Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kids these days: star-makers in the making

Just knocked off a round of focus groups in Atlanta and New York city and my biggest non-proprietary finding: Kids are a lot cooler in NYC than in Atlanta.

Okay, not fair, based on my limited recruit, but have to admit I was pretty stunned by the Islanders’ range of activities: multiple jobs, internships in Germany studying film distribution, running shows out their Brooklyn lofts, discovering the British Invasion all over again. But the second biggest non-proprietary discovery had to be that the new dream has evolved from wanting to be a star to managing them. A solid third of the kids I met were putting on shows, managing talent and/or distributing content through all kinds of channels. I kid you not: A couple of them admitted that they didn't come to the groups for the token incentive but for RESEARCH! They were listening harder than the people behind the glass. They were there for ideas.

And they still watch ads, but only the good ones and only on their own time, and usually on Youtube. They fast-forward most everything else. So make ads good enough to look up or don’t make them at all. Which of course was what we always wanted to do to begin with


fiveisbetter said...

Hm, the finding about preferring to manage the stars and distribute the entertainment is interesting.

All antecdotal here but it got me thinking about top entertainment with this crowd, even apart from the amature video producers.

On TV, Ari is arguably more popular than Vincent... In sports, Theo was unofficially "Boston's Most Eligible Bachelor" (granted, Brady was taken)... in music, Jay-Z and P Diddy rose from popular to iconic once they became producers.

Even on Idol, is it not the judges who are bigger 'stars' than those on stage?

It's kind of like that Chris Rock quote (though he intended it as a social statement): "Shaq's rich, the guy who signs his check is wealthy."

The kids who came to the group for 'research'... what kinds of ideas were they listening for? I take it this wasn't packaged goods research.

sk said...

Nice pop-culture analogues. It's certainly true that most stars have a short time in the spot-light while great managers/producers can have very long careers indeed.

Yes, you're right, we weren't researching detergent, but rather media products and habits And the kids wanted to know the same thing our client did: how to reach their audience.