Marketers who wish to communicate with teens on social-networking site MySpace should adopt the approach of cultural anthropologists to decipher teens' various subcultures, according to MySpace.com SVP of marketing and content Shawn Gold, writes MediaPost. "We take a sociological approach to building MySpace, and advertisers need to be cultural anthropologists," he is quoted as having said during a keynote at the OMMA Hollywood Conference & Expo.
Social networks are "about individuality and identification and connecting with others," he said, and teens want to both belong and seek self-expression; they want recognition, appreciation and knowledge. "We think that every feature on the site needs to tie in with these core needs."
Gold showed how those needs result in teens' incorporating brands into their online identities and interaction; one page, for example, shows images of the LA Lakers, an Aston Martin and other auto brands. "There are thousands of brand programming opportunities that have yet to be exploited," Gold said, referring to niche communities on MySpace
Gold pointed out MySpace programs with Aquafina, the Beastie Boys and Wendy's, which has gained 94,000 friends on MySpace and on its page offers downloads, wallpapers, screensavers, AIM icons, slides, audio and video. Verizon Wireless, the Honda Element, and Toyota are among those with MySpace profiles.
"MySpace is the No. 2 site on the web behind Yahoo in content consumption. About 15 million log on to the site, 30 million songs are streamed, 11.5 million friends are added, and 15.5 million comments are left each day," writes MediaPost.