Sunday, April 02, 2006

Millenials In The New Millenium

Advertisers Are Targeting A New Generation Of Spenders
By Leslie DeJesus

It’s not hard to see why corporate America and advertisers have jumped on the catering-to-the-young bandwagon. It’s a marketing strategy that dates back to the years of American Bandstand, if not earlier. Aside from there being over “80 million of them” teenagers have been known to dispose their income just as quickly and easily as they obtain it, and in today’s world it’s no different.

Anchor woman Guliana Depandi for Entertainment News channel E! hosts segments on trends that are taking Hollywood by storm (Trend E!) and for the most part these trends include t-shirts the young stars are wearing and the gadgets the celebrities are seen photographed with. The entire network caters to “Gen Y” mainly because a lot of the moneymakers in Hollywood today are young. Which is why during the program’s opening montage, Depandi’s voice could be heard stating, “It’s your hook up to young Hollywood.”

It seems that these days there’s an emphasis on being young and consequently advertisement is mainly geared towards the younger impressionable demographic. One reason being we’re the “gotta have it now” generation. It’s almost as if waiting is old fashion or a thing of the past. Most service providers offer “get it now” options or provide “Instant downloads” for services dealing with—but limited to music and cell phones.

One can also argue that the Internet also caters to the young. Today it seems as if every household has access to the Internet and/or has at least one computer at home. The Internet serves as a high-tech word of mouth advertising machine. With the click of a mouse one could get weather updates for cities and countries around the world as well as updates on when the latest “must have” products will be hitting store shelves. By linking a friend to a website via AOL Instant Messenger another potential consumer is born.

Marymount Professor Millie Falcaro has often asked her Photo II class “what will happen to photography in the long haul?” Will photography still be deemed as an art form years from now when anyone with a cell phone can instantly snap a picture? She’s argued that it’s harder to teach darkroom techniques to students who are reluctant to wait around for a picture to develop when they could easily correct or dispose of unwanted images with the click of a button on a digital camera. This poses an interesting question: are kids today spoiled by the technological advances, or are they simply acting in accordance to the times?

Some might argue that because this generation has so much at their disposal so quickly they become dissatisfied or bored just as fast, forcing the older generations and advertisers alike to work quicker in order to keep up with the demands. It’s the reason why every couple of months a new Ipod is introduced, and why more advanced or sleeker looking portable gadgets are manufactured, because there’s a market for it and once a young person is seen with this product, many more will soon follow.

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