How Technology is Shaping Teen Advertising Strategies
FEB 26 2023

Is it possible to advertise directly to teens? If yes, then what are the rules and regulations for advertising to teens? Would they be a good target audience? Is it ethical to advertise to them? What are their responses to targeted ads and is there a return on investment? What has been the past experience with technology ads for teens? What is the COPPA rule, and how should you integrate it into your advertising? What does new technology have to do with advertising methods?

These are the first thoughts of any marketer when it comes to marketing to teens. If you have contemplated about any of these questions as a business owner or a marketer; you are not alone.

Teenagers are normally early adopters of brands, and that is why they have always mattered for brands to gain a larger market share. However, teenagers are extremely sensitive to advertising. Unlike their parents, they do not trust ad strategies and positively abhor traditional channels, which makes it even harder to influence them. 

Today’s teens love technology and have access to a variety of information sources, including social media, peer recommendations, and influencers that they trust and follow. This savvy community requires marketing strategies that address their concerns and points of view.

The truth is advertising to teens is a profitable business. Not only do they buy if you advertise correctly, but they persuade their parents and peers to do the same. This makes targeting teens an even more thoughtful choice. According to YPulse, “teens are now passing technology down to their parents, not the other way around.”

It’s time to learn about the best practices to create technology ads for teens, but be mindful of the marketing regulations surrounding this demographic.

Advertising To Schools - Is it really possible?

As marketing efforts targeting children and teens become highly complicated, your approach should always involve careful planning. The COPPA rules apply to any child from 13 years of age or under. However, some are suggesting that lawmakers should raise the COPPA age group to 17. 

So if you are targeting that age group, you should comply with the COPPA guidelines and understand how they apply to your advertising. We have covered the COPPA rules thoroughly in another article which you can refer to.

Traditional Marketing Methods Reaching Teens

As a brand, you have the possibility to advertise to schools also. Here are your choices:

If your brand doesn’t target teens and children with tobacco, alcohol, nude, or violent ads, then it may benefit you to know that some states let you advertise on the buses or inside school buses. If you are a brand with a budget allocated for space advertising, this is one of the options you can take advantage of.

You have this type of promotion for children and teens in restaurants and fast food chains advertising. Offering free meals to younger family members is a way to bring the whole family in. Some educational material can also fit into this category because it offers extra information about the brand and helps students with their curriculum. 

Sponsorship mainly brings sports teams into mind, and rightfully so. Brands can sponsor school teams, especially high school, by providing uniforms, shoes, t-shirts, and other promotional materials with their brand logos to support teams. Stadium or field sponsorships are another way you can be sure teen groups, who are into sports activities, will receive your marketing messages.

Channel One Media was a program produced for elementary, middle, and high schools that allowed some advertising to these groups. As long as you promote healthy lifestyles and products approved by their advertising regulations, you could secure your advertising spot in their programs and be sure your target audience could view your commercials.

These are some of the more traditional ways you can advertise to children and teens. With the advent of new technology, it is possible to have more access to teens, especially since one of the characteristics of this age range is to embrace new technology and improvements. Digital and social media have helped brands a lot to implement technology ads for teens. 

How Can Technology Help Advertising To Reach New Heights?

One word stands out when you want to influence teens: “Engagement”. If you succeed at engaging them, you have paved the path to their hearts. That is why traditional advertising, such as billboards, magazines, and radio advertising, has little or no importance to them. The new technology, on the other hand, is what the new generation is after. 

Let’s discuss the technology improvements that help you utilize technology ads for teens.

Engage Teens On Your Website

It may be more difficult to reach teens where they are, but you can work on attracting them to your website. Among the features you can improve on your website are SEO management and video content, both of which are excellent starting points for engaging the younger generation. Here are some more ideas:

Many websites use chatbots to engage customers, and there are good reasons for that. These tools engage viewers from the minute they visit your website. According to a study by Drift, 42% of customers are unaware that they are communicating with a chatbot. This means you can create human-like answers to your frequently asked questions, increase your online customer service 24/7, and make a website that customers don’t want to leave. So, if you are after teenage groups, Chatbots have the utmost value to your website.

Another way to engage and keep teenagers on your website is engaging videos. And no, we don’t mean just another corporate video explaining your feature on a slideshow. Use animation, stories, and current trends to engage teens. For example, music and human interaction are the two elements that attract all users including teens. As an award-winning agency, we provide you with valuable insights on how to engage teens with video marketing. Take a look at our success stories to find out more.

Have A Strong Presence On Social Media

One of the great advances in technology that enables brands to gain more access to young customers has been the development of social media platforms. It is no secret that teens get their influence from social media. A look at your social media audience metrics will prove that. Teens spend more than 5 hours daily on social media. Facebook and YouTube are one of the main platforms teenagers spend their time in, followed by Instagram and TikTok. 

Instagram has a teen-friendly advertising platform. So, a large part of your target audience is already within your reach. Additionally, creating captivating material is a must, because you are only seconds away from being replaced by another brand and message. 

Moreover, making your brand reachable on multiple platforms brings credibility and trust to your company. Social media trends are changing and new platforms come into existence every year. Having a flexible but consistent strategy for social media brings you brand awareness which ends in more purchases and more profits in a shorter time.

Invest On Micro Influencers

Another great advance in technology ads for teens is that everyone has his or her broadcasting channel now. The younger generation follows trending micro-influencers, usually their age, who discuss everything from their social lives to unboxing newly introduced products. 

You will be surprised by the number of opportunities available for influencer marketing. In fact, a report from the influencer marketing website reveals that the market has never stopped growing. From a $9.7 billion industry in 2020, influencer marketing reached $13.7 billion in 2021 and continues to grow to a $16.4 billion industry. 

