Posted July 30, 2008 1:52 pm by with 11 comments

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Tweens, the age group between 8-12 years old are unique in that they are the first group to have grown up with computer and internet access. They are also getting mobile phones and more grow up using them.

My son who is almost 8 has grown up watching me blog and is now obsessed with Club Penguin. I admit it’s a little disconcerting of thinking to marketing to him or the kids his age. But where there is a market…there are marketers…

My son is a child, but as the article by Marketing Vox suggests, soon he may begin to explore what it means to be a teenager (which I’m far from being ready for). Being a teenager for Tweens means freedom – including freedom to make purchases. And this age group has money to spend (and they can be relentless in their requests to spend it!).

“In 2003, 33.3 million teens inhabited the US (32.5 million in Europe). Their discretionary spending power (allowances, gifts, earnings from odd jobs) totaled $42.3 billion and was projected to increase by 1.7 percent year over year.”

Youth media firm Ypulse specializes in this market.

Here are some values that motivate Tweens:

  • need to belong
  • desire for power
  • desire for more freedom from parents (though their parents approval of their choices is still important to them)
  • desire to have fun

In advertising to Tweens, go light on the themes of dating, raunchiness, or rebellion aspect of being a teenager. Focus on how they will look, feel, or act better. The article has more tips but here’s mine: talk to your children about how marketing manipulates them and use the Internet as a tool for learning not commercialism. You could start on this PBS web site aimed at Kids: Don’t Buy It and this site also has ideas.

Parents of Tweens: what do you do to protect your kids from getting over-marketed? What sites do you steer them away from or to?