Tuesday August 22

The Do's and Don'ts of Advertising to Youth

Harrisadvertisingyouth The Harris Interactive Youth and Education Research Group conducted a research among teens and tweens aged 8-18 in order to explore how they feel about advertising. This are the most interesting conclusions:

"When it comes to advertising tactics employed by companies, the top three liked by both tweens and teens relate to:

  1. celebrity and notoriety, including having a famous person use a product (tweens 39% and teens 21%),
  2. having a person in a movie use a product (tweens 33% and teens 20%),
  3. getting the company name included in the name of a sporting event or stadium (tweens 33% and teens 22%)."

Celibrities and their lifestyle are hotter than ever. Furthermore: they don't seem to have a problem with non-intrusive forms of advertising. This conclusion is underscored by the heavy disliking of intrusive advertising or advertising that disrupts with the way they use technology and media:

"Newer advertising tactics are viewed more negatively by young people. For example, only five percent of youth like it when companies advertise their product on cell phones (compared to 50% who dislike it), and four percent like it when companies get someone to mention a product in online chat sessions (with 41% disliking this tactic)."

But what puzzled me is that one the one hand they don't believe advertisers: only 6% think that advertisements tell the truth.... and YET it turns out that they look as much for information about new products and services to advertising as they turn to their peers for advice (both 36%). Furthermore: when we look at some other stats, we also see that ads before movies at a theater outperform online advertising by more than 600% on the level of attention (. And TV-ads outperform online ads by an equal 600% in influencing their buying behaviour (54% compared to 9%) (click on both images to enlarge)

Advertisingattentionyouth Womvsadsteens

I think there's a simple explanation for this: ads in a movie theater don't disrupt with the media experience you have: the ads feel like short-movies and you often have the feeling that they are a nice bonus to the movie. The same goes for the web: once you have the feeling that the advertising campaign feels like a great website, then teens won't have any problem at all with the fact that it's branded entertainment.

Source: (pdf)


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