London – Are today's youth in crisis? That was the starting point for Youthquake II, LS:N Global's second Network Evening focusing on teen culture.
LS:N Global members gathered on Thursday 19 June to hear the latest insights from those with their fingers on the pulse of this contradictory generation.
Bea Appleby, the editor of Girl Talk, the UK's longest-running pre-teen girls' magazine, spoke about the need for tween magazines to address feminist concerns. She recently launched #GirlsAreAmazing, a pre-teen feminist campaign to make girls feel empowered. 'It came about from all the media coverage on the problem of girls: the ambition gap, poor body image, self-esteem issues. We wanted a new message,' said Appleby.
Oakley, also known as Oakelfish, is a full-time 22-year-old YouTuber who has made a career out of video blogging, or vlogging. He spoke to the audience about the appeal of YouTube and how to talk to kids of his generation. 'Speak to them, not at them. Ask questions and make them feel involved,' he advised.
James Mark, a social video entertainment specialist, formerly of the YouTube multi-channel network ChannelFlip, spoke about the YouTube phenomenon and why it appeals to the young demographic. 'This generation is not watching television in the same way,' he said. When considering partnering with YouTube stars, he suggested: 'Pick the right talent, consider their subscribers and how they fit with your brand – that's how you get the right vibe.'
Nina Manandhar, co-founder of The Cut – production company and award-winning youth magazine – came along with Mark Dear, a 21-year-old participant who was able to explore his creative skills with The Cut's support. Dear spoke about how the recession has fostered creativity and entrepreneurial fervour among young people: 'We are discovering that we can have more power than brands.'
Lastly, Emily Cramp, managing director of youth communications agency Thinkhouse UK, spoke about how to attract the attention of this generation of multi-screeners. 'If you're not on mobile with this generation, you do not exist,' she said.
Look out for our video interviews with each of the speakers, which will be appearing in the Seed section next week.