By Stephanie Ciccarelli
August 4, 2011
Have you noticed just how easy it is for young people to dismiss advertisements?
Just this morning I heard my kids say "There are too many advertisements!" when they were waiting for a feature film to start playing. Who's to fault them? As young parents who remember using the Internet for the first time as teenagers, we even skip ads if and when we can.
While previous generations were able to tolerate advertisements in exchange for quality entertainment, the consumers of tomorrow are growing up online where selection is huge and mainly free with immediate gratification often achieved by the power of a click.
Just how can advertisers and those they work with reach and engage digital natives?
Find out in today's VOX Daily.
How Do Young People React To Ads?
The children, tweens and teenagers of today are among some of the most savvy, sophisticated and discerning individuals on the planet when it comes to how they allow the media to engage them, particularly when it comes to advertising. In an age with an overwhelming amount of content and ways to consume it, getting the attention of and striking a positive chord that breaks through the skepticism of today's youth is challenging to say the least.
Ads take up time, space, and can get in the way of what the person the ad is targeting really wants. Sometimes ads can also be perceived to be bad or inappropriate for the demographic they are trying to reach. Sometimes, the ads are bang on and appeal to their target market on a practical level and can also yield more than satisfactory results.
Getting Through To Teens
One example of a successful outreach strategy using traditional media is the ongoing radio campaign for a product called Proactiv. Proactiv Solution is used by teens and individuals suffering from Acne. According to their website, Proactiv helps its users get rid of acne and pimples and say good bye to blemishes and breakouts.
Voice talent Mike Elmore has been the voice of Proactiv's radio campaigns for a while now. The product, created by two dermatologists, has been marketed via infomercials since 1995 so they must be doing something right!
If you've heard the spots, be sure to let me know.
What Works With Kids?
When conducting my own experiments at home, I found that young children respond best to advertisements that are interactive, brief and rewarding in some way. Online games or interactive extras on DVDs are good examples of how many companies are gaining traction with the younger set and building brand equity with prospective consumers.
Lisa Biggs does a lot of work in this area. Lisa shared, "Pretty much everything I have voiced (or am voicing) is aimed towards children/parents. Of course, my voice offers a different perspective since I am a 'kid' in the VO Market. Also, I tend to book a lot of campaigns for public health awareness since having a child tell you things you ought to know or at least be more aware of seems to add more gravity to the message."
More Ideas For Connecting
Print materials can still be effective with kids given they provide a launching pad for further engagement online. Take cereal boxes for instance. One that comes to mind is a Cheerios (a General Mills brand) campaign running in Canada at present where you can go online and enter in a special code to receive a free beach towel. While there is no voiceover or literal interaction on the source ad itself, it directs people to go online to where they can be further engaged and experience the brand in a more complex manner.
When the visitor lands on the page they find themselves in an environment that resonates with kids looking to either get a towel for themselves or donate a towel to the Tim Horton Children's Foundation.
Whichever option the child chooses note that General Mills has achieved their goal(s) of connecting with a prospect, helping them to gain something of value or facilitating the donation of a towel to brighten the day of a deserving child.
Cheerios also employs the use of online games on their site to engage children and youth.
What About You?
I know that there are a lot of great stories out there just waiting to be shared. If you're part of an advertising campaign targeted to youngsters, tweens or teenagers that has proved effective, be sure to comment and let me know all about it!
Â©iStockphoto.com/Lisa ValderRelated Topics: advertising, Cheerios, child, film, kids, Lisa Biggs, Mike Elmore, Proactiv, radio, SAG, teenager, teens, tweens, voiceovers