Kids today...

... are amazing.

Don't believe everything you see on TV! In contrast to the lazy, job-hopping, self-absorbed young people portrayed in the recent 60 Minutes segment, The Millennials are Coming, the Young & Free Spokesperson applicants have been amazing!

We are helping northern Alberta's Common Wealth Credit Union promote its new Young & Free chequing account with an integrated campaign that marries traditional marketing with a social media approach. The program involves recruiting a youthful spokesperson to represent the 25 and under crowd throughout 2008. During the search phase we received 11 applications. We were thrilled with the quality and originality. It has been inspiring to see the response.

We have shortlisted the applicants to the top three and the fun is really kicking into high gear. 

Take a few minutes and read the blog posts and view the videos that these young people have created. They are remarkable. And go ahead and vote for your favourite. Everyone is allowed to vote once! Voting closes this Sunday, December 2 at midnight.

We are encouraging the three finalists to go above and beyond during the two-week public-voting phase. I get copied on all of the messages that go to the campaign Gmail account. My jaw dropped when I following the link to this second YouTube video from Larissa. Click here to view it for yourself and any concerns you have about today's young people will evaporate. Take that 60 Minutes!

If you want to keep abreast of what is happening with all things Young & Free, subscribe to the blog RSS feed here. In just the first 50 days of the campaign, there have been 38 blog posts and over 150 comments. We are thrilled with the participation and the site traffic.

For a younger perspective on the 60 Minutes piece, jump over to Robbie Wright's CU Employee blog. Robbie is one of the brightest young lights in the credit union movement. I highly suggest following his blog as well.

From this 38-year-old Gen Xer, the future of today's youth is not just bright, it is brilliant!

Tim

P.S. At a later date, I will review our learnings so far on the Young & Free campaign. I want to thank the folks at Common Wealth Credit Union including Jeff Mulligan, Ken Sutherland and Kim Crockett, who have all been a dream to work with. Their courage to let this social media experiment play out in real time is incredible! Thanks again for the opportunity to play.