Google+ Consumer Psyche: Online noise and teens

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Online noise and teens

Today's teens inhabit a "digital marketing ecosystem" where their identities and interactions are virtually inseparable from the logos stamped all over them, new research suggests.

"It becomes a part of how they communicate with their friends," says Kathryn Montgomery, a communications professor at American University in Washington, D.C. "If they're incorporating brands into their profiles and communicating those with their friends, if the companies are inserting the products into the games young people play, if they're part of the use of mobile technology so there's a brand presence that follows their every move — that is creating a new kind of intimacy."

The brain doesn't reach full maturity until the early 20s and one of the puzzle pieces missing in adolescence is impulse control — a fact that will come as no surprise to any parent of a teen, she says.

"We're known for as long as branded communication has been around that you can't just shout at people, you have to interest and engage and entertain them," Cubbon says. "Most advertising online is still pretty much an announcement, it's noise."

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