Kids will try anythingNickolodean logoWho’s trying to connect directly with children? To be honest, its anyone who understands generational theory.
General Motors made a deal with Nickelodeon earlier this year to promote its Chevrolet Uplander on the kids network (Mediaweek, May 9, 2005 – premium content). Other unexpected Nickelodeon advertisers have included The Bahamas, Embassy Suites and Microsoft.
It was the Yankelovich Report that first popularised the term “generation gap” nearly 40 years ago. Now, the Yankelovich’s Youth Monitor Study 2005 suggests that Millennial kids are closing the gap between children and parents faster than ever before. The key reason: conversations. Interactions between kids and their parents seems to be less confrontational now, than in previous years. Shared interests between parents and kids helps too. Some of the most often cited shared interests include movies like The Incredibles, Madagascar and Shrek.
Maybe this is one of the early benefits of the “connection economy” – the emerging era in which emotional intelligence, conversations, networks and connections are key competitive differentiators.

The study also shows that Millennial Gen-ers (or Gen Y) are becoming more altruistic, with 91% of kids say spending time volunteering is very important or somewhat important to them, up from 79 percent in 1997. “I would say that some of the reasons why we’re seeing this is there’s a greater global awareness,� said Peter Rose, a partner at Yankelovich. That has implications for marketers, said John Page, youth insights manager for Yankelovich. “We know that kids pick up on when companies connect with a cause,� he said. He uses the example of Whirlpool’s practice of donating appliances to Habitat for Humanity. There are many others.

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