A few days before last week’s road trip, I went shopping. I didn’t find much, but I did spot this shirt while wandering aimlessly around Forever 21:
The shirt says:
What caught my eye specifically, beyond the fact that it’s a product with names on it, was the inclusion of the name Dave.
Names used in marketing (or on products themselves, as in this case) can give you a lot of information about the type of customer a company is targeting. A commercial featuring people named Madison and Tyler, for instance, is aimed at a different demographic than one featuring Debra and Gary, or Camila and Diego.
To me, Dave seems a bit old for the teens and 20-somethings shopping at Forever 21.
The graph above indicates how many babies were named Bradley, David, Samuel, and Ryan from 1950 to 2000.
David was a top-10 boy name from the mid-1930s until the early 1990s, but it was really big pre-1970. It was the #1 boy name in the country in 1960, in fact.
Today’s oldest 20-somethings were born circa 1985. David was still more popular than Bradley, Samuel and Ryan in 1985, but it wasn’t as massively popular the 1980s as it had been in previous decades.
This might not seem like a big deal, but I find it really curious. Someone chose the name Dave for this shirt instead of Josh, or Matt, or Justin. Why?
There may not be an answer, but after doing some research, I’m wondering whether the choice of Dave wasn’t intentional. Here’s what I found in a Business Insider article about Forever 21 published a year ago:
Forever 21 is expanding its customer base — Forever 21 is becoming a fashion department store that caters to all members of the family — not just teens.
That means a broader set of customers are being gobbled up by the retailer as it releases new lines targeting men and older demographics. Yet, at its core, Forever 21 still has a similar target as the big teen retailers — 18- to 24-year-olds.
Maybe Dave was included to catch the attention of me and all the other 30-somethings and 40-somethings wandering aimlessly through the store? Hm…
And now the question of the day!
Let’s say you’re in Forever 21 and you see this shirt. And then you see someone — a female — walk up, take it off the rack, and buy it. In your visualization, what age is this person? And why do you think your brain automatically chose that age?