Advertisers have increased their focus on younger age brackets during the last 100 years. Marketing to youth began following the Second World War with the introduction of television. We have entered a new era of marketing geared toward youth. Youth have unparalleled access to marketing via television and internet, and marketing pitches are directly targeting youth. We live in an increasingly industrialized world.
In the first half of the 20th century and before, youth were not viewed as a market. In the 1960’s youth culture became a desired culture. Children’s requests to parents became the core of the new marketing focus .Children influence their parents’ buying decisions and they are the adult consumers of the future. Advertisers are relying on “Pester power” or the “nag factor” which refers to children’s ability to nag their parents into purchasing items they may not otherwise buy. They know that it’s a powerful tool, therefore advertisers target the youth rather than appealing to the parents.
Parents today are willing to buy more for their kids for various reasons. Guilt can often play a role in how much a parent buys for a child. Parents who have less time to spend with their children substitute buying more gifts in the place of time spent.
It all began with presweetened cereal, which appealed to children. Toys were marketed free within the cereal box in order to sell the cereal. Product appeals were frequently exaggerated to interest children more. Since the start of youth geared marketing, there have been many new additions such as music, technology, etc. Television has been the primary vehicle for conveying this marketing to youth.
Children’s programming has also been used as a vehicle for advertising. Advertising was conveyed in program length commercials. These were programs produced from characters or products that were pre-existing. These programs initially included GI Joe, Care Bears, My and My Little Pony, to name a few. If these programs or products didn’t have the right appeal towards the youth, they were very short lived.
Many companies employ psychologist to understand the way our youth think. They use these psychologists to explore developmental, emotional and social needs of children at different ages. Marketing strategies are developed using the research on our youths overall behavior compiled from their psychologists.
Brand name recognition has increasingly become a focus of targeting youth in marketing. Marketers try to establish brand recognition as early as possible and by the time children of school age, most can recognize hundreds of brand logos. The desire of youth to keep up with the brand names that their peers have is a determining factor in marketing also. Advertisers use these factors in hopes of building brand loyalty and lifelong relationships with youth because they will soon be the adult clientele. Advertisers also realize that youth, specifically teens are very loyal to name brands.
In conclusion, marketing to youth has continued to grow thought business practices over the last 100 years. Advertisers realize that our youth has increasing buying power via their parents. They also realize that the youth is the future of their consumers, and that youth display a remarkable level of loyalty to name brands. It is a lucrative business practice.