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Abu Dhabi Media Summit: Viacom’s Dall’Orto shines light on the world’s 'super-now generation'

Viacom’s evp of music brands spotlights the youth market, especially in the Middle East.

Antonio Campo Dall’Orto, executive vice president of music brands for Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), delivered a rousing presentation about the Middle East’s youth market at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit today.

Dall’Orto summarised the key characteristics and insights from ten US and global research studies conducted between 2009 and 2011, which collected data from 24 countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia for the first time.

Dall’Orto started out by confirming that there are almost 2.4 billion ‘Millennials’ (people born 1981-2001) – also known as ‘Generation Y’ and the ‘Echo Boomers’ - in the world today, accounting for 34% of the total global population. The Middle East’s ‘Millennial’ bracket rises to an astonishing 48%.

Millenials’ spending power is pushing $1 trillion, he said, making them increasingly important in the consumer chain.

Dall’Orto characterised Middle Eastern Millennials as “better educated, more self-esteemed, more demanding, more tech-savvy and more ambitious” than previous generations: “Their positivity and freedom is provided by technology, the strength of relationship with their parents and their use of humour and wit,” he said.

“This generation want to reform the world in a positive manner rather than rebel against it,” he continued. He singled out its “strong sense of social responsibility” and said it is the “most positive generation in decades.”

They are the “supernow generation,” he added: “They live in the moment and have cancelled failure from their vocabulary. Authenticity is a by-word for this generation – cheating or falseness are considered among the new deadly sins.”

Connectivity and sharing is vital to this generation, he said: “Media consumption is characterised by multitasking in this multimedia world they have grown up in – they are digital natives – it’s not technology it’s life and technology is used to share culture and ideas.”

“We’re seeing the increasing power of the collective fuel new ways of doing things,” he concluded.

Campo Dall’Orto is also the MD of VIMN’s South Europe cluster, a position he has held since 1999, overseeing Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Africa, the Middle East, Malta and Turkey. His remit covers VIMN’s brands in the region, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, VH1 and Game One.

Campo Dall’Orto originally joined MTV Networks International in 1997 to lead the launch of MTV Italy as the first MD of the channel.

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