Ypulse Best And Worst Of 2008
- December 30th, 2008
- 2 Comments
Time for my personal picks for what I saw as the best and worst in youth media and marketing this past year. I would love to hear your picks, Ypulse readers. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments…This also wraps up our YIR coverage except for predictions (send us yours!), which we’ll post after the new year.
Nike’s ‘Beautiful Losers’ DIY Workshops
I didn’t actually see the film, but I love the idea of Nike supporting the featured artists as well as spreading the creative vibe through DIY workshops for youth in cities where the film played. Nike branding is played way down, but the connection between the brand, which finally gained acceptance in the skateboarding world, and this effort to promote subcultural artists/heroes is quite clear.
The Obama Campaign
Ypulse Youth Advisory Board member Libby echoed this in her Best And Worst In Advertising and I already highlighted it in my bigger YIR post, but it’s still worth mentioning again. By fostering participation from the bottom up, tapping into social media in every way possible early on, nourishing the grassroots culture that began to flourish around it and actually speaking and more importantly, listening to younger voters, this campaign won my vote for the best of the year.
Do Something’s use of text messaging
To me, this was the perfect use of SMS - having youth opt in to receive text notifications about volunteer opportunities that match their interest, location, etc. Nicely done.
The return of music to MTV
While it hasn’t really returned to the flagship channel in a big way, the massive success of Rockband has brought music back into the MTV product lineup. No matter how many reality shows MTV airs, the brand is still Music Television. I was also thrilled by the launch of MTVMusic.com - all my favorite 80s videos in one place, but seriously, another move that reaffirms that music is still a part of their brand DNA.
Virtual worlds doing ‘good’
Whether it’s because virtual world operators know this generation of tweens and teens wants to see corporate social responsibility or just because they, too, want to help enable social change, it doesn’t really matter—either way, the folks in the virtual world space did a lot of good this year. Dizzywood partnered with schools, green-themed worlds like Ekoloko launched and Habbo fought against homophobia. Definitely a trend I hope will continue in ‘09. I’m sure I missed lots of other examples here, so feel free to post them in the comments.
Burton’s Playboy snowboards
I know these were meant to appeal to its
“core” audience of young men within the snowboarding subculture, but it did so while offending lots of girls and young women who are now also a big part of the sport. FAIL.
The glamorization of teen pregnancy
From Jamie Lynn’s bump watch in the celeb weeklies to “Juno” breezily giving her baby up for adoption and reuniting with the father to play precious music, this year pop culture seemed obsessed with teens having babies. While there were efforts to counterbalance these stories with the grim reality most teen moms face, making celebrity teen moms cool, is well, not cool.
MTV’s ‘Model Makers’
MTV made the right call and canceled this show that would have followed “15 young women between the ages of 17 and 24 and turn[ed] them into high fashion models by forcing them to lose weight.” This one should never have been given the green light in the first place.
Teens behaving badly online
This year the media loved to cover stories about teens doing bad stuff online - whether it was posting photos of bathing in industrial sinks, “sexting,” or the cheerleaders beating up a classmate, the coverage helped to paint a very negative portrait of youth and technology. Even PBS Frontline’s look at growing up online was overly focused on the trouble these “kids” can get into. The reality is that there is another side to this story, how technology has opened up new worlds, connected old friends, enhances learning, etc.—it’s just not as sensational as three girls taking a bath at KFC. And as I said on “The Today Show,” it’s not just teens who do stupid stuff online…
It’s all in the name. This site encourages anonymous slander and has destroyed reputations. Should it be allowed to exist? Sure. Should the founders be able to sleep well at night? Not in my opinion.