Brands Capitalize on Youth Influencing Parents

Posted by Jane Ott on Thu, Dec 01, 2016 @ 09:37 AM

The more technology proliferates our lives, the more native kids become to any aspect of technology, often putting them in the position of being the in-house “experts” and helping mom and dad with setting up and programming devices.  Combined with Gen Z kids having an increasing say in non-traditional household matters (such as travel and tablets) as we’ve seen in our YouthBeat parents’ data, this generation has been dubbed as “reverse influencers” – they influence their parents just as much as their parents influence them. 

Marketers have been capitalizing on this trend by engaging kids in their advertising from the ground up – influencing parents by giving their kids a role in the marketing game.  It’s not a new concept, engage kids to ask for something to spur parent purchases, or even use kids to market a product not at all related to them.  And, parents hear multiple requests in a day, even in an hour.  So what is it about these marketing campaigns that look different with this generation? 

  • They break away from products that kids traditionally have had influence on
  • They offer parents a new way to connect with their kids and tug at emotional ties by sharing a kids’ point of view of something that parents may take for granted
  • They give kids an opportunity to push boundaries and shine in a grown up world by validating their feelings, dreams, and imaginations
  • They focus on simple tenets of childhood that every kid, and parent, can relate to
  • They take it beyond traditional media into new formats or tie ins with relevant causes to reinforce the message   

What are some of the brands that are doing this well?   Some of our favorites include:

  • Dove’s Love your Curls. This commercial, as well as their related book of poetry and curly hair people emojis reminds us that parents and kids win when we show kids how to love themselves, just as they are:

Tags: advertisment, parents, Youth, TV, marketing, brands

3 Back-to-School Rules

Posted by Amy Henry on Fri, Aug 02, 2013 @ 10:21 AM

Back to school shopping is well underway, although in some parts of the country, the first day of school is over a month away. According to the 2013 National Retail Federation Back-to-School survey,  24% of families with kids in K through 12th grades reported that they would begin shopping 2 months prior to school’s start (up slightly from 22% last year). The New York Times noted that some marketers began to plant the seeds for back-to-school shopping as early as May, citing Office Depot’s One Direction cause marketing campaign as an example. But with most marketers bracing for a back-to-school shopping period in which spending will decrease from last year’s record highs, getting back-to-school marketing, advertising, product selection and pricing will be more important than ever. How can retailers and marketers compete for these fewer dollars and deliver the needs of more discriminating back-to-school shoppers in 2013? We’ve got three rules for back-to-school that smart marketers will follow:

  1. kmartFocus on value, not price. Price might be prominent on the minds of moms, but she’s not willing to compromise – even when she has a coupon. We think Target gets it right this back-to-school season with their “Kids Got Style” campaign. Moms know that Target offers low prices (“Expect More, Pay Less.”). But compared to Kohl’s back-to-school campaign, which focuses on mom saving (even showing a close-up of the receipt that suggests she saved over $80), Target keeps the focus on delivering kid confidence.  Stylish products take center-stage, but the hero isn’t mom – it’s their confident kids. Target makes mom’s mission more admirable – it’s about getting the best (in a fiscally responsible way), not about pinching a few pennies.  
  2. Keep it light. While Target might have the market cornered on showing kids with style, Kmart has taken a refreshing approach – showing the funnier side of back-to-school. In a bully-sensitive schoolyard, an ad that shows kids “talking trash” might be a risky move. But this playful piece from the discount retailer turns the tables on typical kid slams. The kid stars of these spots, who reflect a more diverse kid cohort and who look decidedly real, call each other out with clever comebacks like “yo mama must have cavities because that hoodie (that she bought at Kmart) is sweeeeet!” Or (our personal favorite), “Your mama’s like a tasty cheese plate because she saved so much cheddar on those Kmart jeans.” Just try to stay stressed out about long back-to-school shopping lists after watching this spot.
  3. Give her a guide. Much has been made of the lengths that moms will go to comparing prices and online pre-shopping before heading to the store for back-to-school stuff. But the smartest marketers don’t depend on mom doing all her homework. In fact, one trend we think that’s worth following? Help mom make the grade. Pottery Barn Kids caters to a mom who is willing to pay a premium for a custom carrying case, and the retailed knows that these moms really want to get their kids’ gear right. On their website, they let moms shop by child grade – particularly useful for finding the right size backpack for that not-so-preschool, but not-so-big-kid backpack. Moms might be willing to look around for the perfect products for her kids, but she also values brands that give her the reassurance that she’s getting size and style right the first time. At back-to-school, showing you understand what kids need matters as much as offering a varied selection.

