By Ted S. Maier
Continue To Page 2.
Tweeners or Cuspers:
The Center of the Generational Oreo
Born 1955-64, they are the cream in the
middle of the generational Oreo. For years,
the voice of these confident 40-somethings
has been obscured by the media hype showered
upon the surrounding boomers and Gen Xers.
But the cuspers are now ready to speak.
They want everyone to know that they are
neither a part of the "me-first" boomers
nor the Gen X "drifters." Instead, they
are a distinct generational cohort that
shares some of the characteristics of both
these groups, but fits comfortably into neither.
For marketers and advertisers who previously
lumped this consumer group into the others,
the time to change course is now.
oFrom among the following list, poll respondents
were asked to select the three brands they most
closely associate with their generation. From the
looks of it, cuspers envision themselves in a comfy
pair of LEVI'S, lounging (or working) in front of
their Macs, while sipping on a Coke. Brands are
listed in order from most to least popular.
LEVI'S 70 percent
Coke 41 percent
Macintosh 33 percent
Ben & Jerry's 20 percent
IBM 19 percent
Honda 17 percent
I thought that you might enjoy this
email that I received.
A long, long time ago ...
Friends, this is one of the best emails
of all time. If you were born between
1965 and 1977 (give or take a year or
two) you will certainly enjoy this as
much as I did. Don't skip a line, read
this when you have time to take it all
I am a child of the 70's & 80's. That is
what I prefer to be called. The 90's can
do without me. Grunge isn't here to stay,
fashion is fickle and "Generation X" is a
myth created by some over-40 writer trying
to figure out why people wear flannel
in the summer.
When I got home from school, I played Atari 2600. I
spent hours playing Pitfall or Combat or Breakout or
Frogger. I never did beat Asteroids.
Then I watched Scooby-Doo. Daphne was a goddess,
and I thought Shaggy was smoking something
synthetic in the back of the Mystery Machine.
I HATED SCRAPPY.
I would sleep over at friend's houses on the weekends.
We played army with G I Joe figures, and I set up
Galatic wars between Autobots and Deceptions.
We stayed up half the night throwing marshmallows and
Velveeta at one another.
We never beat Rubik's cube, unless you count taking
off the stickers.
I got up on Saturday mornings at 6am to
watch bad Hanna-Barbera cartoons like "The Snorks",
"Jabberjaw", "Captain Caveman", and "Space Ghost".
In between I would watch SchoolHouse Rock
(Conjunction Junction, what's your function?)
On Friday night, Daisy Duke was my future wife. Did
your Dad turn from mild-mannered Bill Bixby into the
"Incredible Hulk" when he got upset?
At the movies the Nerds got revenge on the Alpha Betas
by teaming up with the Omega Mu's. I watched Indiana
Jones save the Ark of Covenant.
I wondered what Yoda meant when he said,
"No, there is another".
Ronald Reagan was cool. Gorbachev was the guy who
built a McDonalds in Moscow.
My family took vacations to South Florida and
collected Muppet Movie Glasses along the way (we had
the whole set). My siblings and I fought in the back
seat. At the hotel, we found creative uses for
Connect Four pieces.
I listened to John Cougar Mellencamp sing about Pink
Houses and Jack & Diane. Boy George bewildered me. I
was a "Wild Boy" for Duran Duran.
MTV actually played music videos. Nickelodeon played
"You Can't Do That On Television".
HBO showed Mike Tyson pummel everybody except Robin
I drank Dr Pepper. I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper,
wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?
Shasta was for losers. Tab was a laboratory accident.
Capri Sun was a social statement. Orange Juice wasn't
just for breakfast anymore. Bacon had
to move over for something leaner.
My mom put a thousand Little Debbie snack cakes in my
Charlie Brown Lunchbox and our world was the backyard
and it was all you needed.
With your pink portable tape player, Debbie Gibson
sang back up to you. Everyone wanted a skirt like the
material girl and a glove like Michael Jackson.
Today, we are the ones who sing along with Bruce
Springsteen and the Bangles perfectly and have no idea
We recite lines from Ghostbusters and still look to
the Goonies for a Great adventure.
We flip through T V stations and stop at the A-Team
and Knight Rider and Fame and laugh with the Cosby
Show and Family Ties. "What you talkin' about Willis?"
We hold strong affection for the Muppets and Gummy
Bears and why did they take the Smurf's off the air?
Afterschool Specials were about cigarettes and
Romper Room was nothing like Barney.
Aren't the Power Rangers just Voltran reincarnated?
We are the ones who still read Nancy Drew, the Hardy
Boys, the Bobsey Twins, Beverly Cleary and Judy
Friendship bracelets were ties you couldn't break and
friendship pins went on shoes.
Pegged jeans were in, as were unit belts and layered
socks and jean jackets and JAMS and charm necklaces
and side pony tails.
Rave was a girl's best friend; braces with colored
rubberbands made you rad.
The back door was always open and Mom served only the
red kool-aid to the neighborhood kids.
You never drank the New Coke.
Entertainment was cheap and lasted for hours. All you
needed to be a princess was high heels and an apron.
The Sit'n'spin always made you dizzy, but never made
you stop. Pogoballs were dangerous weapons, and
Chinese Jump ropes never failed to trip someone.
In your Underoos you were Wonder Woman, Spider Man or
In your treehouse, you were king.
In the 80's nothing was wrong. Did you know the
president was shot? Did you see the Challenger
explode or feed a homeless man? We forgot Vietnam and
watched Tiananmen Square on CNN. We didn't start the
fire Billy Joel.
In the 80's we redefined the American Dream, and those
years defined us. We are the generation in between
strife and facing strife and turning our backs.
The 80's may have made us idealistic, but it's that
idealism that will push us and be passed to our
children-the children of the 21st Century.
We had neighborhoods where in the day we
could play kick-the-can, ring-o-levio, "guns", and all
of the things that made us "Grownup".
There was always that one field that could be used for
either baseball, football, or just a place to hang
That was my field of dreams, Mr. Costner.
At night we would play flashlight tag, and we could
trick-or-treat at night without the fear of being
We loved orange racetracks... that was until our
mother realized she could smack us with them.
We collected Cabbage Patch kids, and their ugly
offspring Garbage Pail kids.
We collected football & baseball cards, but it was
because we wanted to be the first in the neighborhood
to have the complete set.
We played with He-Man and Skelator.
Going to get a Happy Meal on Saturday with Mom or Dad
was worth waiting the other six days in the week.
Was Green Lantern the coolest superhero or Aquaman?
"Wonder-twin powers activate!"
"Hey, my mom will take if your mom picks up!"
This is what growing up in the 70's & 80's was all
about! So if you are reading this and it ALL hits
home then you do indeed have a heritage or a
generation. This is what makes us the most unique
generation of all.
Please pass this on to all that can relate!
My favorite the afternoon show in the mid 70s.