Cool Chasers Court Fickle Teens

The New York Times: Marketers spend a lot of time figuring out what teenagers want. Teenagers are their most desirable and fickle demographic, the arbiters of cool who set trends, influence brand health and part with their discretionary income most freely.
So as part of Advertising Week 2005, interactive advertising agencies tried to answer the question last Tuesday of what teenagers want. The Interactive Advertising Bureau gathered 10 teenagers onstage at the Millennium Broadway Hotel to informally evaluate the creativity and effectiveness of three teenager-oriented interactive marketing campaigns, all before an audience of hundreds of industry executives.
Designed by the Atlanta-based agency Studiocom, Coke Studios is an online chat game that encourages visitors to create their own music, make friends and decorate an interactive personal studio. Since its creation in 2002, the Coke Studios Web site has logged more than seven million registered users, a large percentage in their early teens.
However, the teenagers on the panel, who ranged from 15 to 18 years old, were not impressed. “I thought it was a really good idea if I was, like, 12,” said Haley Ratner, 15.
“The cartoons reminded me of those kids who dress up like vampires,” said Jill Moskowitz, 18.
After the teenagers disbanded, Juan Pablo Gnecco, the chief executive of Studiocom winced at the reaction to Coke Studios. “They destroyed me,” he said.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.