Tags: youth research, preschool, advertisment, shopping, school

Creating An A-Peeling Kid/Tween Promotion

Posted by Amy Henry on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

While Despicable Me 2, which topped the box office for the past two weekends might be benefitting from family-movie-friendly weather across much of the country, we would be remiss if we ignored the true pull and power of the film: enter the Minions.Chiquit Banana

These golden-hued mischief-makers made a big impact on kids and tweens after the original film; with their silly speak, funny shapes and sizes and relatable role as “minions” (what kid doesn’t feel like a servant to an all powerful adult at least some of the time?).

So it’s no surprise that Despicable Me 2 earned over $250 million in promotional partnerships before the film’s release, just prior to Independence Day. Predictably, there’s a collection of cute Happy Meal Minions. Cheetos is running a “One-In-A-Minion” sweepstakes, and put Minions in a special edition of Cheetos “Mix-Ups.” Honey Nut Cheerios and Lucky Charms has gone old, school, offering a literal “prize inside” the box.

But the promotion that stands out to us comes from an unexpected source: Chiquita Banana. From our perspective, this might be the perfect partnership for kids. Here’s what we think brands can learn from Chiquita’s strategy and execution:

  1. Keep it simple!  Minions love bananas. This simple truth, told to viewers in the movie, makes infinite sense to (and we say this with affection) LITERAL kids! They are yellow. They look kind of like bananas. Therefore they love them. So they chose this URL: www.minionslovebananas.com. When it comes to kids promotions, don’t overthink it. Keep it simple, and kids will understand.
  2. Play AGAINST type. Bananas don’t exactly have a rebellious rap. They’re one of kids’ first foods. They’re easy eating. They don’t require utensils. And, of course, simple sweets like bananas get squeezed out as favorite snacks as kids turn to tweens, and certainly to teens. BUT, Minions bring a bit of edge to the bunch. Bananas have always had a humorous halo, and Chiquita reminds us that bananas can be as fun as they are fulfilling. So when choosing your promotional partner, don’t just consider what “fits” – think about your partner as a pathway to the place you’d really like to be.
  3. Own it. When it comes to kid and tween promotions, simply being associated with the right partner can be helpful. But Chiquita shows that promotions that matter make the most of any brand/partner association. Other brands include the Minions; Chiquita makes it hard not to think about bananas when you think of these little guys. Granted, Chiquita has a unique advantage in that they only have to own “bananas” – not differentiate themselves among a formidable category competitor. But Chiquita seems to claim these characters in a way that other Despicable Me 2 promotional partners have not.
  4. Package it. While all of the Despicable Me 2 partners include Minion imagery on their offerings, Chiquita takes the best advantage of the little bit of real estate they have. The brand went big, placing more than a half billion Despicable Me 2 stickers on the front of these fruits. The variation gives kids a chance to literally pick their favorite, and makes a healthy option even more a-peeling for moms.
  5. Follow-through. Chiquita’s site offers games, kid recipes and even a chance to win a trip to Hawaii – all great ways to extend the life of this association online. But the games on the site – “Minion Memory” and a “Minion Maker” feel younger than the presumed target for this promotion (which, remember, involves a PG –rated film). The site lets you vote for your favorite Minion model, which includes a Minion wearing a hula skirt. These Hawaiian themes Minions win among voters in almost every case, yet the “Minion Maker” doesn’t give you options to create a luau-looking Minion. And finally, the kid recipes don’t connect to the Minions theme – a missed opportunity for both kids and tweens, as well as for moms. To take advantage of a strong strategy, make sure your execution matches developmental level with look and feel and game play with age group.

Have you seen a smart strategic partnership in the past year? Tell us about it!

Tags: advertisment, food, movie, youth media

Rediscovering Parenting Power

Posted by Amy Henry on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 @ 09:31 AM

Portraits of parenting (effective or ineffective) almost always involve some indication of who holds the reins in their relationship. Successful parenting might have once looked like a mom or dad who is obeyed. More recently, the powerful parent is a positive one – a mother or father who can get what they want without raising their voice, or even saying “no.” And more and more parenting ads position the truly powerful parent as one who is willing to relinquish control to their kids. In other words, a truly in control mom or dad makes their child feel like they’re in charge.

