Boy, 15, Writes Morgan Stanley Analyst Note on Ad Trends; Execs Lap It Up

Last Updated Jul 13, 2009 10:46 PM EDT

Ad agency execs will spend today reading a Morgan Stanley analyst note penned by a 15-year-old who argues "Most teenagers enjoy and support viral marketing [and] really big tellies."

The note is interesting for two reasons: First, it contains nothing that we didn't know already. Second, it has caused a frenzy among investors trying to gauge the future of ad dollars in the media. The investment bank informed its investors on July 10:

At the vanguard of this digital [media] revolution are teenagers ... To this end, we asked a 15 year old summer work intern, Matthew Robson, to describe how he and his friends consume media.
Robson's note is by turns charming, obvious, annoying, insightful and laden with truisms. (He could totally work for BNET!) Morgan Stanley reports it was a huge hit with its cigar-smoking, bowler-hat-wearing, pinstriped-suit-sporting, middle-aged, pot-bellied customers:
The response was enormous. "We've had dozens and dozens of fund managers, and several CEOs, e-mailing and calling all day," said Mr Hill-Wood, 35, estimating that the note had generated five or six times more feedback than the team's usual reports.
The kid had some obvious things to say about advertising:
Most teenagers enjoy and support viral marketing, as often it creates humorous and interesting content. Teenagers see adverts on websites (pop ups, banner ads) as extremely annoying and pointless, as they have never paid any attention to them and they are portrayed in such a negative light that no one follows them. Outdoor advertising usually does not trigger a reaction in teenagers, but sometimes they will oppose it (the Benetton baby adverts). Most teenagers ignore conventional outside advertising (billboards etc) because they have seen outside adverts since they first stepped outside and usually it is not targeted at them (unless it's for a film). However, campaigns such as the GTA: IV characters painted on the side of buildings generate interest because they are different and cause people to stop and think about the advert, maybe leading to further research.
You can salivate over the full report here. My colleague, David Weir at BNET Media, gives a more detailed look (between puffs on his pipe, no doubt) here.

Hat tip to Gawker.

Image of yoofs by Flickr user kr4gin, CC.