Perhaps the only thing worse than generational thinkpieces criticizing millennials for being lazy and ill-prepared (for a world that baby boomers left as little more than a smoking pile of embers) are products marketed explicitly to millennials. There are plenty of products made with millennials in mind, but when you come right out and say it, you instantly expose yourself as an out-of-touch old who just put on a backward hat so he can come into your “crib” and “rap” with you.
Here’s a joke: what’s the most offensive thing you can call a hipster? Answer: a hipster. Similarly, I can’t imagine that there’s a single millennial out there who scours Snapchat for companies who advertise that their products are made for millennials. (I think I might be a millennial, but I was born in 1980, so I’m kind of in between generations. I actually experienced high school for a couple years before I had an email address, and I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 20.)
Hilton has their new “TRU” brand of hotels that’s made for millennials, and while that’s are pretty bad, JOON is definitely worse. They both share an emphasis on being authentic, which… guys, come on. If you say something is authentic, it isn’t. Marketing authenticity is like Schroedinger’s cat paradox. However, JOON is worse by a long shot by making its name sound like the French word for “young.” Hang on, I have to go barf, and I’ll be back in a sec.
I’ll concede that I’m not a professional marketer, so I might not be aware that there’s a segment of French society who is sitting around waiting for an airline that signals to them that it’s for young people in the most ham-handed way possible. However, as someone who’s right on the edge of being a millennial, I had some ideas that I wanted to volunteer. If you work for JOON, feel free to take any and all of these.