‘Subversive’ vs ‘Do Good’ Youth Marketing

There seems to be two schools of thought for how brands engage with youth in the social media space. On the one hand you’ve got the ‘Subversive’ movement, on the other the ‘Do Good’ marketing movement. Both can be effective for different youth brands. ‘Subversive’ communications are typically used for niche brands (like Zoo York, BAPE etc) and are aimed at specific youth subcultures (skaters), they are all about disrupting the status quo and rebelling against the systems around them. It’s classic ‘outlaw’ archetype behaviour. ZY ‘Spread the word’ was a good example as was Air Force One stunt. On the other hand you’ve got the ‘DO Good/Feel Good ‘ marketing which is far more mainstream and taps into more mainstream behaviour through entertainment. The Fiat Eco drive tool is a great example of this, it’s all about talking to Gen Y and giving them something of utility and making them feel good about their contribution to culture. At the end of the day, I reckon effective youth communications is about creating ‘cultural capital’ – stuff for them to talk about, so if you’re creating talk value within a interesting brand framework…you’re on track

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