9 Common Mistakes in Marketing & Advertising Aimed At Young People
JUNE 6 2023

Marketing and advertising aimed at young people is an essential marketing strategy for many businesses. With their immense purchasing power and ability to influence trends, young people are a lucrative target market you shouldn’t miss out on. However, reaching them is not always easy. 

Advertisers must be careful to avoid certain mistakes that can backfire and damage their brand image. In this article, we will explore nine common advertising mistakes that businesses should avoid when targeting young people.

The Significance of Marketing To Young People

Young people have significant purchasing power and are early adopters of new products and trends. Advertising to young people can help businesses build brand loyalty and create a lasting relationship with their target market. However, it's essential to avoid common advertising mistakes to create effective campaigns that resonate with young people and earn their trust.

The Psychology of Advertising to Young People

Advertising to young people requires an understanding of their cognitive and emotional development. But understanding the psychology of advertising to young people is not a walk in the park, and it requires a nuanced understanding of their cognitive and emotional development, as well as a commitment to promoting positive values and avoiding harmful stereotypes.

Young people are still developing their sense of self and their place in the world, making them particularly vulnerable to the messages conveyed in advertising. In fact, young children—those under the age of eight—have no intellectual or psychological defenses against advertisements, according to research.

Advertisers must be aware of the impact of marketing and advertising aimed at young people's self-esteem, body image, and overall sense of well-being. And if they’re not, they’ll likely face the consequences of disregarding COPPA laws.

COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection) laws impose specific obligations on operators of websites or online services aimed toward children under the age of 13. Some creators struggle to adapt to these laws and navigate the teen-marketing landscape, but they don’t have to. COPPA-compliant advertising is not so complicated once you make the effort to only collaborate with publishers who adhere to these laws.

Companies like Driver Studios will first study and evaluate your brand's direction, goals, and target audience, and then craft proposals based on the data gathered from previous campaigns. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you reach your audience across the world’s largest COPPA-compliant network safely and responsibly.

9 Mistakes In Marketing & Advertising Aimed At Young People

Youth advertising is an essential marketing strategy for businesses that want to reach a lucrative and influential target market. Young people have significant purchasing power and play a critical role in shaping trends and influencing consumer behavior. Advertisers who can connect with young people can build brand loyalty and create lasting relationships with their target market.

However, marketing and advertising aimed at young people are not without their challenges. Today’s youth are savvy consumers who can quickly tune out ads that don't resonate with them. Advertisers need to understand the values and interests of their target market and create campaigns that connect emotionally with them. They also need to avoid common mistakes, such as being too pushy, neglecting diversity, or using deceptive tactics.

Mistake #1: Not Understanding Your Target Audience

The first mistake you can make is not understanding your target audience.

This means not researching the age range, interests, and other factors of the people you're trying to reach. It also means not understanding their culture and values--what they care about, what they're looking for in a product or service, and how they want to be communicated with (if at all).

For example, one of the biggest mistakes that advertisers make when targeting young people is ignoring diversity. Young people come from different backgrounds and have different interests, and it's essential to understand this diversity to create effective advertising campaigns. Advertisers need to consider race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, and other factors when creating campaigns that resonate with young people.

Mistake #2: Not Investing in Quality Content

When it comes to creating content, many marketers make the mistake of thinking that quantity is better than quality. This is not true! If you want to reach young people and get them interested in your brand or product, then you need to make sure that your content is engaging and entertaining. You should also ensure that it's educational or inspiring so that people will want to share it with their friends and family members.

Mistake #3: Not Utilizing Multiple Channels

The third mistake is not utilizing multiple channels.

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut and only use one channel to promote your message, but this is a big mistake. The target audience for your product or service may be on different platforms, so it's important that you reach them where they are. For example, if you're trying to market an app that helps people find local events and restaurants, then Facebook might not be the best place for you because most young people don't use it anymore (and even if they do, they probably won't find what they need there). Instead of focusing all your efforts on Facebook ads alone, try using Twitter or Instagram as well--or even Snapchat!

Mistake #4: Not Taking Advantage of Social Media

Social media is an essential part of the modern marketing landscape, but many companies fail to take advantage of it. They either don't understand the importance of social media or they don't know how to use it properly. 

