South Africa’s teenagers are in a constant state of flux. Besides hormonal changes, their hopes, fears and desires are change constantly. What they wanted last year is very different to what they want this year. The same goes for how they want to consume advertising.
The results of a Future Facts Survey came as a surprise to Kay Cheytanov, managing director of 3RC and founder of Future Facts. “South Africa’s teenagers have a lot on their shoulders. They are less trusting than previous generations, they don’t want to be spoken down to and they can spot a hard-sell a mile away, often turning on their heels in the opposite direction. The Future Facts survey revealed some surprises in terms of how teenagers prefer to be marketed to,” she says.
Born between 1996 and 1990, children in high school rate television as the best way in which they want to be marketed to, followed closely by face to face. Social media and internet marketing ranked third on the list, dropping down a notch from previous years when online media was markedly more desirable. Telephone and SMS marketing came in just above radio, and ahead of magazine and newspaper print advertising. Billboards came up as the least preferred mode of advertising.
“For the past few years, social media and internet advertising were ranked quite high on the list of the preferred ways in which youths in high school consume advertising, but the latest Future Facts survey shows that, second only to television, the human interaction in face-to-face marketing presents a far better way of assimilating a brand message.”
“This probably stems from the fact that this youth segment wants to be part of a real conversation, not a virtual one. Furthermore, in my opinion, Television commercials have become far more clever, more humorous and thought- provoking, keeping viewers glued to the screen because they want that entertainment value,” says Cheytanov.
This said, marketing to the youth of South Africa requires a multi-faceted approach, with campaign elements that form part of a greater context, that are educational, entertaining and interesting.
The Future Facts survey was conducted on 10 614 learners from all regions.
IMAGE: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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