Focus on the historical truths and current concerns of teens and young adults - “youth culture” Avoidance of the following most common myths results in the most authentic teen & young adult strategies Often find these myths are a lot like Urban Legends - seem like they could be true even if they are not, original source of the info is murky but somehow still credible, spreads thru skillful storytelling and often accelerated by traditional and social media
Media coverage about young people, says teens and young adults are: &quot;I'll prepared for a demanding workplace...&quot; &quot;Raised by doting parents who told them they are special...&quot; &quot;Organize their work day around their yoga class...&quot; Truth is that physical, emotional, intellectual development of young people is consistent and so too are their beliefs and concerns - young people are not so different today As far back as the 1940’s when the term teenager was coined and studied as a group, teens cited Relationships, Family, Jobs and Money, and Independence as their key concerns
Enormous amount written and discussed about the current generation being the most environmentally concerned and their activism pertaining to environmental causes - this is true, but does not translate into the environment as a marketing platform to reach young people Young people are growing through a “selfish” phase of their lives and see concerns about energy and clean water not as global, but as local: whether the light bulb work in their own room, whether the water in their own kitchen and bath is clean Unaided, only 2% of teens consistently rank environmental issues as a key concern; the environment as a concern to youth has been overstated.
Unlike environmental concerns, the impact of money - to have it or not - is tangible and its impact immediate In USA, 16-24 year old unemployment is 18%, double the national average - the worst job market since Bureau of Labor Statistics has been studying the demo; similar circumstances exist around the world This is long term and has cultural impact - a whole generation concern about money, unemployed, underemployed, how that affects the psyche including its affect on so called recession proof purchases - the financial concerns of youth are understated
Lots has been made of parents as friends to their teens - from helicopter parents who intercede at every activity to college grads moving back home; these behaviors are not the choice of young people and have more to do with changes in parent attitudes and financial realities than changes in teens Each generation of teens has developed their own culture of independence; From 1960’s flower power to 1970’s punk to today's Do It Yourself/Customization movement - the desire for independence has never been stronger
Youth have always had technologies, born into a world where they already existed; they've had the opportunity to decipher and decide what technology (or traditional media) is best for specific uses in their lives You can't overstate the importance of mobile - several studies predict mobile devices being the PRIMARY means of surfing the web by the end of next year, but teens watch 2.5 hrs of TV per day - on their own schedule, multitasking while watching and endemic media like action sports publications are thriving as advertisers are successfully reaching a core demo thru this means Unlike adults who want their iPad, iPhone, and desktop to sync and use tech merely to be omnipresent and have access to all, teens segment their tech, choosing based on many factors including with whom they are communicating - friends, family, brands - youth have specific media consumption habits, unlike those of adults