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Killer trends and phat fads

To help us keep up-to-date with what's happening with kids, Kid Think Inc., a youth marketing consulting group, investigates a wide range of issues in kids' lives. Since today's kids spend so much time on-line, Kid Think talked with kids via...
October 1, 1998

To help us keep up-to-date with what’s happening with kids, Kid Think Inc., a youth marketing consulting group, investigates a wide range of issues in kids’ lives. Since today’s kids spend so much time on-line, Kid Think talked with kids via LiveWire: Today’s Families Online, a proprietary panel of 600 on-line families across the United States. Both Kid Think and LiveWire are divisions of Griffin Bacal, a New York-based communications agency specializing in the youth and family markets. If you have any questions or subjects you would like Kid Think to cover, call Paul Kurnit at 212-337-6442 or e-mail livewire@gbinc.com.

The summer’s over, and the school year has begun. We asked kids what’s hot and what’s not this fall. Interesting findings: 1) Boys and girls are joining forces on topics like favorite school subjects, lingo and after-school activities more than ever before, and 2) Other than the top few answers that have a good number of advocates, there is a lot of deviance from the mainstream. In other words, it seems to be a trend to set your own trends.

What we found:

Hot Lingo

Girls

‘whatever’ = it doesn’t matter

‘duh’ = obviously

‘cool’ = good

‘I don’t care’ = I don’t care (duh?)

‘the bomb’ = the best

Boys

‘phat’ = awesome

‘like’ = space holder,

such as ‘um’ or ‘ah’

‘whatever’ = it doesn’t matter

‘cool’ = good

‘killer’ = great

Fave Male Actors

Girls

Leonardo DiCaprio

Eddie Murphy

Jim Carrey

Matt Damon

Brad Pitt

Boys

Leonardo DiCaprio

Will Smith

Ben Affleck

Jim Carrey

Bruce Willis

Fave Female Actors

Girls

Kate Winslet

Spice Girls

Sandra Bullock

Alicia Silverstone

Danielle Fisher

Boys

Helen Hunt

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Neve Campbell

Claire Daines

Julia Roberts

Musicians

Girls

Spice Girls

Backstreet Boys

Celine Dion

Hanson

Aqua

Boys

Back Street Boys

Will Smith

Hanson

Aerosmith

Dave Matthews Band

Choice After-school Activities

Girls

Sports

Computer

Hanging out

Boys

Sports

Video games

Biking

Goals

Girls

Meeting new friends

Seeing old friends

Going to a new

school/classroom

Boys

Seeing old friend

Meeting new friends

Playing sports

Kids would rather do without…

Girls

Getting up early

Homework

Seeing kids I don’t like

Boys

Homework

Going to the cafeteria

Having different teachers

for each subject

Hottest Fall Movie Rental

Girls

Titanic

Dr. Doolittle

Armageddon

Spice World

Mulan

Boys

Titanic

Armageddon

Godzilla

Scream 2

Small Soldiers

Favorite Show

Girls

Sabrina the Teenage

Witch

Boy Meets World

Rugrats

Boys

Home Improvement

Rugrats

Sabrina the Teenage

Witch

Coolest Trend

Girls

Temporary Tattoos

Boys

South Park

T-shirts

Favorite Subject

Girls

Math

Science

Art

Boys

Math

Science

Spelling

Least Favorite Subject

Girls

Math

Social Studies

English/Science

Boys

Math

Social Studies

Language Arts

Threads – Do’s

Girls

Boot-cut jeans

Baggy pants

Bell bottoms

Clogs

Short hair

Boys

T-shirts with licensed characters (South Park,

Small Soldiers)

Baggy pants

Baggy shorts

Sports team jerseys

Adidas anything. . .

Threads – Don’ts

Girls

`70s gear

Baggy clothes

Tight jeans

Long dresses

Long hair

Boys

Tight jeans/clothes

Plaid shirts

Short shorts

Dressy duds

High-top sneakers

Back-to-school: What kids said:

Our panel certainly knows their trends, but that isn’t their only focus when it comes to school. Our kids take their goals for the year pretty seriously. Trends in the kid-goal arena: good grades and good friends.

‘I would like to become a better speller, improve my handwriting and be less forgetful about doing my homework and bringing home my books.’ Sean, 12, Massachusetts

‘I want to get better at my art definitely, because I love art. I want to get on the basketball team and do my best because I’m good at it. I’d like to meet some new friends.’ Catrina, 11, California

‘To be good in math, because it’s my favorite subject and I want to be in Math Field Day again, to get a lot better at piano so I can be a good musician and to try out for chorus and make it because it looks like fun.’ Caitlin, 9, California

‘I would like to do better in math because it is my hardest subject, learn how to play the clarinet because then I can learn the saxophone and make new friends to share our ideas.’ Nathan, 9, Maryland

‘To do my homework when it’s given instead of at the last minute. To get all A’s and B’s, because it makes me feel special and good. To make new friends. I always like meeting new people.’ Melinda, 12, Ohio

Next month:

Tune in next month as KidThink talks to kids about their fave TV series, and what shows designed by them would look like.

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