Tween Summit

davidtmhWhile looking for any latest news concerning David’s interview with MTV News today, I come upon a news feed about a Tween Summit in Washington, D.C. What does this have to do with David? 

Why, the very first sentence in the article is about his “Crush” blasting on loud speakers at this national event – the first of its kind – catering to “tween” girls who are proving to be a power force.  Did you know, for example, that girls between the ages of 8 and 12 are believed to control or influence as much as $200 billion in purchasing power?  No wonder the adults want to hear from them (and why Jive and even Disney began marketing David towards them). Then, there’s the obvious fact that, as David grows older, so too will this core group of fans.  As David matures, so too will their tastes.

Now, here’s the thing.  I still believe this “tween marketing” and tween association prevent David from being taken seriously as a music artist.  And yet, part of the reason he doesn’t get taken seriously is because he’s billed as that loveable boy only tween girls can love.  Somewhere in this “dismissal” is the ageism and sexism that also dismiss young girls as having any relevance or any cultural tastes.  I mean, there is no denying David’s appeal to this particular demographic, but I’ve always felt that such declarations often dismissed David’s universal appeal.  Of course, he’s loveable to tween girls, but he’s also loveable to older women and men and to gays and straights, blacks and whites, Latinos and Anglos, Americans and internationals.  Everybody loves David.  Yet, it never fails that someone in the media immediately invokes his name or his tween fanbase as if the two are interchangeable.  

Is this an image problem?  And if David’s primary base is the tween market, how exactly will Christmas from the Heart be marketed?  I have a feeling that, had someone from Jive been the executive producer, and not Jeff, we might have gotten more “fun” carols included, like “Jingle Bells” or “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  Instead, we receive this most reverent of Christmas albums, which seems to proclaim David as not another teen sensation.  And he isn’t.  

I’m just waiting for everyone else to finally get that David has surpassed the “tween summit.” And even then, it would help if his associations with tween girls didn’t immediately result in other folks dismissing his incredible talents and the respect he deserves as an artist in his own right.

Posted on October 21, 2009, in public image. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Screen shot of a DM between someone and Jim about today’s MTV shoot.

    Eeeek! Should be fun.

  2. (Lambert’s single is #10 on iTunes. I’m surprised. I guess they haven’t started their massive radio and promotion campaign yet.)

  3. JMHO

    I feel that David appeals to all ages/races/sexes/nationalities, but when it comes to the press many times they skew the article to whatever point they are trying to get across at the time. Sometimes they make fun of the “grandma or mom” types that like David & sometimes they make fun of the “tweens” that like him.
    It gives me the impression that sometimes the “press” is just trying to make David seem like a “no win” situation, when in actuality he is SO well liked by all, that the “press” just can’t seem to understand that this is possible.

    JMMV

    • I agree. Maybe it speaks more to the exclusive types who make up the press? They all seem to be cut from the same snarky, mid-twenties/mid-thirties, suburban-reared, whitebread ivory-tower cloth. David is just too easy for them to categorize and phone in another retread article.

      Note: I fall into many of these stereotypes myself, yet somehow still manage to see the glory of the archuleta 😉

  4. Tweets regarding the MTV shoot today:

    DavidArchie Went Christmas caroling around the MTV offices with @JambaJim. Interesting doing that in October… Haha. But it was fun!
    about 1 hour ago from txt

    jambajim @DavidArchie Thanks again for playing ball with us at MTV today. You are the best. I’ll Tweet you a link once it’s ready. 🙂 MERRY ARCHMAS!
    about 1 hour ago from web in reply to DavidArchie

  5. from Jim Cantiello at MTV

    “@DavidArchie & I in our coordinating Xmas sweaters. Also, why is this the least flattering picture of me EVER?”

    http://www.twitpic.com/mdki5

  6. Speaking of tweens & money, here’s some data on the Demi Lovato 2009 tour for the dates June 21-Aug 24:

    Total tickets sold was 127,987 out of a 160,855 available (80%
    capacity). A total of $5,464,828 (an average of $165,601 per concert).

    Source: PollStar Pro database; http://www.pollstarpro.com/default.aspx

  7. About tweens I have to say they really keep up with what’s new. No one I talk to in my ‘real’ life knows David but the other day one of my very young students was showing me the songs she had on her cell phone and bam…David singing with Miley Cyrus. Of course I flipped out and shrieked ‘I love this guy!’ to which she replied disbelievingly ‘Really?’.
    Tween power FTW.

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