Perhaps it’s the promotion of kinder, gentler parenting, or the modern mothering mandate that it’s all about the kids that have led to a (somewhat) recent deluge of depictions of dads and moms who parent with pride (and a healthy dose of humor). Millennials are often described as a cohort whose parents told them they were stars right from the start…So is it any surprise that today’s parents who are Millennials, and those who parent Millennials, have put parenting back in what might seem to be its rightful place? Today’s parents prefer to promote an image of parenting that shows them strutting, even when they’re stressing, and keeping it real even when they’re riding in a minivan.

Swagger WagonFirst, the soundtrack of parenting today is more rap than nursery rhyme. Rather than retreating when times get tough, parents play a pep talk on YouTube! Subaru started this trend with their ad for the Sienna SE, affectionately referred to as the “Swagger Wagon” by the mini-van driving mom and dad who star in their spot. This duo defies notions of proper parenting by breaking all the rules, and following their own, despite giving in to the inevitable need for a vehicle that prioritizes volume over vroom. While dad does ask, “where my kids at” in a funny moment in which dads’ casualness turns to momentary concern, this spot and song stay watchable because they show parents who clearly keep the kids in the picture, but haven’t fully given up on their adult aesthetics.

Fiat U.K. made media waves recently with its Gangsta Rap, in which a stressed out mum describes the sometimes grim reality of her “Mother-hood.” The psychology lives close to the surface – when babies scream, cereal spills, or, as she notes, “work and home is a mental combination” – mom doesn’t meltdown. She gets gangster. And she doesn’t give in, she shows off.

And parent pep talks aren’t just for moms. The most recent viral video that position parents as real and righteous at the same time came from a stay-at-home dad.

He’s daddy and he knows it.  This dad doesn’t cope, he controls. Today’s parents see themselves as superheroes. But these superheroes aren’t the shiny, one-dimensional kind that we’ve seen on screen in the past. Instead, they are the flawed figures, who feel conflicted and challenged and committed to their mission, all at the same time. They have back stories and pasts (they were once real people!) and they expect to be acknowledged for it. At the same time, they’ve undergone a transformation. Like any good superhero, they’re hoping to be seen not as being weakened by the loss of their “regular” self, but to be embraced for the resilient and resourceful stars they are now.  

Tags: advertisment, mom, family, dad, TV, youth media, parenting

The Unexpected Power of Paper

Posted by Amy Henry on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 @ 09:50 AM

There’s no doubt about it: this generation of youth is more attuned to digital spaces than any in history. But despite being digital natives and online ingénues, they continue to value “paper” in some very specific ways…

WishlistWhen I was growing up, I remember the thrill of getting the Sears Wishbook. Like many kids before and after, I would dog-ear the pages to make Christmas list creation efficient and comprehensive! These voluminous works of commercial art insured that no toys was left unconsidered. As I got older, catalogs continued to play an important role during the holidays. Clothing, room décor, and even the earliest of technologies were easier seen and shown than described in words.

But that was then…And surely, this ritualistic run-through of the catalog must have been made obsolete! But, in fact, today’s households with kids, tweens and teens, and certainly with preschoolers, receive more catalogs than ever. And kids continue to peruse them. What do catalogs offer kids, and why do they remain so precious?

  • A picture speaks a thousand words. As much as the Internet can be visual candy for kids, there’s nothing quite as compelling as a fantasy world, spread across two pages. The Pottery Barn Kids website allows for searching and seeing items of your choice, but only in the catalog can a child (or more likely, parent) imagine themselves in the perfectly appointed bedroom or play space.
  • In an information-heavy world, catalogs curate. While online brands help you pick from among known options, catalogs continue to corner the market on the “at-home” browse. And catalogs from mail-order companies offer interesting and unique items that kids, tweens and teens might not find when they visit their favorite sites. For parents, this is even moreso, as educational catalogs for little kids add Montessori toys, “classic” toys and toys for the brainy child (or the child you hope becomes brainy!) via a veritable buffet of appetizing morsels.
  • Touch matters! It may be easier than ever to create collages online, and there’s little need for teens to print out their photos to show them off. But still, there’s something irreplaceable about the properties of paper. And while this might be the touchscreen generation, paper might be perceived as even more portable. They can move it from wall to wishlist. They can review it even during those “no-tech” times, or in their “low-tech” zones. If anything, paper reviews don’t infringe on screen time limitations. And another benefit? Catalogs come in the mail. Nothing says “you matter” like getting a “gift” with your name written all over it.

