Chris Moerdyk
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Chris Moerdyk
Marketing Tips

How to advertise to teenagers and young adults

One of the biggest challenges marketers face today is how to get kids, teenagers and young adults to notice ads when they don't watch TV or read newspapers.
Of course, a lot of marketers just continue to do what they have done for decades and that is stick to the same old same old advertising strategies even though their messages are falling on deaf ears and not being seen by eyes that are looking everywhere but at ads.

Reliable statistical data shows that teenagers and young adults don't watch TV anymore. They don't read newspapers and don't listen to the radio much, nor do they read magazines.

They are getting their information from their social media networks because they trust their friends more than they trust news bulletins.

They get their entertainment from personal digital music collections and watch videos and movies they get from the internet and DSTv Catchup, Vidi, Node or Netflix.

So, how does one talk to them? Quite simple in my opinion - and that is to use every method possible to get involved in their everyday conversations.

Simple in concept, but often complicated in practice. It requires homework and a well-crafted strategy. This is not anything like developing an advertising campaign but more like starting out on a game of chess and allowing your brand communications to be two-sided and very, very flexible.

Maybe this is why so many brands just stick to the same now useless way of doing things. Maybe they're too scared to even try and understand the marketing process required to get through to this target market.

The irony of course, is that the most efficient way of reaching this market is now actually a whole lot cheaper than the old way.

So, that's the good news. You CAN reach teenagers and young adults. And you can do it with a lot less of a budget than ever before.

24 Feb 2015 11:50


About Chris Moerdyk

Apart from being a corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator, Chris Moerdyk is a former chairman of Bizcommunity. He was head of strategic planning and public affairs for BMW South Africa and spent 16 years in the creative and client service departments of ad agencies, ending up as resident director of Lindsay Smithers-FCB in KwaZulu-Natal. Email Chris on moc.liamg@ckydreom and follow him on Twitter at @chrismoerdyk.

Angela Devenish
Hi Chris, Was great to read this article.Some of the points raised I feel need a bit more qualification in their statement. As the project manager on TEEN ZONE and HYPE which are brands positioned to the future forward generation in SA, I have to say that the solution is not just digital. TEEN ZONE saw a 40 % magazine circulation increase over 2014. That disqualifies the blanket statement of teens not reading magazines. Hype magazine with post grad institutes is the most credible lifestyle for Loxion Dreamers. If a magazine has a strong connection to its audience and is relevant, I believe it is going to deliver better than any other medium to teens. We are a sold monthly magazine and a hub where the teen community of trend setters love our magazine.I think it would be fair to say that the only sold consumer teen magazine is TEEN ZONE with others in its category having closed down.We believe that the always on consumer must be reached through a 360 solution and that is what these brands do best.ThanksAngela
Posted on 26 Feb 2015 08:13