What Comes After Gen Y?
Squeezing a nation of people into demographic categories for electronics marketing purposes has never been an exact science. The surly, hacking Gen Xers, now approaching their 40’s, have been followed by Gen Y, also labelled “Millennials,” those tech-lovin’ creatures born around 1980, the year post-it notes were introduced by 3M. Of the Y-groupers who’ve made it to college, 75% now have a Facebook account, 28% have their own blog, and 44% read the blogs of others (survey from “Connecting to the Net.Generation” by Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa, 2007). Time’s marching relentlessly on, however, delivering the digital imaging industry yet another generation of connected kids. Though there is great debate about when Gen Z might begin, with some saying a philosophical delineation might be those children born around 9/11, Fujifilm, for one, seems comfortable with calling today’s “youth” Gen Z, fixing its marketing eyes on middle-schoolers on up.
Over the next few weeks, Fujifilm will roll out a new camera, the Z10fd Style-Cam (“the Z” for short), targeted toward what they are calling “today’s fashion-conscious digital natives.” This shiny, tiny 7.2 megapixal pocket point-and-shoot will come in five highly-saturated colors and pack a “blog mode” which automatically resizes photos for easy uploading. The camera’s form factor has a faint resemblance to a pack of cigarettes with a lighter attached to the front of it, but Fujifilm’s design director Kaz Horikiri’s sketches call it a “round & edge design” with the intent of “everything for beauty.”
Accompanying the camera to market is an extensive marketing campaign, including a product-specific website, www.offzhook.com, online advertising at www.mtv.com, and an October kick-off party at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza, a concert venue in New York. A “Z-inspiration” photo contest is going on now, encouraging young consumers to submit photographs “inspired by the letter ‘Z’.” Contest winners will be flown to New York to document (and blog, presumably) the launch.