With its main target being kids, teens, and youth, what does it tell you about your marketing strategy for 2023?

Advertising On Gaming Platforms

Gaming and mobile apps continue to grow and more teenagers are downloading and playing online games every year. After the pandemic, this interest has grown more dramatically too. Gaming and live game streaming websites are now more popular than ever. 

According to Deloitte's study, nearly three out of ten Gen Z teens (27%) regard gaming as their favorite pastime, compared with 21% of Gen Z adults. In a survey by eMarketer, almost 70% of participants mentioned that they would give up media or TV, but not their mobile gaming. 

In the same study, data showed that users are twice as likely to pay attention to game display ads than they are to ads on the internet. Roblox, a global platform and one of the main players in the gaming industry announced that it is planning to bring playable ads to the platform. 

Roblox already permits in-game billboards and sponsored objects if users pay for its in-game currency Robux. Microsoft and Sony, another two major-league players in the gaming industry, are testing advertising platforms for free-to-play and cloud-streamed games on consoles and PC. 

What the trend shows us is that in-game advertising is a strategy you need to focus your efforts on in 2023 and beyond if you would want to run successful youth ads

AI As A Means Of Advertising

AI is attractive to teens and youth because it fascinates and engages them. Engagement is the keyword that is essential to GenZ and Gen Alpha, two generations that spend most of their time in front of screens. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are revolutionary in many businesses and industries and are expected to reach $250 billion in 2027. 

What does this mean to businesses and marketers for the years to come? 

SEMrush reported that AI technology is a prioritized marketing and sales strategy for companies. Since AI allows brands and business owners to gather metrics and analyses, it is an efficient tool for advertisers.

It is frustrating for marketers to update and improve their data processes. An average marketer spends 5 hours and 36 minutes on this task only and most of the time, they fail. That is the reason advertisers currently rely on AI tools to test new ideas and optimize impressions, click-through rates, and targeting strategies. 

AI has enabled advertisers to predict patterns and perform best practices for advertising and marketing efforts by gathering intelligence.

Meta has recently announced that it has updated its policies and standards and has given more control to create an age-appropriate ad experience for teens. So if you are not in the banned categories, you have a better chance to advertise your products and services on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta.

Example Of Successful Technology Ads For Teens

Consider how big brands like Apple have created strong supporters even among the teenage category. Disney is another brand you can analyze for its engaging approach to creating a positive brand image for kids and teenagers. 

Thinking of exciting ways to introduce your brand, products, or services to Gen Z might be easier after examining successful examples of teen-targeted campaigns. 

Daniel Wellington: #WheresWellington

How do you create engagement and attract teens and youth when you are a watch company? This was the challenge for Daniel Wellington, a Swedish watch manufacturer, and the marketing team. 

They figured out early that they can influence their target groups by connecting to influencers. So they sent a free watch to influencers with the most followers on Instagram, and they required one thing from them: to send a photo on their feed along with the hashtag #WheresWellington. Followers had to find the mysterious place and guess where the photo was taken. The campaign generated massive buzz around the brand, which in turn, became an approved and popular brand among teenagers and young adults.

Promoting A New Product The Cheetos Way

What do you do if you want to make a commercial for a new product and you are in the Cheetos marketing team? When they decided to promote their new product “Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix”, they did not go to traditional media like a Super Bowl commercial. Instead, they utilized an interactive approach using the Snapchat AR experience. 

The participants had to focus their cameras on a Cheetos TV commercial attempting to “grab” a package from the screen. Those who took part could receive a coupon for one free bag of Crunch Pop Mix. 

The advertising team had to upload all 1,440 frames of the commercial into Snapchat’s machine-learning software, but the result was really worth the effort. This real-life experience led to 50,000 “stolen” bags from the commercial, which indicates the number who successfully participated in the ad. Apart from that, the traffic to the Cheetos website increased by 2,500%. The campaign mixed traditional media and new technology to increase sales and brand awareness for their new product.

The campaign showed you can use real-world experience as a powerful tool to make your ads memorable and unique among all the advertising noise in the category of technology ads for teens.

Don't Cover Up Your Acne

Anyone who interacts with teenagers knows that they are very sensitive when acne begins to show on their faces. Suddenly their picture-perfect faces change, and they are looking for ways to cover them in order to look better. 

But that is when Starface, a skincare brand that produces acne patches, tried a different path to gain the attention of their target market: “teens with acne.” They created a pimple product in the form of star-shaped acne patches that they demanded to be included in teens’ selfies rather than filter them out. 

The campaign became instantly popular among teenagers with the help of a brand that made having pimples fun. Starface campaign won several awards for user-generated content and the Gold Distinction award in fashion and beauty. 

That is how you can embrace new technology like Instagram posts with your campaign ideas to reach your target viewers effectively and in a fashionable style.

End The Advertising War With Technology Ads For Teens

Today's teens are at the center of an epic and heavy tech industry war. Oliver Pangborn, senior youth insight consultant at the market research firm The Future Company concludes: “Twenty years ago, you had magazines, broadcasters, and record labels controlling the flow of trends downward to teens. Teenagers are now in charge of defining modern trends. With the internet and social media, teenagers now have easy access to that information…”

Teenagers have a very short learning curve for new technologies because they are just born into them. That may be the reason they rely on mobile technology and see the world through the screens of their phones.

Although teens are potential buyers who influence their peers and family members, they are less loyal to brands and businesses that come and go as they grow up. It requires careful branding and advertising strategies to remain in their minds at all times. 

If you are a brand or business that wants to increase market share in the teen and young adults category, you can count on our experience as a specialized digital advertising and marketing company. At Driver Studios, we specialize in kids' and teens' content creation for a broad range of customers and brands including Disney, Nickelodeon, and DreamWorks. You can Contact Us to have our expertise at your side.