What Teens Think About 'Skins,' And Why Marketers Should Care

MTV's new show, "Skins," has been dominating my Twitter feed lately and creating what seems to be the largest social controversy since the Starbucks logo announcement (which likely indicates that most people will stop caring by the time this is published). I read the tweets, articles and comments, and after being inspired to find out more, I took to my favorite research tool, Crowdtap, to find out just what teens were thinking about and what that says about Skins "pushing the envelope.

I started by tapping in to a crowd of 450 teens just to see how many of them had heard of the show (78%) had heard of it) and built my line of questioning from that subsequent group. The results, as you'll see below, brought some interesting new insights into play while also reaffirming some existing ones.

#1) They didn't judge brands by where they advertise. The majority of respondents did not respond negatively to brands that advertised during the show, because they only saw it as the brands trying to reach them as an audience during a teen-targeted show.



#2) What seems controversial to older audiences is not as controversial to them. One-third of teens who had seen the show agreed that MTV's "Jersey Shore," which has now grown into a four-season show, is more controversial than "Skins."

#3) They weren't as impressionable as we tend to think. The majority of respondents who'd seen the show did not think it was an accurate depiction of teens, and 93% said that watching "Skins" did not make them want to act that way.

#4) They weren't hearing about it through social media. MTV's in social and traditional channels, but used more traditional channels to drive reach. Only 9% of respondents had heard about "Skins" through social channels (Facebook, Twitter or YouTube), with most citing TV as their source.

I wasn't completely surprised to see that the majority of teens did not find the show as controversial as everyone else does, which at the end of the day makes it seem like teens aren't as quick to react or engage, and as a result are harder to access.

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