Far from having all the answers related to catalogs, we think there’s more to explore. How do the volumes of catalogs that arrive at kids’ doors jive with their environmental sensibilities? Which catalogs break through what can be an overwhelming amount of clutter? And for online brands, is a paper presence a worthwhile investment? We’ll keep our eye on this old but au courant shopping ritual and keep you informed!

Tags: advertisment, shopping, culture, trends

Tough Talk on Childhood Obesity

Posted by Amy Henry on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 @ 09:33 AM

Recently, a group called Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta ran a series of PSAs with the goal of reaching Georgia’s parents by breaking through the clutter of anti-obesity messages (see the PSAs and the article from the Chicago Tribune on this debate). Their tagline, “Stop Sugarcoating it, Atlanta,” suggests that their aim was to shock, or at least to shake up a populace that they perceive to be apathetic about the increasing size of its children. The only problem…they succeeded.

Most of us would probably pay little attention to yet another TV spot that spewed statistics about childhood obesity and its consequences (increased levels of diabetes and asthma, just to name two oft-highlighted downsides of carrying around extra weight); but these ads not only spoke about, but also showed the emotional consequences of being overweight. The captivating commercials feature overweight kids standing in sparse settings. We can’t tell where (presumably in Georgia) they’re from, what SES category they fit into, and in most cases, whether they come from obese parents. We don’t know what type of schools they attend, or what they serve in the cafeteria. We, the viewer, are simply confronted with the outcome of a complex system of events, conditions, and choices. And, importantly, the outcome is more apparent in the eyes of these kids than in the size of their bodies.  Child Obesity

It might be easy to applaud the efforts of this group and call it a day, but as the Tribune’s Bonnie Miller Rubin suggests, the response has been far from what this non-profit group expected. Instead of receiving accolades, the group has found themselves accused of “blaming the victims.” Experts have lined up on either side of this debate: do we stigmatize children further by showing unhappy overweight children, or do we keep these real children out of it? And, to echo a concern we raised in a blog post in 2011, are we focusing kids’ attention on weight in a way that might have undesirable side effects? We want our children to want to be healthy, but what are the consequences for those kids who currently are not? My own four-year old is proud to show off knowledge gained in school about how terrible it is to eat unhealthy foods (while, just a minute later, he refuses the broccoli we offer and begs for a fruit snack). Our kids know, at increasingly young ages, that eating healthy and being overweight is “bad.” Even if the shame in obesity is more about caring for your health and less about looks (at least for the youngest kids), there’s no doubt that we’re presenting the anti-model without unpacking the complex causes of the childhood obesity epidemic.

And importantly, will these ads really work to change behavior, or at least, affect attitudes? Perhaps they will make their viewers uncomfortable, and even angry. But in the aftermath, maybe families will take stock of their habits. On the other hand, this approach could open the door for many other ads that stigmatize the children who have become obese (again, because of a host of complex factors). This campaign could, as its critics contend, convey a less-than-flattering image of overweight kids that may be hard to combat on the playground, or in the classroom. Or maybe, the seemingly authentic fears and tears of these children will make us sympathize with them. The only thing missing from these ads: some solutions that empower kids, not just expose them.

Tags: research, Social Issues, advertisment, Youth, culture, youth media

How Young is Too Young? The Facebook Debate

Posted by Amy Henry on Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 10:21 AM

In the past year, the most common question we've answered at YouthBeat is "at what age do kids start using Facebook?" Obviously, the answer has changed every few months, as Facebook has spread like good news or like a virus, depending on your perspective, among the connected cohort called Digital Natives. From where we sit, the game has played out differently among youth than one might expect. Certainly, more and more teens make the plunge all the time. The number of friends thatKids on Facebook 14-18 year olds have, on average has grown exponentially since we began tracking in 2008. 70% of teens report having visited a social networking site in the past week (among online teens). But what about the younger kids? What's the actual - versus the "legal" - age of entry into the online social sphere for today's youth?

An article in Ad Age from this week claims that over 7 million users of Facebook don't meet the age threshold of thirteen - the official age that users can join according to the site's rules. However, we know that rules are sometimes meant to be broken, and that, of course, applies to virtual rules too. 24% of 6 to 12 year olds in our YouthBeat survey say they visit social networking sites. Many tweens tell tales of sneaking onto the site, but more youth we've chatted with say their parents put them on the site. Some younger users only sign on to say hi to family, and many meet up with mom and dad on the sites while their working parents are on the road.

