Youth

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Beyond the beauty spot

If the cosmetics industry has been slow to respond to new attitudes among youth, you have to admit they’ve got it tough. When you talk about youth, you’re talking about image, and image is exactly where the change in attitudes lies.

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Toy biz plays on retromania

In the 1983 flick Trading Places, a down-and-out Eddie Murphy explains the economics of the hood to his filthy rich co-stars; if he doesn’t return home clutching a G.I. Joe action figure with a ‘Kung-Fu Grip,’ he won’t be getting any action from his wife, who wants to present the coveted plaything to her kid for Christmas.
This scene depicts the renown of the toy way back when, and interestingly enough, Hasbro has just reintroduced the popular 70s ‘Kung-Fu Grip’ function to its 2002 G.I. Joe collection.
But the military man isn’t the only toy making a comeback from earlier decades, as marketers strive to connect with the nostalgic mind-set of parents post 9/11 by unveiling dated properties, often with a contemporary twist for today’s kids. There are a slew of them – Cabbage Patch Kids, Strawberry Shortcake, Incredible Hulk, Care Bears, and Masters of the Universe, to name a few.

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Jeep campus promo – karaoke woos the student beast

September is traditionally party time at Canadian universities, with students trying to have as much fun as possible before the bitter winds – and the real academic grind – arrive. To coincide with this fall frivolity, DaimlerChrysler is making the rounds to campuses, promoting its Jeep brand and getting involved with the frenzy of frosh activities.

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On-the-go snacks are where it’s at

Long gone are the days when student lunchboxes enclosed an ordinary bologna sandwich on Wonder Bread and a Granny Smith apple – a diet that’s as about exciting as math class. As kids reluctantly return to classrooms across Canada, at least they can be assured that their backpacks are probably stuffed with appealing goodies, thanks to marketers who continue to develop playful and convenient, single-serve treats.

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Brands draw on art in lifestyle campaigns

I walk into a groovy little warehouse space in Kensington Market called Presto. It looks like any Toronto hotspot: a devil-may-care mix of collage art, mismatched vintage furniture and turntables. But as I glance over at the athletic gear lining the walls beneath the graffiti and the huge document which proclaims: ‘This venue is supported by Nike, to support the launch of our Presto brand,’ I realize this is no ordinary hipster hang-out. Welcome to the new age of experiential marketing.

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Everfresh goes slasher in summer campaign

So what’s the story?
You wouldn’t think juice could rip someone’s head off, but in an attempt to connect with the gore-loving, 16- to 20-year-old male demo, a new campaign for Everfresh jokes about doing just that.

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The mainstreaming of streetball

Beneath the hoop, four brawny, shirtless streetballers are gathered. The one clutching the basketball starts bouncing it as he chats with his chums. Seconds later, the camera shifts to the famous Fruit of the Loom ‘Fruit Guys.’

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Quest for youth

Youth is desirable, whether you’re talking skin creams or target demos, and broadcasters know that if they corner the coveted 18 to 49s, it won’t be long before buyers come knocking.

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Bootlegger pushes denim to back-to-school crowd

Fashion retailer Bootlegger promises to have a style of jeans to suit every individual preference, a claim it will promote in a new campaign due to launch in mid-August.

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Revealing the kid in street kids

Almost every street in a big city’s downtown core has one, sometimes a group of them. They huddle in bus shelters, on storefront stoops and in the parks. Street kids, young people without homes, often runaways from abusive families, sometimes need a little charity.
But to many city dwellers they’re no more than a nuisance, and the words ‘spare any change’ are often met with ‘get a job.’

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The House Hippo roams again

This fall, Concerned Children’s Advertisers (CCA) will launch one of the most comprehensive children’s media literacy programs Canada has ever seen.

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Cracking the kid code

Being in the kid business, there’s one thing you can be certain of: they are a moving target. So what does a snapshot of today’s kids look like? They are tech savvy, globally aware, and brand conscious. They collect Yu-gi-oh cards, play video games like Golden Sun, and are active members of the Neopet community. They’re a fickle bunch and cracking their code is the ultimate challenge.

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Understanding youth

‘Anyone who doesn’t understand ants are for stepping on doesn’t understand kids.’

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Tweens in the niches

‘Tweens are not a homogenous group. It’s not a label.’
While most marketers would agree with this message from Michele Erskine, director of research and managing partner at Toronto-based research and media firm Youth Culture Group, many fail to acknowledge that the lucrative eight- to 14-year-old group can sometimes be better reached through niche lifestyle or special-interest magazines than through tween-targeted publications.

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Marketers ramp up activity in Canadian skateboard scene

Across Canada, while some kids are attacking curbs, handrails, and stairways to perfect grinds and ollies, more and more of their less extreme counterparts have adopted skate brands as a lifestyle badge. The market no longer solely incorporates the hard-core skater, but has stretched out to include those youth who have never stepped onto a board with four wheels.
As Toronto-based youth marketing consultant Greg Skinner puts it: ‘Twenty per cent of kids do the skating, and 80% buy into it. There’s an aura of coolness that goes along with wearing the brands.’ This point hasn’t gone overlooked by marketers, as mainstream brands, from athletic wear giants like Nike and Adidas to cola manufacturers like Cadbury Schweppes and Pepsi-Cola, are now targeting the demographic.