AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerHow Long Are Kids, Kids?

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How Long Are Kids, Kids?

According to the New York Times, kids are not kids as long as they used to be. There is an “age compression” happening fueled by the internet.Portrait of a cute little business man

This has created havoc for channels such as Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. The Times says that these more progressive and curious kids can more easily turn to YouTube to find people their own age or like them.

This not only changes how you talk to kids, but how you talk with parents about their kids. Television shows and marketing messaging are dramatically changing in this tech-driven, high-awareness audience cluster.

Disney has developed a moped-riding character, Andi Mack (who has to deal with some complex life experiences), in order to appeal to 6- to 14-year-olds and their parents. Some of these issues would not have seen prime time 20 years ago. The problem is that these kids may be watching the “Walking Dead” or the “Die Hard” trilogy with their parents.

It’s getting difficult to program to these children, much less market toys for this more mature, pre-teen demographic. You also cannot offend the parents that may have memories of their own childhoods ruminating in their heads.

First it was the family that has been more difficult to portray as the typical family in marketing. Now it is the children. This makes storytelling more difficult, but more in line with their parents. Kids are growing up faster. The marketing needs to grow just as fast.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.