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The New Kids on the Block: Everybody Wants Them!

ve8QAd   |   January 01, 2003

They’re called Generation Y, the Millennials and Echo Boomers. Regardless of what they’re called, there are 60 million of them currently between the ages of 8 and 23, compared to the mere 17 million in Generation X before them.

Advertisers caught on very quickly, recognizing the tremendous buying power of this upcoming generation, and adjusted their messages and products accordingly.

Now everything from politicians to church groups are studying, analyzing and trying to influence this upcoming generation of young adults. They all recognize that the sheer numbers provide this generation with the ability to change society and political landscapes of the future.

The good news is, Gen Yers are spiritual, optimistic, ambitious and idealistic. They want the truth and want to do what’s right. This generation does not want to be like their parents. They want to be and do better. Since many come from homes of divorce and/or are latchkey kids, they want stable marriages and homes for themselves and their children. Gen Yers are also primarily pro-life on abortion. They believe the unborn child is “pure potential” and could be the very person who finds a cure for cancer or AIDS.

This generation is also highly intelligent, inquisitive and accustomed to getting information with the click of a mouse. They are, in fact, the computer generation.

Gravityteen.comDo they have insecurities, problems, peer and adult pressures and concerns of all kinds? Of course they do – they’re growing adolescents. The real question is: Will they maintain their current positive attitudes and pro-life/pro-family values into adulthood? That all depends upon who reaches their hearts and minds over the next several years.

The Internet is the Gen Y medium of choice, beating out TV, radio and even the telephone. They get all of their information, talk with friends and make decisions “on line.” Everything is only a click away. In January 2001, Gen Y ranked second only to the 35-to-49-year-old business users in Internet use per month and will likely exceed them in 2003. Their primary uses of the Internet are to communicate, be entertained and acquire information.

Based upon three years of research and a year’s worth of website development, The Caring Foundation is launching a multifaceted website designed specifically for the Gen Yers with a target date of January 20 or soon thereafter. The site’s content, design, interactivity, etc., have been evaluated and approved by demographically and ethnically diverse teens from across the country.

The site is based exclusively upon information provided to The Caring Foundation by Gen Yers. Multiple types of research included:

  • Psychological (right brain) research on both boys and girls.
  • Focus group studies on both boys and girls, broken down by age groups.
  • National Internet surveys on types of website content and its value to Gen Y.
  • National Internet surveys on possible commercial messages to bring Gen Yers to the site.
  • A final critique of the site by a national panel of teens.

The Caring Foundation’s goal is to make this site one of their “favorite places” where their lives can be enhanced in positive ways. It will provide inspiring stories of other teens, interactive self-affirmations and character-building quotes, along with e-cards and opportunities to win cool CDs.

For those facing an unplanned pregnancy, there are personal testimonies from other teens who have “been there, done that,” along with extensive information on fetology, abortion and a cyber connection to a national crisis pregnancy network.

The goal is to provide Gen Yers with their own site which will be helpful, informative, interesting and entertaining, honest and non-patronizing. The site will reaffirm their positive beliefs and idealism, provide tools for them to build upon their character and be resilient to peer pressure and encourage them to become critical thinkers. It will cause them to come away feeling good about themselves.

Their most frequent request was to have a place to turn to ask questions and share experiences. Here is just a sampling of the site content.

 

Lean Into It television ad

Lean Into ItMALE VOICE: “Yeah, I know there’s still a lot of stuff I have to learn about life. One of the things I have figured out… dealing with something hard is going to probably be painful, but not dealing with it at all is just going to make things harder in the end. I learned to trust my own judgment. And you know what?… I am strong enough. I am strong enough. I’m not the only one either. There’s plenty of us who’ve done the same. So can you.”

VOICE OVER: “Lean into it at– Gravityteen.com”

 

Stuff Like That television ad

Stuff Like ThatFEMALE VOICE: “It’s frightening being seventeen and pregnant. Not daring to talk to anyone. Desperately wanting to know… What other girls did… And how it worked out.
“Where can I find out stuff like that?“

VOICE OVER: “When your world is upside down – Gravityteen.com”

 

 

Mirror/Mirror
This area shares first-hand, inspiring stories from teens who have successfully dealt with some sort of identity crisis or tough life challenge. Real teens reflect upon how they felt, what they did, who or what helped them and how it is for them now. These include video, audio and text components with a link to their own story submission form.

Stop That Thought!
If you’re having negative feelings about yourself, just pick the one that applies and you automatically get a positive affirmation to counteract that pessimistic mindset. The goal of the process is to practice saying the affirmation until the truth is felt in the words and those words become the way you respond to challenges. (The visual here includes a video of a rhino walking away with the words “Turn your back on those ugly thoughts.”)

Been There/Done That
Gen Yers will be able to read first-hand, personal stories from both boys and girls and their experiences with unplanned pregnancy, abortion, adoption and parenthood. These stories include video, audio and text components. There is also a link to a submission form so they can share their own story.

Quick Comebacks
This part of the site provides fetal development facts in the form of quick, cool comebacks in everyday conversations with friends and parents. These will connect their experiences before birth with who they are today.

The site name, gravityteen.com, was also tested extensively and designed to enhance the drive-to messages of:

  • When your world is upside down, go to gravityteen.com.
  • Get your feet on the ground at gravityteen.com.
  • The place that pulls it all together is gravityteen.com.
  • Always land on your feet at gravityteen.com.
  • Lean into it at gravityteen.com.

Promotion of the website will be primarily through television, radio and Internet advertising. Two additional television ads will be in production shortly. The two current television and three radio commercials will be part of the site launching in late January, airing extensively on MTV and popular rock radio stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. Extensive, on-line advertising will begin at the same time and consist of keywords, ads in the form of banners, instant messages and ads from other popular teen sites, etc. In addition to the above advertising methods, print handouts to teens will be available from The Caring Foundation at 1-888-588-9258.

So gravitate to gravityteen.com.

Ms. Faucher is the National Project Director of The Caring Foundation.

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