Some brands simply don't have an active presence on any platform, even though they could be reaching millions of potential customers with just one post or tweet! According to recent media research by Nielsen, 80% of US teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 own cell phones, and 90% of those teenagers view videos on such devices.

If you haven’t already, 2023 is the time to create engaging content that resonates with young people on various social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Mistake #5: Flawed Call-to-Action

Today, every marketing team and their grandparents know about CTAs. But it’s still a common mistake for marketers to neglect the significance of tailored CTAs. Did you know that Personalized CTAs generate 42% more leads from visitors than generic CTAs do? 

Another common mistake is not having a clear call to action. A call-to-action is the point in your marketing where you ask people to take action, such as clicking on an ad or entering their email address.

It's important that this step be clearly visible and accessible so that it doesn't get lost among all the other content on your page. If you want someone to click on something, make sure they know what they're supposed to do when they get there!

Mistake #6: Conforming To Stereotypes

To promote diversity and inclusivity, advertisers must be aware of their own biases and actively seek out diverse perspectives in their advertising. This means not only using diverse models and actors in advertising but also creating campaigns that reflect the values and aspirations of different communities.

Some strategies for promoting diversity and inclusivity in youth advertising include using cultural references and symbols that are meaningful to different communities, showcasing diverse role models and influencers, and actively soliciting feedback and input from diverse audiences.

Mistake #6: Not Using Relevant Keywords

Keywords are the words you use to describe your business, product or service. When people search for these keywords, they want to find information related to them. If you're not using keywords in your marketing materials, then you won't be able to reach the right audience and convert them into leads/customers.

There are many ways of researching keywords:

Google AdWords Keyword Planner - This free tool allows users to enter their business name along with other details such as location and industry type in order to find out what people search online when looking for products like yours (e.g., "women's clothing"). It also provides data on how many times per month each keyword has been searched over the last 12 months so that marketers can see which ones are most popular among consumers at any given time

Mistake #7: Not Being Genuine 

Young people are savvy consumers who can quickly tune out overtly promotional content. Advertisers need to find a balance between promoting their products and services and providing value to their audience while staying genuine and relatable.

Avoid using deceptive tactics, such as false promises, fake reviews, or misleading claims. Advertisers should also be transparent about their intentions and ensure that their campaigns align with their brand values.

Mistake #8: Focusing Too Much on Trends

While it's essential to stay up-to-date with trends and fads, focusing too much on them can be a mistake. Trends come and go, and advertisers who base their entire campaign on a fleeting trend risk looking outdated and irrelevant. Instead, they should focus on creating campaigns that are timeless and have a lasting impact.

Mistake #9: Neglecting Diversity

One of the key factors in marketing and advertising aimed at young people is the role of peer influence and social comparison. Young people look to their peers for guidance on what is cool, popular, and desirable. Advertisers can leverage this by using social proof and testimonials from young people who are seen as influential or popular.

However, advertisers must be careful to avoid perpetuating stereotypes and biases in their advertising. This is particularly important in promoting diversity and inclusivity in youth advertising. Advertisers must be aware of the potential impact of their messaging on different communities and strive to create campaigns that are representative and inclusive.

Examples of Youth Advertising Campaigns

In this section, we will examine two modern examples of youth advertising campaigns, one that successfully resonated with its target audience and one that failed. These examples will highlight how critical the values and interests of young people are in creating inclusive and diverse campaigns, connecting emotionally with the target market, and prioritizing ethics.

Best Marketing & Advertising Aimed At Young People Campaign: Nike

Nike's advertising campaigns are known for their inspirational messages and powerful visuals that resonate with young people. Their "Dream Crazy" campaign, featuring Colin Kaepernick, was a prime example of this. The ad highlighted Kaepernick's activism and encouraged young people to dream big and chase their goals, regardless of the obstacles they face. The campaign generated a lot of buzz and received praise for its powerful message and bold stance.

Nike's success lies in its ability to connect emotionally with its target market. They understand the values and interests of young people and create campaigns that inspire and empower them. Nike's campaigns are also inclusive and diverse, featuring people from different backgrounds and abilities.