Critics of social networking worry that kids are getting into friending too fast...Are we on the verge of a time when 6 year olds will count their colleagues on the computer? Or when our 6 year olds will "like" their favorite brands with a virtual versus real thumbs up? Probably not. The need for speed that fuels the teen Facebook frenzy doesn't really exist for kids. Collecting is cool, but Silly Bandz might be more interesting to inventory than your classmates. And kids' networks tend to be much simpler and more manageable than adults'. They don't have college friends across the country, or friends who they can't keep track of. While families might be far aflung, a few Skype sessions might do the trick more than the maintenance of an account bearing your name. And most importantly, social networking can feel more work than not for this generation. They, moreso than their older brothers and sisters, recognize that this game is complicated. Given the choice, gaming sounds like a better use of time than getting into a conversation with friends from school.

But it may also be too soon to tell...Disney now owns Togetherville...Everywhere we turn, we see another "safe" social space set up with this younger age group in mind. And at the same time. The protests of parents seem to be losing steam (even if a few passionate parents continue to speak out against socializing for the kid set). No matter what happens, we'll keep watching.

Tags: advertisment, Youth, kids tweens teens, Facebook

Kids and Healthy Eating: What Are We Really Worried About?

Posted by Amy Henry on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 @ 09:54 AM

In the past few months, kids and healthy eating once again entered the public discourse…First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move, her effort to fight childhood obesity, and more accurately, to “raise a healthier generation of American kids.” Sarah Palin responded by asserting that parents have the right to give their kids desserts…Republicans, Chris Christie (New Jersey’s controversial governor), and possible presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, surprised many with public statements supporting Mrs. Obama, citing their own childhood struggles with weight as the reasons. In 2010, food companies continued to shy away from advertising their products to children, with many adopting higher internal standards than external standards would require. California banned toys in children’s fast food meals, while an Arizona House committee recently passed a bill banning cities or counties from restricting toys in similar meals.

Debates over how to feed children – and who has permission to police what children eat – are nothing new. For parents, the meals and snacks that their children eat have always been seen as symbolic of their style of nurturing. Experts of all kind have fed parents sometimes conflicting information about the right approach to not only nourishing kids’ bodies, but crafting their habits. How one’s child dines is seen as being about more than what kids put in their mouths. It’s also understood to be a reflection of what the adults in their lives have put in their heads.

Children’s eating rests at the uncomfortable juxtaposition between the right to raise one’s family with freedom and the constant conversation on family values that has entered the political sphere. It raises questions about whether parenting belongs in the public or the private sphere. And it makes all of us wonder what role parents are required to and even permitted to play in the decisions about raising their children.

But perhaps in this debate, one important voice has been lost: kids’. Most kids we speak to understand that eating healthy matters, even if their definitions of “health” and their understanding of the food that qualify as healthy differ. Many acknowledge that it’s hard to eat healthy, at least some of the time. But most kids also recognize that they have some control in how they eat.  The content of kids’ cupboards might differ significantly across socio-economic lines, and school lunches (despite minimum standards in public schools) made available to them differ significantly in terms of food quality and appeal (even within the same geographic area). So while adults continue to focus on the politics of healthy eating, kids are increasingly seeking to reconcile what they learn in school, from parents and even on TV with the everyday choices they make about their meals, but mostly, about their snacks.

So what does this mean for marketers? Look for ways to make healthy eating easier for kids – more choices, better taste profiles and more convenient offerings. Speak TO them, not just ABOUT them, and let them decide. And finally, beware of being one more voice talking only to parents about this issue. At some point, parents will tune out…But kids are increasingly tuned in to health, and might even give healthier options a try all on their own.        

Tags: advertisment, food, Youth, kids tweens teens

Kids’, Tweens’ and Teens’ Presence Felt at the Super Bowl

Posted by Amy Henry on Mon, Feb 07, 2011 @ 02:28 PM

The numbers may not be in yet, but we can assume that the Super Bowl was watched by many kids, tweens and teen. According to our YouthBeat survey, 76% of youth ages 6-17 watch NFL games regularly, and that number rises to 79% among 8 to 12 year olds. 

