Friday, January 23, 2009

Language Lessons: Gen Y 101

I usually don’t write about brand products, but Dentyne has a thing or two to teach retailers about how to speak (and get through) to Generation Y.

The new ads from chewing gum company Denytne first caught my attention while I was riding the subway in New York City several moths ago. Its “Make Face Time” campaign aims to speak the language of Gen Y (and it does so very successfully). The ads urge consumers to unplug, power-off and step away from the keyboard. Some tag lines include: “Have mercy on your thumbs;” “Undo. Hit cancel. Be together;” and “Friend Request Accepted [a hug].” The commercial also hits home (you may recognize it).

I recently realized, however, that the company takes this concept a step further online, as well. Its site,, features a clock in the corner of the page that gives consumers only three-minutes to browse the site before it closes. The homepage says:

We’ve got nothing against the Internet, but when people are surfing the Web, they’re missing the best part of life -- being together. That’s why we created the first website devoted to helping people spend less time online and more time with each other. We've allocated just enough time to browse every link, but not a second more. So enjoy your three minutes, then get out there and make face time. Chop Chop. Time starts now.

However, some pages pause the clock, including product description pages that allow consumers to learn about Dentyne items without a time limitation.

Overall, the entire idea is genius: It blatantly tells me to log off, but I’m further entranced by what’s on the site. Smart marketing indeed.

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