My top 5 youth ideas for 2009

Well I’m about to log off tomorrow for 2009, back Jan 6th. It may be a little quiet around here for a while. I’ve got some cool ideas that I’ve been working on the past months that will be breaking in early 2010, so I lookforward to putting them out there and seeing what people think.

 It’s been a great year, I hope you’ve found my insights into youth marketing, planning,  social media and Gen C interesting. In my time off I’m going to be thinking about how I get my book on Youth Tribes going, as it’s such a morphing space, but I’m excited about getting into all the different youth subcultures in Australia and understanding their differences and universal commonalities.

For a bit of fun, here are my  5 favourite youth ideas/content deliveries of 2009:

1. Red Bull Project X – Shaun White Secret Halfpipe (clear winner) – Creating a secreet halfpipe for Shaun White to practice new tricks in…in a word AMAZING. RB are the kings of creating mythology around their brand and deliver the storytelling ina simple yet inspiring way. They know that they are far more than an energy drink brand, they are a youth entertainment media brand. No one ‘creates culture’ like RB.

2. Burger King Whopper Sacrifice – brilliant idea which fucked with the establised codes of culture by getting people to ‘scarifice’ friends to show their love of the Whopper. It’s so brutally simple and engaging. Just when everyone though FB was about adding mates, Crispin turned things on it’s head and made the world go into sacrifice mode.

3. Levi’s ‘Go Forth’ superb job of creating a new manifesto for Levi’s and making the  ‘Original’ brand position mean something for American youth. This brand idea did a great job of tapping into Generation O (Optimism) which is sweeping across America right now and capturing a relevant mood of global youth.

4. Sprite ‘Reality Remixed’ – Green Eyed World – truly social idea with great follow factor, following the breakout year of a pop hopeful,  Katie –  which in the world of music marketing is absolutely rare…fantastic consumer engagement via the youtube series and Facebook connect interaction, awesome use of technology to make the idea truly social

5. DC Shoes ‘Gymkhana’ videos  – the series of Ken BLock ‘gymkhana’ videos are a youtube phenom, makes the brand feel so authentic and cool when you see KB burning around trailer parks doing tricks in his WRX. DC shoes are smart, they entertain their true believers and the rest flock towards them

Some other cool things that have been quite innovative in engaging youth:

Fiesta Movement – innovative way to launch a car, try sparking a movement by giving 100 cars away to kids to drive around for a few months…created deep engagement with ‘agents’ and the car was the backdrop to the storytelling. They’re shifting into getting fans to ‘create the 2011’ advertising which worries me, but lets see what happens.

– Halo 3 ODST:  – love a great little ARG which sent Canadian gamers on a trasure hunt across Toronto for VIP access to the launch party…they engaged the true believers and the game sold out like hot cakes.

V Australia 4320LA (Well done Sudeep and Nick K) – smartest use of ‘Twitter’ for a campaign, although the return leg of 4320Sydney wasn’t as engaging.

Coke Expedition 206 – sheer scale and audacity of the idea of taking 3 20 somethings around the world for a year to spread ‘Happiness’ in 206 countries is cool…whether there is follow factor is yet to be seen

Gatorade ‘Replay’ – clever doco created by Gatorade in the US..getting two high school football teams from the 90’s who are super fierce rivals to replay a drawn match. Captivating content and an authentic role for product which is rare in branded content these days, without it feeling forced.

Have a great Christmas/Hannukah and Happy New Year  and am hoping one of my ideas make it onto this type of list of innovative youth marketing ideas/programs.

My Cannes Favourites for 2009

The Cannes Advertising Festival is over for another year and although I didn’t get the opportunity to attend there was a handful of ideas that I really admire as setting new benchmarks in marketing communications. Here are my favourite youth oriented ideas:


1. WHY SO SERIOUS – Cyber Grand Prix for the viral launch of The Dark Knight

Why So Serious?” was a 360 alternate reality experience – deep, pervasive, interactive, and viral. Centered on the web, yet branching out over mobile, mail, flash mobs, scavenger hunts, casual games, user generated content, collaborative narratives, streaming video and more, the audience was immersed into the saga of Gotham City from the last frame of Batman Begins to the opening scene of The Dark Knight. Over 10M unique participants in 75 countries made “Why So Serious?” a new benchmark for integrated campaigns.

2. Best Job in the World – Grand Prix for just about everything

Am very proud of my Aussie brethren up at Cummins Nitro in Brisbane, it’s one idea I saw that I wish i was behind, pure genius. It is a simple yet brilliant idea to market the Great Barrier Reef, after all , who wouldnt want to spend 6 months there getting paid $150k as a caretaker. Brilliant use of PR to launch the idea and use of digital media to spread it globally and drive entrants. Love it.

3. Whopper Sacrifice– Cyber Gold

The boys at Crispin continue to innovate in how they use social media to connect their brands with people and get people to connect with other. To launch the Angry WHopper they create the Whopper Sacrifice where you were asked to sacrifice friends on Facebook to show your love for this new burger..over 23,000 friendships were ‘sacrificed’ before the boys at Facebook applied their handbreak to the idea. Culturally relevant, fresh, great tension and flawless execution as always