Worst  Marketing & Advertising Aimed At Young People Campaign: Pepsi

Pepsi's "Live for Now" campaign featuring Kendall Jenner was an example of how not to target young people. The ad was widely criticized for its tone-deaf message, which seemed to trivialize the Black Lives Matter movement. The ad showed Jenner handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer during a protest, implying that a can of soda could solve complex social issues. The ad received a lot of backlashes and was eventually pulled.

Pepsi's mistake was failing to understand the values and interests of its target market. The ad felt inauthentic and superficial, and it failed to connect emotionally with young people. Pepsi also neglected ethics, using sensitive social issues to sell its product. The ad highlighted the importance of understanding the values and interests of young people and avoiding deceptive tactics.

The Future of Youth Advertising: Predictions and Trends for the Coming Years

Looking ahead, the future of youth advertising is likely to be shaped by a number of trends and emerging technologies. Personalization and hyperlocal targeting are likely to become increasingly important, as advertisers seek to connect with young consumers on a more individualized level.

The rise of virtual reality and augmented reality is also likely to play a significant role in the future of youth advertising. These technologies offer new ways to engage with young consumers and create immersive experiences that are more memorable and impactful.

Another major trend in youth advertising is the use of social media influencers and user-generated content. As more young people become social media creators and influencers in their own right, advertisers will need to adapt to this new landscape and find ways to connect with these influential voices.

As we mention in our What’s Being Marketed to Teens blog post, the key to staying ahead of the curve in youth advertising is to be adaptable, agile, and willing to experiment with new approaches and technologies. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and keeping a finger on the pulse of youth culture, advertisers can connect with young consumers in a meaningful way and build lasting relationships.

Navigating the Trends: Staying Relevant in Youth Advertising

As the world becomes more digital and youth culture evolves at an increasingly rapid pace, it can be difficult for advertisers to keep up with the latest trends and stay relevant in the eyes of young consumers. To succeed in youth advertising, it's important to not only be aware of the latest trends but also to have a strategy for navigating them effectively.

One of the biggest challenges facing advertisers today is the rapid pace of change in youth culture. From the rise of social media influencers to the explosion of new apps and platforms, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends and understand what young people are really interested in.

To stay relevant in marketing and advertising aimed at young people, it's important to have a deep understanding of the target audience and what they care about. This means staying up-to-date with the latest trends and conducting thorough market research to gain insights into what motivates young consumers.

You should also enhance your marketing strategy to navigate these trends effectively. This means understanding what trends are worth investing in and which ones are just passing fads. It also means being willing to take risks and experiment with new approaches, while still staying true to the core values and identity of the brand.

Another key factor in staying relevant in youth advertising is the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. For instance, when a campaign isn't resonating with the target audience, you should be able to pivot quickly and be willing to make changes based on feedback and insights.

Ultimately, the key to staying relevant in youth advertising is to be agile, adaptable, and always learning. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and having a strategy for navigating them effectively, advertisers can connect with young consumers in a meaningful way and build lasting relationships that will drive business success for years to come.

Drive Your Brand Forward with Driver Studios' Exceptional Production Services and Captivating Kids Content

Driver Studios is a full-service production studio that creates world-class content for leading brands and agencies. Our services include COPPA-compliant advertising, YouTube channel management, commercials, and kids' content creation. With a focus on captivating kids' content, Driver Studios creates episodic content that kids love at scale on YouTube. We also offer premier production services to help brands and agencies produce world-class content.

Driver Studios has a proven track record of delivering exceptional results and has been trusted by its clients and partners to create award-winning content. We have received recognition for our work in the form of awards, which is a testament to our commitment to excellence.

If you need compelling video, engaging kids' content, or the power to reach younger audiences across a COPPA-compliant network, Driver Studios has got you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help drive your brand forward.


Marketing and advertising aimed at young people is an art that requires careful planning and execution. Advertisers must be mindful of diversity, avoid being too pushy, embrace social media, understand the interests of young people, focus on creating timeless campaigns, and prioritize ethics. By avoiding the nine common advertising mistakes we mentioned, businesses can create campaigns that resonate with young people and earn their trust and loyalty.