Tuesday, 14 July 2009

I'm just a teenage intern baby - the future of media reseach?

Got sent this FT link yesterday http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/035e83fe-6f18-11de-9109-00144feabdc0.html

Fascinating story about how Morgan Stanleys head of media research release a analyst note penned by their 15 year old summer intern. Apparently all their clients have gone mad for it.

If the actual content of the note was not a surprise - teenagers don't listen to the radio, buy papers or use Twitter - the means of conducting the research certainly was. Morgan Stanley do heavily caveat the lack of statical rigour, but that doesn't seem to have perturbed their clients.

So is it time to throw out some of our highly invested in quantitative media research and just take a hand full of qualitative samples but in more intimate detail? Bye bye TGI and hello GCSE aged interns telling us what the hell is going on.

What was very interesting was the value attached by this intern and his group of friends to live experience and events. Cinema is still a huge draw, clearly the quality of the product is a factor but like generations before - its simply a great place to hang out with friends. Linked to this was the value of the live music experience, in an economy where it is almost inconceivable for a teenager to actually buy music - live is the primary means to extract any cash from this market.
Which has to be one of the key outtakes for brands from this piece. Teens will ignore you in traditional advertising but as they chase free content, providing valuable branded entertainment is clearly the way forward.

So is it time for all us media agencies to reconsider our recruitment policies, to engage with an audience we stopped understanding years ago - and to be brave - if Morgan Stanley can do it I'm sure we can too.

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