Tweens are usually defined as girls between the ages of 8 and 14 years old, but were never really recognized as a specific age group until very recently when they have become the new favorite target of American advertisers.

Now numbering about 30 million children, tweens are considered to be one of the most powerful and fastest growing consumer groups in the nation. It is estimated that tweens directly spend $15 billion annually and influence an additional $72 billion worth of family spending. This is considered to be an ideal group for advertisers to target because not only do they have relatively large amounts of money to spend (given to them by their parents), but they are so young that they have yet to form brand loyalties and can be more easily swayed.

Brand behavior gets adopted by the group as kids express independence (as defined by their group), the freedom to look and be different, just like everybody else.

The main tactic used in order to get to these children is to appeal to their desire to what they think is the “teenage” life. They aspire to grow up as quickly as possible and to be seen as being “mature.” This results in a twisted form of adolescent sexuality being sold to the girls, full of tight leather pants, tiny tops, and thong underwear straight from Abercrombie Kids. All of it made especially cool by that goddess of the tween set, Britney Spears.

Marketers need to create brand connections with tweens by embracing and delivering what they care about - fun, friends and brand fulfillment.

Most of this is possible because most American families have two working parents and more discretionary income. With the families under increased stress, the children are left with less supervision in the hopes that they will be able to make their own decisions. Time will tell how these children will react to all of the media messages that are being sent to them. We’ll find out when they grow up, into the 18-24 demographic of course.

Quotes are taken from A great site if you want to vomit.