The Trouble with Tweens: MTV Struggles to Reach Elusive Audience

Today's teens and tweens (ages 8-12) are constantly on-the-go. Between cell phones, YouTube, Myspace, Facebook, video games and iPhones, it's increasingly hard for marketers to know where to turn to target tomorrow's core customers. This group of sophisticated spenders is not going to be reached with the Toys "R" Us catalogs and Saturday morning cartoons their predecessors thrived on.

While earlier groups of teens were known as the 'MTV Generation,' referring to their lack of attention span and attraction to flashy, fast-paced content, this generation seems to be rebelling against traditional teen-magnet MTV. What used to be a sure-fire way to reach young minds is now losing ground, according to Wired's analysis of Viacom's Q2 earnings reports.

To help combat this problem, MarketingVox has put together a collection of tips on seeking out and reeling in the tween audience. According to their piece, 33.3 million teens were in the US in 2003, with discretionary spending power (allowances, gifts, earnings from odd jobs) totaling $42.3 billion and was projected to increase by 1.7 percent year over year.

Top motivating factors for tweens?

  • The need to belong
  • The desire for power
  • More freedom from parents (but not too much. That parents approve of their choices is still important to them)
  • The desire to have fun — sensory stimulation is crucial to a product's success
Check out the rest of the MarekitngVox How-To for more tips on targeting tweens.

Image: National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign


jshapan said...

Really love your review on tweens!

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