If 2008 and 2009 are the years of ‘participation’ and user generated content in youth marketing, 2010 will be about open source ideas, taking participation to the next level. Open Source is already big amongst geeks, you’ve probably heard of UNIX platforms, open source code allowing users to add their own spin and improve the platform for others. Brands will evolve to do the same thing. Right now, youth brands are getting teens involved to ‘make your own ad’, ‘design a flavour’, ‘choose an ad ending’ but this is already starting to get tired. Brands are learning to let go and get youth involved, but in the future, the best brands will really get consumers involved in both communication and NPD at an earlier stage. Communication ideas will need to be far more flexible and marketers will have to plan for content they don’t create. Skittles recent experiment in the social media space is one step towards complete open source, where they leave the keys to the brand in the hands of their brand fans. The question is, how much participation and interaction is too much? I believe brands still need a core brand idea, like Axe/Lynx with ‘giving guys the edge in the mating game’, but they should allow consumers to put their own spin on these brand ideas through complete involvement in the brands future direction. Thoughts?