I was talking to my 25yr old cousin Carla last night about youth marketing and brands that she really likes. She said something that I think sums up how brands need to behave and engage youth in 2009 and beyond. She said “Whisper don’t yell at me…if you whisper, i’m more likely to listen to what you’re saying and tell my mates”….I think she nailed it here, most youth marketers worth their salt, know that successful marketing is about DOING, not saying, but i think the more intimate gestures we provide to youth via a ‘whisper’ the more likely they are to listen. So it’s all about providing utility but not talking down to them or banging them over the head with it. They’ve got enough noise and content in their life to deal with. All in all, it’s about more organic and evolving communication models with involve youth in the brand narrative but do it in a way that starts Chinese whispers about the brand…thoughts anyone???