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Go Home and Shut Up, Already! :-)

Survival? Growth and prosperity? Stimulation? For whom?

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Based on the following observation about advertising to Gen Y youth, maybe we need to take a harder look at the way we do business in a "more sustainable community." Considered a target market since birth, members of Gen Y have been exposed to an avalanche of advertising. Based on Nielsen Monitor-Plus / Nielsen Media Research audience data from the 2004 television programming season, a Federal Trade Commission report estimated that children aged 2-11 were exposed to 25,600 television advertisements a year for a total of 10,700 minutes of commercial messaging in 2004. Projecting from these estimates, children will see more than a quarter of a million TV ads by their 13th birthdays. Add online ads, print ads, radio ads and all other forms of advertising communications to the mix, and many youth are more expert than target.

Should we be so surprised to find that we are struggling to draw youth audiences to our marketing messages? We find ourselves relentlessly pursuing the latest media, devising increasingly novel tactics for our communications. MediaPost ~ Engage:GenY

Okay...where am I coming from? After all, advertising supports our editorial work in California Green Solutions and our blogs.

My husband and I have been in marketing for several decades and unlike some of our colleagues, we didn't get rich from it. :-) We chose the route of helpful information, fighting for integrity and honest communications, etc. Not popular in the world of advertising, especially high tech marcom.

So, I'm still spending my days sifting through a lot of hyperbole and trying to find "better solutions" for you, my readers.

Just like you, my readers who are green and sustainable business and community leaders, sort through another pile of hyperbole and try to bring honest, better solutions to me and your other community members.

Right?

Well, who are the people peppering the Gen Yers with all this advertising? And who is trying to make it ever-more-stimulating?

Confession time. I like graphics, and I uuh and ahh when I see fantastic ads on tv, or classy web designs, or sharp architectural details or elegant community designs.

We LIKE good design. But enough is enough.

What I'm finding is that the elements of life that we value most are the elements we're avoiding at all costs: family and close friends.

I heard an interview last night that reported a startling number -- there are 500,000 youth in Los Angeles County alone, who are not being raised by their parents. That's out of how many...maybe 2 million of our 10 million population? That's still close to 20% of our children are not being parented by their parents.

Who are these parents? Gen Yers?

What have we done to them?

Have we hyped the good life so high that they don't have a desire for the challenges and struggles and rewards of parenting their own children? Have we distracted them from their natural duties? Have we made drugs too available? Have we killed them on our 90 mile an hour freeways?

What matters? What realllllly matters in life? Maybe we need to discuss what really matters in our board meetings, and creative meetings, and marketing strategy meetings.

Aren't we really trying to make life BETTER for people? Aren't we really trying to match people up with viable and valuable solutions to real problems?

What's your solution to this "up is down, and down is up" situation? How can we wonder why youth are not properly educated to handle even entry level jobs? Their stress level must be "unsustainable."

It's not about wealth. It's not about what's legal. It's not about maintaining the status quo. It's not even about careers and jobs -- not really. Today, it is really, truly about survival for 500,000+ of our children. Every year. Every month. Every profit cycle.

Carolyn
A curmudgeon of an ole grandma in the making ;-)

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| youth outreach | youth programs | marketing | advertising |

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