Acknowledging the presence of younger viewers (and viewers young at heart), Fox finished off their evening with a special Super Bowl themed episode of Glee, complete with spoofed Super Bowl Ads and a half-time rendition of Thriller. Within the game, performances were decidedly kid-friendly, or at least kid-conscious. Lea Michele (Glee) sang “America the Beautiful” (just before Christina Aguilera’s lyric-lapsing version of the national anthem), and the Black-eyed Peas kept half-time relatively tame in their bedazzled costumes. We only wish that Usher’s appearance served as an intro to his protégé, Justin Bieber – can you say Bieber Bowl 2012?

Ads might not acknowledge the youth audience as much as we would expect, with a cluster of spots for family/kid films airing after 10:00 pm on the east coast. But there were a few, and if our 2010 YouthBeat results are any indication, we would expect that some of these ads will stick in kids’, tweens’ and teens’ minds for more than a fleeting moment…

Last year, Doritos’ Super Bowl ads topped tweens’ and teens’ list of favorites and this year’s consumer-created ad in which a man literally faces the consequences of teasing a pug with the cheesy is sure to hit their radar. Raising the stakes from dogs to bears, McDonald’s aired a spot early in the broadcast that began with a familiar “McDonald’s as reward” motif but took an edgier twist.star wars darth vader volkswagen super bowl ad

But our favorite ad, for Volkswagen Passat, tapped into an insight we’ve seen played out in auto advertising over the past few years: thinking about cars means thinking about kids for many of today’s consumers. Or maybe kids just serve as the perfect symbol for the whimsy that we want to feel about driving? In any case, we think this ad pulled in parental nostalgia and contemporary kid culture by using a Star Wars theme (Clone Wars on Cartoon Network has kept the intergalactic franchise fresh for kids and tweens) and left us with a happy ending that parents and kids couldn’t help but love.

Click here to see it for yourself!

Tags: advertisment, kids, Sports, TV

What 2010 Tells Us about Kids, Tweens and Teens Today

Posted by Amy Henry on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 @ 02:17 PM

In our YouthBeat Yearbook, we wrestle with the headlines, dive deeply into data from across our twelve survey topics and look at what mattered in the market in 2010. But before we do that, we thought we’d share a few trends that told us about the way kids, tweens and teens thought in 2010, and what it means for 2011.

The Lady Gaga Conundrum: Overly Produced but Authentic. For today’s youth, independence doesn’t mean gritty footage, do-it-yourself fashion or even casual chic. In 2010, Lady Gaga struck a chord with youth with a deliberate self-depiction that felt anything but accidental. However, Gaga got it right by being herself – whoever that might be. Like Justin Bieber, who might have been pegged as part of the music machine in the past, she kept her cool by carefully crafting her image, and also crafting tweets – making her accessible, and allowing her “true” voice to be heard.

Good Guys Get What’s Theirs. Look no further than Glee!  to see that squeaky clean shows (even those that feature a little drama) have found a place. While we can’t deny that the cast from Jersey Shore and the moms from 16 and Pregnant  got attention in 2010, when it comes to what youth are watching, more care about characters with good – or at least complex – intentions – than with Gossip Girls. Perhaps youth have gotten burned out from the bad girl and bad boy celeb stories that seemed to dominate headlines in 2010, or maybe reality TV began to look just too unreal. But in any case, we think that kids, tweens and teens would agree that to be “bad” in 2011, celebs and shows might want to try to be “good.”

SpongeBob as Seal of Approval. SpongeBob
Okay, that might be going a bit far, but in 2010, a licensed character didn’t signify sub-par food as much as it meant a seal of approval on a slightly healthier option. Nickelodeon’s and Disney’s policies on partnering with healthy food manufacturers became truly visible in the marketplace with Mickey found on snacks like unsweetened dried apples. Shows on both networks also worked in healthy eating and living into their narratives. So in 2011, protecting your brand might mean partnering with a property that cares about parents’ perspectives, or managing your own property by making deals with partners who make a positive difference in the life of kids, tweens and teens.

Design on a Dime. Prior to the economic downturn of the past few years, we had begun to notice that average suburban girls were showing up to focus groups with designer purses…We noticed more and more conversation surrounding brands that many adults would find to be aspirational. Now we’re seeing designers catering to this market (see Coach’s Poppy line) while being conscious of the price-point that’s really practical for today’s increasingly cost-conscious kids, tweens and teens. Mass merchants are youth’s favorite places to shop, and designers that might have previously been inaccessible have found a way to meet their young consumers half-way. We think this formula – along with offering deal-savvy youth special ways to save – will continue to redefine fashion in 2011.

Tags: Lady Gaga, advertisment, parents, Youth, Teens, music, tweens, Justin Bieber