FOCUS GROUP LEADER: You know, it's all going to be sort of, like, what you guys think. DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: OK, so they're no more responsive than most teenagers, but that's not going to stop this market researcher because the information he's looking for is worth an awful lot of money.
DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF, FRONTLINE: [voice-over] On a summer afternoon, in a downtown New York loft, corporate America is on a very serious mission.
Kids are also consuming massive quantities of entertainment media.
Seventy-five percent of teens have a television in their room.
Adult Swim programming relishes the realm of the weird ranging from slightly off-kilter to the simulated drug trip of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
Although Tim and Eric weren’t involved in Too Many Cooks, a 12-minute short that aired in an “infomercials” spot at am last night, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were involved.
" DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: I'm Douglas Rushkoff, and tonight we'll tour through a landscape that has both attracted and repelled me during the decade I've been studying it.
SHARON LEE, Teen Market Researcher: They're given a lot of what we call guilt money. Why don't you go on line and buy something because I can't spend time with you?
BRIAN GRADEN, Television Programming Executive: I think one of the great things about this information age is, with so many channels, you can say my business is 12 to 15, or my business is 21 to 24. DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: The search for this elusive prize has its own name: "cool hunting." MALCOLM GLADWELL, Writer, "The New Yorker" Magazine: "Cool hunting" is structured around, really, a search for a certain kind of personality and a certain kind of player in a given social network.
It will probably be the most delightfully bonkers and inspired thing you’ll see today. As for this short, It would be great if this kind of existed in a vacuum where there were no more tie-ins unless Kelly found a way to make it even crazier (and judging by the free association style of this short, I find that entirely possible).
Either way, this is absolutely my kind of humor: running-gag, deeply twisted, comically violent, totally random, and increasingly bizarre.
ROB STONE, Teen Marketing Executive: If you don't understand and recognize what they're thinking, what they're feeling, you're going to lose. ANNOUNCER: But what does this relentless focus on the teenager do to the culture? FOCUS GROUP LEADER: OK, so I'm going to take attendance here. Anywhere they rest their eyes, they'll be exposed to a marketing message.
MARK CRISPIN-MILLER, Communications Professor, NYU: They're going to do whatever they think works the fastest and with the most people, which means that they will drag standards down. A typical American teenager will process over 3,000 discrete advertisements in a single day, and 10 million by the time they're 18.