#digitalnatives. Lesson N°2 from our research. How to behave when no law stands?


DIGITAL FOOTPRINTS : N°2
NO LAWS TO FORBID ME.

  If in real life sources of authority have a tendency to disappear, the digital revolution has literally exploded all forms of interdiction.

Constraint are ignored, stigmatised even.  On Facebook, "dedipix" are appearing: write on different parts of your body, post a photo in exchange for comments. Chatroulette, the new darling of the web, is a place for unlimited exhibitionism. Skyblog censures on average 32 000 photos each day.

58% openly declare that they have downloaded illegally. "Pirating is not stealing," they tell us.
This practice is no longer simply virtual, with the media headlines offering us perfect examples every day. Last week, it was 3 teenage girls who beat up a bus driver that didn’t want to take a detour to drop them off at their houses…
Twice as many 15-25 year olds have tried cocaine in just 3 years and massive Facebook parties give us a stunning demonstration of "binge drinking". A new movement which justifiably wants to take back control of towns thanks to the web- I must confess that I think they’re right…
Its not just a rebellion which is happening, the impact on these generations will be profound, 63% of them think that their parents aren’t the best representatives of authority, and just 4% consider their teachers to be.
A contradiction here with their demand for "respect" and the call from 82% of them for greater authority from teachers.

  In this situation, brands have an important role to play, they have often become the first carriers of human values, the values in which these generations find themselves. The creativity of Apple, the "just do it" of Nike are much more than just a method of selling mp3s or sneakers.


But this second digital footprint poses a real problem to brands. We are faced with a generation who make clear cut choices and who don’t want a purely mercenary/commercial relationship (that they have learnt to sidestep).

Learning to speak to them is, above all, learning how to approach them. A totally new phase in marketing to digital natives. Because before selling, you need to learn how to give first.
Offer them an experience, a taste of the product and the brand’s merits, which are nourished by a rich, immersive imagination.  
A new age marketing that only a few brands have learnt to master. Uniqlo for example, the new success in fashion distribution. Or Wilkinson which has tamed this mode of communication for some years and which, thanks to Fight for Kisses, has manage to beat Gilette, the million dollar traditional spender. A success which won a Grand Prix Effie last year.

In France, we are still very cautious towards this new method of communication. Doing research into effectiveness turns each brand into a service. Apple isn’t just a company which makes computers. The applications have had just as much success as the product itself. Wilkinson is no longer just a brand which makes razors, but a source of entertainment.
Our American coursins have truly understood the potential of differation and effectiveness in this method of communication: Burker King, Doritos, FarCry2 know that today, before selling, you need to learn to give first.

tomorrow: connected, yes, but to millions of myselves…

   


Adweek’s 2009 Global Agency of the Year

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