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Porn And The Direct Attack On Teens For Money

by JoAnn Hamilton

(Notes taken by JoAnn Hamilton from PBS Video, "The Merchants of Cool"
Aired on FRONTLINE, 1999 Educational Foundation, distributed by PBS VIDEO, a department of the Public Broadcasting Service.)

From back cover of video: "Public television's highest rated public affairs series, FRONTLINE has been nationally recognized with Emmy, Peabody Awards, and Dupont-Columbia Awards. FRONTLINE investigates a broad spectrum of important events and the year's most critical issues. This major PBS documentary series probes into the heart of the issues behind the latest headlines, often with exclusive reports and offers an unparalleled collection of studies in American and world history, the environment, government and politics, military and business affairs and a wide variety of social issues including adoption, divorce, drug abuse, healthcare, and racism, to mention only a few.

Teenagers today have more money and independence than ever before. Their lives have become the object of obsessive focus by corporate America. FRONTLINE explores the culture in which today's American teenager is growing up and how they've come to view themselves and their parents." (60 Minutes)
(Notes: Provided by Earth Link DSL)

"They want to be cool. They are impressionable and they have the cash."

They are corporate America's 150 billion dollar dream.
Teenagers have a lot of disposable income.
MTV, Madison Avenue and the Dream Makers of Hollywood have targeted our teenagers.
What does this do to the culture?
They are going to do what works.

On a summer afternoon, corporate America interviews youth about what they wear, eat, and like. They get $125 each.
This is the largest group of teenagers ever.
They have more money and more say in how they spend it than ever before.
Keep the teens happy.
Guilt money.
Here's the credit card.
Buy something because I can't spend time with you.

The world the teens are in is a world of marketing.
Everywhere in the mall they see marketing.
They are the most marketed-to generation.
Marketers study them and how they think.
What are they feeling and thinking?
A discreet teen will process 3,000 discreet advertisements in a day.
75% of teens have a television in their room.

There is a blizzard of brands competing for the same money.
There is a need to understand how they think and feel.
"They are the most studied generation in history."

Teens don't respond to traditional advertising messages.
They do respond to "cool."
"Cool hunting" is a search for a certain personality.
They hire experts to decide what will appeal to kids.
They hunt for trends.
Once the trend is out, they need a new one.
Kids are paid to act in a certain way at functions with hip hop stars.
Youth culture used to be how we were.
Now advertisers are selling "youth culture" to get sales
Viacom and MTV are the hottest onto this advertising.

They give kids $50 a person to "look cool". (MTV films) Go to "cool" kids to find out what is "in". They don't try to understand John as a "person", they want to understand John as a "customer". The MTV studies want to know what they can sell.
They play with testosterone and reach for their wallets.
They don't care about their happiness.

Wrestling is the most popular entertainment for teenage males.
Shock is the name of the game.
Where there is shock there is money.
It is broadcast 15 hours a week on 5 different networks.
It reaches over 15 million people.
Hottest thing for teen boys and males 18 to 24.
It is too big to ignore.
Huge organizations competing madly.

A girl.
Her midriff is exposed.
She is prematurely adult.
A boy.
He is obsessed with crudeness.
She is obsessed with sex.
"I am proud of it." (of being a sexual object)

Brittany Spears.
Sends a message to girls.
"Flaunt your sexuality."
Brittany's most loyal fans are teenage girls.

Teens are so sophisticated these days.
Are kids reflecting TV or is TV reflecting kids?
Is it a mirror back?
No, it is a giant feedback loop.
The media watches, feeds back and then teens mirror it.

Teen rebellion is just another product for producers.
Philosophies like "parents are crazy, no one can understand kids -- except the corporate machine.

It's all designed for money.

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