Borrowing from the class notes, advertisement’s biggest function is to link consumption with other aspects of life and culture we believe in. Thus, it is very important for an advertising agency or agent to know well of their target consumer and their thoughts and lifestyles. One of the target consumers, class discussed last couple weeks the youth, who is around my age.

However, persuading the youth as the main consumer is not an easy task. Looking at the Nike as an example of success of marketing to youth, Naomi Klein, the author from last week’s reading “Alt. Everything: The Youth Market ad the Marketing of Cool”, wrote

“As the success of branding superstar like Nike had shown, it was not going to be sufficient for companies simply to market their same products to a younger demographic; they needed to fashion brand identities that would resonate with this new culture.”(68).

As I read the line, I thought of an interesting Romanian advertisement that won Grand Prix from Cannes Lion, which is the one of largest advertising festival in the world.

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This ad fashion their brand identities that would resonate with the new culture and satire their norm, thus resulting in changing their culture. Rom, as it explains in the video, is a classic Romanian chocolate bar started from 1964. By choosing the Romanian flag on its packaging, ROM identified itself with national symbol with strong national values attached. The problem is that the youth take the packaging and value for granted, thus resulting in having no loyalty with ROM. The Romanian youth felt that everything is wrong in Romania and started to form loyalties with American products like Sneakers, M&Ms, and Mars.

Advertising Agency through research found out about this new culture and provide solution. First of all, as Klein suggested, they re-identified the chocolate by changing their packages with American flag instead of Romanian flag, as mean of resonating with the new culture between the youth. Then, the commercial started to run and appeared on TV, prints, and outside in English. Customers began to react to the new advertisements. Then, the youth began to realize the importance of their national ego.

ROM opened up the websites where people can participate and debate online. Then, user-generated phenomenons started to happen. People on Facebook made several pages talking about new ROM packaging. Also, blog postings started to come up as criticizing the youth culture and thought they held before the advertisement. They began to re-think ROM as their national symbol with national values attached. Also, they started to realize how important their national ego and patriotic mind are.

After a week, ROM changed to its original packaging with Romanian flag. Not only sales increased, but also more people formed loyalties with ROM. It changed back the culture and the youth, resembling like ones existed when ROM was popular.

Analyzing the case with the ROM advertisement, I agree with Naomi Klein’s idea that they need to fashion brand identities with the new youth culture when it comes to marketing the youth. However, accounting the fact that the youth is carefree individuals and not yet formed loyalties with brands, transforming existing youth culture to another can be also powerful and key to the success. Currently, changing the existing youth culture seems more successful in marketing. Apple, for an example, is currently a big hit in America. Steve Jobs reveal one of the keys to the success of the brand in his autobiography is that “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”.

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