The Problem With Teen Marketing
By Al Berrios (contact Al Berrios)

I'm sure you've heard that you've got to get them virally. That you've got to develop them into brand advocates. That their excitement and spending power are key to growth. Their tastes influence everything. That they're not as skeptical as their parents, and like ads. Teens are analyzed until there's nothing left to analyze, but every time, the most obvious things get overlooked. If you have a teen at home, you probably still don't notice his/her habits. I've had over 50 pass through my offices, and believe me, no research could possibly understand them. But I can tell you these facts:

TEEN FACT #1: teens may lead the world in emailing, but they will only email probably once every 2 to 3 days, and only when it's not a responsibility. To them, email is as whimsical as talking on the phone.

TEEN FACT #2: teens have an inherent need to use instant messaging. It's the first and last thing they do upon sitting in front of a computer, whether it's theirs or not. They will even download the technology if they realize a computer doesn't have it.

TEEN FACT #3: you have your techie teens that know a computer and software inside out. And you have your non-techie teens that will run a computer until it just doesn't turn on anymore, and then it's the computer's fault, not theirs. To watch a teen use a computer is enough to make you mentally exhausted just watching. Speed demon multi-taskers

TEEN FACT #4: teens are generally broke. To them, $10 is a lot. However, since they don't have a strong sense of budgeting, (typically buying things with/for friends, which again, is a limited number of things that all friends can use), their expenditures only seem as though they have sound spending logic. Don't kid yourself.

TEEN FACT #5: Teens are clique-y. But when they're forced to work together, without cliques, what they can accomplish as teams is mind-boggling.

BOTTOM LINE: There you have it, Al's guide to understanding teens. P&G actually believes that they can get "taste-maker" teens that influence larger groups of peers to join some marketing thing and promote their products via emailing each other Get real, P&G! Any teen knows that the only effective way to get teens talking about stuff is instant messenger. It's real time, or you'll never hear from them again.

P&G Targets Teens With Viral Campaign


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