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BizReport : Research archives : October 28, 2008

Viacom study redefines youth

Marketers need to take another look at who they're defining as their youth market, according to Viacom Brand Solutions International (VBSI), as people strive to stay younger for longer by continuing the pursuits of their younger years.

by Helen Leggatt

No longer can age be used to define youth, according to the "Golden Age of Youth" study recently unveiled by VBSI. The youth of today should now be defined by 'the absence of functional and/or emotional maturity' and, as a consequence of 'adult' responsibilities such as parenthood and mortgages occurring later in life, the youth market can now be extended out to the 25-34 age group.

"25-to-34 year-olds are continuing to consume music, gaming and the internet and are enjoying the pursuits of their younger years while benefiting from a greater level of personal and financial freedom," said Kevin Razvi, EVP and managing director of VBSI. "We therefore need to rethink what 'youth' actually means and how we and our partners can approach this constantly evolving group of people."

Of course, not all age groups within the all-inclusive youth age ranges can be treated equally and the VBSI study breaks down the demographic into three distinct phases:-

Discovery - aged 16-19
Experimentation - aged 20-24
Golden - aged 25-34

Even though "Golden" youths often aspire to the same brands and technology as their younger counterparts, they must be marketed to differently to reflect their increased buying power and sense of identity.

To best communicate with this new market, those with adult brands need to adopt a tone more suited towards the youth market to avoid being perceived as an "old" brand, while youth-oriented brands can now reach out beyond the core teenage audience.

Tags: age group, demographic, Discovery, Experimental, Golden, Viacom, youth

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