Find a cause

If you're actively pursuing youth, invest in cause marketing. Courtney Counts, cultural anthropologist and director of cross-cultural communication at Atlanta-based agency GTM Group, says it's imperative because teens feel their future is being mishandled, and they are looking for ways to correct that. As a result, he explains, they strive to associate with brands that are active in social causes.

If you’re actively pursuing youth, invest in cause marketing. Courtney Counts, cultural anthropologist and director of cross-cultural communication at Atlanta-based agency GTM Group, says it’s imperative because teens feel their future is being mishandled, and they are looking for ways to correct that. As a result, he explains, they strive to associate with brands that are active in social causes.

‘But also, it lets them know you care and that you appreciate them bringing their business to you,’ he adds.

Sony PlayStation is one brand that believes. In February it hosted a concert in Montreal, dubbed ‘Gaming for a good cause,’ which included bands Living Things, Mobile and Bedouin Soundclash. It cost 15 bucks to get in and every penny went to the Make a Wish Foundation of Quebec.

Matt Levitan, Canadian marketing and PR manager for PlayStation at Toronto-based Sony Computer Entertainment Canada, says a charitable stance resonates with today’s youth, and that the company is currently looking at expanding the concert idea.

‘What we found about today’s youth in terms of studies and focus groups is that they are very active in causes, in terms of giving their time and efforts,’ he says. ‘I certainly think they would rather see a company doing something positive than not taking a position.’

Another recent do-gooder campaign for PlayStation was the Campus Cup, which saw university-students exercise their thumbs for the chance to win $6,000 towards their tuition. ‘We knew that if we could give away a grand prize that gamers would want, it would garner attention on campus,’ says Levitan.