Marketing to youth? Try a Dose or a Vice

When marketing to 18-34s, you need to speak their language. If you can't, partner with someone who does. Fortunately, there are a couple of youth rags currently offering the chance to do just that.

When marketing to 18-34s, you need to speak their language. If you can’t, partner with someone who does. Fortunately, there are a couple of youth rags currently offering the chance to do just that.

First up is Vice, the glossy freebie originally launched in Montreal. The pub’s in-house marketing agency, Addvice, is launching ‘Slapshot,’ a travelling hockey art exhibit sponsored by 2K Sports and Xbox, in an effort to intro the brand-new NHL 2K6 videogame. The show started popping up in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa beginning Sept. 23.

According to director of marketing Erik Lavoie, sponsorship opps are still available with crowds expected to reach up to 350 at each venue. In fact, 800 partygoers showed up at the opening in New York City last month.

‘We were given a lot of liberty [by client 2K Sports] to promote the new game. And so we asked 30 artists from all over the world to immortalize hockey players,’ he explains.

Vice is also producing regional city guides ‘as a way to leverage national advertising opps’ via page buys. The first, on Toronto, was released in June. Montreal and Vancouver editions are slated for release this month and spring 2006 respectively.

Meanwhile, the CanWest daily youth rag Dose is hosting a series of live music events on campuses across the country, starting this month. The Offishall Music Tour presented by Solo Mobile, featuring rapper Kardinal Offishall, will land in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. At press time, gold-level and local sponsorship opps were still up for grabs.

‘Any [brand] that’s interested in talking to the college and university crowd is welcome,’ says director of marketing Mark Shedletsky. The events will be supported via Dose magazine, Dose.ca and through local street teams, which are visiting campuses and handing out swag including 10,000 sampler CDs. Last month, a similar concert in Toronto, starring the Dandy Warhols, was sponsored by Virgin Mobile and Molson Canadian.

Dose also has plans to launch a peer-to-peer mobile blogging program called ‘Pills’ later this month. The mag is searching for up to 100 bloggers from across the country. Stickers with unique short codes will be dropped on Dose boxes in each city. Users are then able to text in that short code to receive their daily ‘pill.’ Sponsorship opps are not available – yet.