Getting older can be rough. And it may be doubly hard for advertising people, who not only have to deal with ageism in the business but are also perhaps more keenly aware than most of their waning interest to marketers as they get deeper into their 30s.
For one millennial copywriter in Minneapolis, the whole subject felt worthy of rapping about.
"The idea of 'age' is such a touchy subject," Alex Frecon tells Muse. "So many creatives, I think, secretly worry about aging out of the industry. More broadly, I feel like millennials haven't come to terms with the fact that they're no longer the center of attention. They're buying houses now. Having kids. Becoming friends with the people at Home Depot. I wanted to try and tackle this very real fear of becoming 'less relevant' from a humorous angle. The hope being that people might be able to commiserate together. After all, we're all in this together!"
The result of his interest in this vague generational angst is the music video below, bluntly if aptly titled "I'm Old Now."
The most amusing part of this whole thing, perhaps, is that Frecon is just 32 years old. (Imagine how dark his videos will get when he's in his 40s and 50s.)
Frecon says it took two or three weeks to write the song, after being initially inspired by gradual but unmistakable shifts he was seeing in his Instagram feed.
"I noticed it slowly changing from group photos of 'night outs' to pictures of weddings, houses and babies," he says. "From there I spent a lot of time thinking to myself, 'What else has changed?' I made a giant list of every trope I could think of, and then started building a narrative from there. It's a process that runs pretty similar to advertising. You land on an objective/brief, you brain dump, you clean up and you tinker until you run out of time."
He shot the video over five days at 10 different locations.
"A lot of people are surprised to learn we didn't have a budget for this. Like, at all. Zero production dollars," he says. "It was all us asking people for favors, running around and hustling."
Scheduling was a challenge. Frecon had set a production calendar, but between his own freelancing and his collaborators Kolter Ridge (producer) and Collin Goodspeed (DP/cinematographer) both working full-time agency gigs at Fallon, they ended up constantly shifting things around.
"Landing locations was also a bit of a struggle," he adds. "I spent a few days cold-calling different big-box stores—Home Depots, Fleet Farm—before finally finding a local hardware store that was game."
In the end, the shoot went went well, but could have been hazardous on a few different occasions.
"For the confetti shot, the original idea was to just blast me with confetti cannons—Kolter was adamant he shoot me in the face with it—but the cannons themselves had blatant warnings against that. Like 'DO NOT POINT AT FACE' kind of warnings," Frecon says. "Naturally, I was very worried about this, and so Kolter and I argued about this for a good 15 minutes about it. Ultimately settled for an "aerial" shot slightly above our heads."
The softball scene could have also ended badly.
"That was one of four takes that I did," he says. "I obviously don't know how to slide properly, so I went home that night with a lot of raspberries. I remember one of the softball players watching actually commented, 'I honestly thought you had broken your leg on that first one.'"
Check out more from Frecon on his website, including the story of when he went to North Korea to play hockey.