni that I discovered were conveniently also in Chicago when one texted me to tell me that there was tons of Edouard Vuillard at the Chicago Institute of Art.

Chicago wedding attire ready to be marketed to!

I arrived at the venue ticket-less with only $20 and my Fake ID. Unfortunately it’s difficult to look like the girl on my ID (who shall remain nameless because she now works for NBC and might not want her illegal activities of the yesteryear floating about) when wearing wedding attire, because I don’t look that much like her in the first place. Why was it imperative that I was 21 years of age? Because the free event was sponsored by Heineken, and what a SMASHING job they did! Three floors, amazing venue, rooftop view, pop-art gallery of Heineken ads, free pizza from Little Italy, free Chinese food from Chinatown, and free t-shirt silk screening. If you read my ‘about’ you know I am a sucker for FREE! But I didn’t even tell you the best part: unlimited, FREE bottled Heineken on floor one, FREE Heineken on tap for floor two, and plenty of hipsters to bum cigarettes off of on floor three (although I don’t smoke, this made my friends happy). Everyone was maybe a little too energetic during ‘Hang Me Up To Dry.’ My singing was possibly a little too chipper during ‘We Used to Vacation.’ Thank you Heineken.

How do I know this worked? Well like most marketing you don’t know that it worked, but when the same two guy friends from Uni and I went to see Real Estate play in Detroit the next week, Chris asked what I wanted to drink. I told him I didn’t have any preference, he could choose. He came back with two Heinekens, smiled and said, “I guess their marketing worked on me.”

Ok so those aren’t Heinekens and we aren’t at Real Estate. This is actually at the Best Coast concert when I was actually 21, but it’s the same crew (Brendon, me, Chris) and it’s the same venue. Heineken needs to throw another concert bash for repeat buys ;) but the warm fuzzy feelings about the brand remain forever tied with my memory of that night.

The second time marketing got the best of me was when I realized that one of my favorite lifestyle blogs,, was owned and operated by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, aka the world’s leading Luxury Group. Basically everything they post is by nature an advertisement, but they know just how to do it. Every feature is well done: the content is interesting and exclusive, they always have collabs from the right big name people, the cinematography on the films is superb, the photographs are original, and the music is always decent. Basically they make it look cool to the people who don’t think normal things are cool. For a live example check out the launch video for Director David Lynch’s re-design of Vintage 2003 and Rose` 2000 bottles of Dom Pérignon, filmed as an homage to his famous film Mulholland Drive by Luke Gilford.

Click For David Lynch’s Champagne Dreams because doesn’t allow embedding.

Let me make a checklist for you

Original musical score for film: COOL
Luke Gilford (MOMA and The NYT): COOL
David Lynch: REALLY COOL
Vintage Expensive Alcohol: COOL
Re-designs: COOL
The Kills performance: COOL
Diplo set: COOL
Hollywood: COOL (for the circumstances)

I mean, I’m trying to go to that party! And so that my friends, is how you market to people like me. I might know you’re marketing something, but it’s still awesome enough that I like it. I just helped LVMH advertise Dom Pérignon and I’m not mad about it.


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