Skurban??? Nobody calls it that. Dissecting Non-Endemic Analysis In Action Sports/Youth Culture

First, we’re excited that Trend Central is promoting women’s skateboarding… assuming their newsletter goes to marketers, it’d be great if any bigger, non-endemic brands got behind them.  Endemic brands too…

However, we have to make a note of other topics they mentioned in their August 6 Trend Central newsletter, really because we received a linked in request about this.

Trend Central - Article (20090814)

In the world of action sports, the word skurban is less authentic than extreme (or XTREME!).  Yes, the X Games were once called the Extreme Games… and they featured downhill inline skating… but that’s a post for another time, if ever (and we do back the X Games for helping to promote skateboarding and other semi-related activities… they’re not perfect, but they try).

So, Skurban… skateboarding + urban.  Makes sense, except that no one speaks this way.  It’s a buzzword that may be getting tossed around NYC ad agencies, but much like those bad ads that show a snowboard from 20 years ago hanging in the garage (so… you used to be cool?) it hurts more than helps.  At BBPR, we’re all for keeping things quick and light (except our blog posts), but we implore non-endemics, when approaching brands to align with or speaking to young people, don’t use the word skurban.  Go with “urban skateboarders” or perhaps, street skaters.  Or “kids that live in cities and happen to ride skateboards.”

Similarly, please don’t say skrapper – skateboarders with budding rap careers or an affinity for rap music.  Likewise, no one really calls BMX riders who travel BMXplorers, unless they’re kidding around.  However, the word “gnarketing” is completely legitimate and should be embraced.

All of this is deemed null if, in fact, you are kidding around in your ad or marketing (see the new Sheckler ads with “Double Pits to Chesty”).

When marketers are trying to target young people in the action sports world, the term “authentic” gets tossed around a lot, as it should.  Could you imagine an ad targeting video game players and it shower an Atari 2600?  Similar things happen a lot, especially with snowboard-themed ads. When trying to be authentic, we honestly don’t think it’s necessary everyone on your team has locked up on a halfpipe and wrecked their knee.  People from outside the industry bring value too.  However, make sure someone who is a part consults, at least in terms of the BS meter.  It’ll help keep your marketing from being too kooky and at the same time, maybe help prevent a negative viral epidemic that seems to be a part of this whole “social media” trend that we don’t understand (kidding… we totally understand it and have case studies to show it!).

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~ by doubleb on August 24, 2009.

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