Over the past few weeks, in building their brand strategy, I’ve been discussing this animal, called the teenager with some friends, colleagues, clients and industry leaders and asking them for their input.
They have likely accessed more information in their 18 or so years, than most of us 30 year-old-pluses have in our lifetime.
This confidence makes them brave. Like a teenager, I’m brave enough to admit I don’t have the answers and that the best advice comes from experts.
These experts gave me their input. I’ve weaved that into some of the insights I’ve gathered. In a lot of our agencies activations, we get to talk face to face with the target market, the actual high school learner.
I’ll break it down into the simplest form. My 5 S’s. Quotes from some youth, coupled with some insights from some “in the know”
“Youth advertising has changed rapidly in the past few years due to technological advances and the youths’ access to the internet. Some key communication is often lost when speaking to the youth via mobile as your message is a swipe away from being redundant to them. Face-to-face advertising is an amazing “old-school” medium that is uninterrupted, direct and very personal.” Phumi Masango, media strategist, Carat.
“To connect with the youth of today it is important to be authentic as a brand, keep your messaging personal and relevant, and most of all - keep it simple to not waste people’s precious time because they don’t have much to spare!” Ashleigh Melvill. brand activation manager, Adidas Emerging Markets.
“If we (youth) don’t like it, if it makes us uncomfortable, then it is probably on-trend. Culturally relevant marketing are changes and movements away from established thinking. Not always just reinterpretation thereof. “ Phil Venter, “Titles are what old people aspire to. Lame” (But also the founder of www.snow.africa).
OK, if your attention span is like mine, I’ve broken this up into 3 sets of quotes and then the rest to follow. Take a 2-minute break; get distracted by a new WhatsApp…
OK, welcome back…
Middle-aged marketing directors and agency strategic minds need to understand this teenager in order to resonate with them.
I can feel safe knowing that no teenager is likely to read this article.
Generally, their attention span is limited to 300 words max. A YouTube video by a vlogger should be maximum 10 minutes and an “advert” shouldn’t exceed 60-90 seconds or they will be lost… possibly forever.
A lot of online publications have adopted a method of showcasing the amount of time it will take to read particular articles, even at 40 years old I’m more likely to read a 2 or 3-minute article than anything over 4 or 5 minutes.
We are dealing with a generation who converse in “newspaper headlines.” Short, simple bursts of words and nothing more than 280 characters!
OK, back to the S’s
“With always-on social media, they see themselves as brands. So what equity does your brand bring to my personal brand?” Luke Jedeikin, founder of Superbalist.
“Younger generations are having a greater impact on society than ever before. Powered by digital communication - their ability to affect societal, political and cultural change is unprecedented. Blanket communication approaches relying on traditional tactics WILL fail.
Specialised tactics and bespoke solutions will be the only way to win with this audience.” Mike Silver, founder, Elevator Agency.