Plasma TV? Talk to my kid

Stephen Baker

I've written over the years about the challenges of advertising to chatting, zapping, multi-modal youths. Clearly they're an important market, lots of money, and an all-important glimpse for advertisers of what's ahead.

But yesterday I was talking to scientists at Tacoda, the behavioral advertising company. And they mentioned the importance of reaching my 14-year-old in order to get to me. Now this has been true, in various versions, for a long time. Food giants advertise sugary cereals to tots so that they'll throw a fit in the supermarket until you buy it. But I hadn't thought of teenagers' roles as consumer electronics gurus. If we ever buy a big plasma TV or the next version of Tivo, our 14-year-old is going to be our chief consultant. He keeps up with such things.

So how do advertisers reach him? I just checked iTunes. He subscribes to v-casts for the 1Up show and Xplay. He reads Wired. He doesn't generally read my stuff in BW (or this blog, truth be told). But he ate up last year's takeout on Game Boy, the videogaming whiz, Fatal1ty.

One area where we pay no attention to him: Cars. If he had his way, we'd be driving a heavily pimped ride--and taking out a second (um, third) mortgage for gas.

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