Tuning In To Media-savvy Girls: 10 Things To Know
1. This is the time of the girl – we’ve seen it coming, and it’s here. Global organizations focusing on girl “upliftment,” serving future family “upliftment” is working. There are now more girls in U.S. universities than boys.
2. Address the “missing in media” puzzle. Geena Davis Institute on Gender Media:
Myth: Gender imbalance issues have gotten better. Fact: Statistically, there has been little forward movement for girls in media for six decades.
3. Youngster media queens are naturally on the rise. “It wouldn’t be fair for all the girls to buy princess and all the boys to buys superheroes cause… [some] girls want superheroes.” Check out 4-year old Riley on Marketing.
4. Know it and show it: Girls are into what they are into. They are a self-feeding society. Businesses that are on the outside need to get inside.
5. Sharers, creators and carers. They’ll share the “wow” stuff, and if such stuff isn’t out there, they’ll create it.
6. Real, extreme, & fantasy. Girls want to know about real girls doing real things (changing the world), and they want fantasy and extreme. They want it all.
7. Media-savvy stalkers. They stalk friends and brands. Propel them with obsessive love options of fun and value.
8. Playing in the reinvention realm. Who are you talking to? Are you talking to her online or offline personality? Everything is an evolving continuum to a girl. This is how she learns.
9. They are about today and tomorrow, what’s next? The future is theirs, and they want to inhabit it now. Vintage is a different story, the past is enthralling as reinvintage, an iconographic symbol that represents something youth can stylistically own, understand and share.
10. Generation of change. This is the change generation of all change generations; this generation is in tremendous flux. With it, our world is in flux. As a result, it is important to give a positive, empowering, emotional voice to youth, to girls and women. The common voice of girl in society is new and needs amplifying.
For insights into how and why, I went to Jody Turner, trend hunter and founder of CultureofFuture.com. “Each generation can say they are ‘the’ change generation,” she says. “Yet, the current youth generation has a confluence of change we have not experienced. The combination of socio-digitech and socio- economic shifts has created a ‘super charged’ situation of change. Are schools and colleges prepared to educate for this future change? Enter the media-empowered native… the young one who is teaching us (and themselves) a thing or two about designing their lives forward.”
(1) An aging downward market influence as digi-natives find the best how-to info, best deals and best products online for their friends and families.
(2) A shift toward complex social overlays with pop-up engagements becoming more fluid. Youth are creating a self-feeding society.
So how do businesses on the outside engage?
Youths are sharers, engagers and co-creators. They are looking to remix interesting info from all points of entry. How to stay relevant?
- Be a continual listener. This is our road to relevancy.
- Give them credit. They are fully media savvy at a very young age. Recognize it. Exalt in it.
- Bring them something they can’t create on their own; they’ll be grateful.
- Give them a true platform to speak and share from, free-range experiences that allow youths to stretch their skill-set muscles, all-important.
- Hold believing eyes. The current landscape can be scary for us, let alone youths. Share living examples of young success so they have models to follow.
- Youths today want a certain amount of guidance from an enlightened perspective. This requires a media story-telling reinvention.
New Storytelling Focus
- Extreme “nowism,” being present with current issues that are trending.
- Fantastical and Real provides safe ways for youth to discuss life issues obliquely with friends and family.
- Reinvention with give back, while mothers are reinventing, girls are seeking new playgrounds to explore their identities within. From MTV and DoSomething.org to Lady Gaga mentoring the young founder of the anti-bullying WeStopHate.org, we see brilliant examples everywhere of new media reinventions with engaging give back.
We encourage TV and other media channels to build lasting loyalty through relevancy and meaning, something youth will not forget going forward.