Promotional messages must be carefully designed for today’s youngsters because they are increasing in number and also have the purchasing power due to high salaries and thereby disposable incomes. They are also questioning about promotional messages and communications. For example a recent youth poll found that about 25 per cent of the respondents said ads directed at them were not believable; 20 per cent found them uninformative; 30 per cent thought they were silly; and only about 10 per cent viewed them as sincere. Majority of youths would rather buy advertised than non-advertised products.
When developing result oriented sales appeals to the youngsters market; the advertiser should keep in mind the following timeless rules:
*Marketer must not have any direct interaction with youngsters
*Marketer must be absolutely straight forward.
*Appreciate youngsters for being motivated by good judgement of products and their values.
*Be as personal as possible.
The successes of certain promotional campaigns aimed at the youth indicate several elements which marketers should consider and accordingly present the product:
Sports themes: Coca-Cola has introduced Mello Yellow a low carbonated drink, to sell to young people who like sports. Its commercial features a sports competition such as auto racing, basketball, and football.
An attraction: Hyper markets and Super markets around the country use music, blinking lights, and space age displays to attract youngsters.
Celebrities: In their basketball shoe commercials, Converse features `Larry Bird and Nike has Michael Jordan.
Humour: Many advertisers believe humour has a stronger appeal than giving out the good features of products when advertising to high school and college groups. A recent survey found that teens like funny or clever commercials the best followed by those that are extremely unusual.
There are three additional factors that can be mentioned in order to ensure greater success in the youth market. The first is that the youth group is a perpetually new market. As consumers move into this market, the advertiser needs to attract them, since every brand is a new brand to someone who has never used it before.
This group of young consumers moves along in age and finally reach into an older pool of householders. Thus, a marketer must not neglect young consumers who come on as groups if the company’s brand is to have continued success in the older age market. Two companies in the US utilizing this approach to attract youths successfully are presented below:
American Express has developed a special plan to attract college students as card holders. The usual application requirements are reduced and the program is promoted with a special mention in college newspapers. The company has even adapted its familiar slogan to reach the youth market. The slogan is “The American Express Card. Don’t leave school without it”.
Schick has been able to compete with Gillette, the reputed company for quality in the razor blade market, by consistent and specific efforts to win young shavers. Through various means it offers young men the opportunity to receive Schick razors either free or at nominal expense. In some interesting and creative ads featuring college students and dormitories the company has sought to capture those aged between 16 to 34 as young shavers portraying them in ads. The result has been that Schick has gained a significant presence in this market.
Another point to remember is that companies may be able to utilize youth appeals to a market broader than the traditional age boundary would indicate. Marketers today are defining youth more in terms of mind than of a particular age. The result of this is that many companies, ranging from retailers to manufacturers are taking into account to include the mature and more affluent customers who think young.
The marketer must also recognize the growing and global nature of the market. The youth market will increase worldwide even in the future years. Moreover, there appears to be a growing uniformity of the teenage market worldwide. Many companies including Benetton, The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo, Inc; Levi Strauss Associates; The Gillette Co., and Swatch International now see teen tastes and attitudes as being sufficiently similar to warrant a global advertising and marketing strategy. If there is a type of teenager emerging globally, this has important implications for marketers. The market size of youngsters is around 25 per cent of the world population, aged 10 to 19 and there is a trend of teens in industrialized nations spending a higher percentage of their parents’ disposable income. Continuous travelling and attention to new ideas generated abroad are necessary for a marketer to keep up the youth attraction.