Brands Are Just Marketing Tools Say Teens

Brands Are Just Marketing Tools Say Teens

According to a new Teen+Brands study by Viacom's The N channel, nearly half of teens surveyed said they tend to stick with a few of the brands they really like, but, 52% felt, "Brands are created by marketers just to get more money."

Rahda Subramanyam, VP of research and planning for MTV Networks kids and family group, said "This generation is highly aware not just of brands but marketing strategies. Overt marketing techniques are not going to work."

The report, in conjunction with Open Mind Research, and OTX Research, and based on interviews with kids 13-19 online, via cell phones and in focus groups in March-revealed Generation Y'ers "...respond to brands that reflect their lifestyle and offer innovation, creativity and a high degree of style," said Irma Zandl, principal of The Zandl Group, New York.

Included in brand attitudes in the report:

  • Of the 47 brands tested, Apple's iPod digital music player emerged as the brand that is "absolutely essential to teens," not only their favorite but also as defining their generation.
  • Half said the brand of soda matters, with Coca-Cola the most popular; 47% of the boys said fast food brands matter, compared to 41% and 39% of girls, respectively.
  • Regardless of sex, those who expressed the most intense loyalty were often the same people who would quickly leave one brand for another. Nineteen percent will swap brands due to boredom. One in four will switch if a brand becomes too popular.
  • TV (per 32% of respondents) and magazine advertising (28%) still proved to be the most influential forms of media.

"There is still more trust in a TV commercial or in an edited magazine versus a pop-up ad or the messages you get on MySpace from fake spammy friends," said Anastasia Goodstein, founder of teen marketing site

Brand names are most important when it comes to

  • Computers (64% of the respondents)
  • Shoes (56%)
  • MP3 players (55%)
  • Cell phone service (54%)
  • Clothes (53%)

Despite being wired 24/7 with mobile devices and online communities:

  • 40% feel the word "chill" best describes them
  • 44% say music most defines them
  • 39% think family
  • 38% feel moral values characterizes them


Review the whole story by Kenneth Hein in Brandweek here.



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