Generation X is on its way out and Millenials, people between ten and 28, are on their way in says Viacom-owned broadcaster MTV.
To try to prove the point it’s launching a new division MTV Scratch which will help research, design and market brands to this rather wide-sounding demographic, presumably in the hope that such brands will use MTV as an important part of their media mix.
Whether this means ‘media’ brands or stuff you can buy in shops or online seems a little unclear at the moment. But MTV, which has weaned itself off music videos and celebrity shows to a line-up that includes what it calls ‘authentic’ programmes like Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant is sure that big companies want to reach this group but don’t quite know how.
The reason the Millenial group is so wide is that huge numbers of people from ten to 28 have the same attitude to brands and therefore buy the same ones. MTV claims they see brands as ‘additive,’ which presumably means they think they add value to their lives. Or maybe they just want more of them.
This could be another way of saying that children are just as brand-conscious as their elders with, in many cases in the US anyway, just as much money to spend. US 2008 numbers show that consumers aged between five (yes, that’s five) and 24 spent $170bn.
According to MTV 28 is the cut-off point where youngish adults stop acting like kids but “they still buy the same brands.”
Well it’s an interesting notion. MTV was the first broadcaster to successfully target the ‘yoof’ market in its pop video days and has recently reported a 23 per cent rise in its US ratings through shows like 16 and Pregnant. US cable ratings are booming at the expense of the networks.
Stand by for the onset of Armani-clad, St Tropez-coated ten year olds (but with even cooler MTV-style brand equivalents).