So. . . this little video popped up a couple of days ago and it’s quite fascinating. Give it a look as it tracks the top 15 best global brands and their ranking since 2000. In fact, you might even want to watch it twice. The first time around, take a look at the bar charts on the left and how they change. Then, the second time check out what’s happening on the bottom right.
And while you’re watching. . . both times. . . keep children and teens in mind. Think about their spending power, their brand preferences, and how they have played into this changing landscape. Don’t forget that they are the most targeted market segment on the consumer landscape. They are young, they are impressionable, they want to fit in, and they’ve got huge amounts of disposable income. Consequently, they’re marketing targets. You might remember me sharing these quotes from a couple of marketing text books just last week. . .
“Kids are the most unsophisticated of all consumers; they have the least and therefore want the most. Consequently, they are in a perfect position to be taken.” (in Kids As Customers: A Handbook of Marketing to Children)
“Their brains are the least developed, they have the least experience, and therefore they are in a perfect position to be taken.” (in Consuming Kids)
Finally, as you watch, remember that marketers are reaching out to kids and exerting an influence. That influence doesn’t only result in brand recognition, money-spent, and an improved ranking for the brand. Marketing’s greatest power is to shape how our kids look at and live in the world. That’s right. . . it shapes their worldview. There are spiritual implications to all of this.
It’s for this reason that we continue to push youth workers to employ two really important strategies. First, teach kids how to process the 4,000 to 10,000 marketing messages they encounter each and every day critically and Christianly. Here’s a free resource from CPYU that can help you out: our Simple Seven Ad Filtering Questions. It’s a fun little exercise that will make for a great youth group meeting! And second, teach parents how to lead their kids through the marketing maze. A resource you can use to do that is our Just Add Parents: Raising Marketing-Savvy Kids easy to use parent meeting resource.
Now. . . give the video that double look. . .