Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 28

Marketing to Teens: Not All Fun and Games

m
28

Children, tweens and teens have great influence over the American families’ purchasing decisions, so know the rules when marketing to this sought-after demographic.
BY GREGORY SATER AND AMY MUDGE address marketing to children who are under 12. CARU, an arm of the CBBB, runs a self-regulatory program in which it reviews ads that are directed to children under 12. While CARU does not focus on ads directed to teens, many of the principles articulated are good practices to consider when marketing to consumers who are of an impressionable age. • Kids are People Too – But Vulnerable People. Children are a vulnerable audience and ads directed to them must be clear. What claims are made in an ad, and the resulting analysis of whether they are adequately substantiated, are always viewed from the lens of the “reasonable consumer.” The standards are higher as kids are vulnerable due to their inexperience, immaturity and naivety. Marketers should take a step back and assess the target audience of their ads and appropriately evaluate the knowledge and sophistication of the intended audience to determine if the ads are clear and all needed information is conveyed in a way that will be understood and appreciated by the younger eyes. • Cliff Diving is Cool But Not to Sell to Kids. Even when advertising products appropriate for use by young folks, Marketers who are engaged in electronic retailing, particularly in the online and mobile categories, know that a major segment of the market now consists of tweens and teens. The classic juvenile refrain “Are we there yet?” has been replaced with “Mom, can I buy that?” Teens and tweens and even younger children now have far more influence over American families’ purchasing decisions than they used to, and this trend is likely to continue and intensify. More money is spent every year on electronics and other mobile and internet-based products that are often unknown to adult consumers ... until their children tell them about them! Marketing directly to this audience now makes more sense than ever. But what are the legal principles that apply to such marketing? The answer is that the legal principles involved in marketing to teens and tweens are not radically different from the rules of the road for advertising in general, but there are heightened considerations. A good place to start would be the guidelines put out by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) that

showing kids engaged in dangerous activities can be found to be unlawful under federal law. The disclaimers used in adult-directed ads like “Don’t try this at home” or “Professional stunts people depicted” are not likely to resonate with a younger audience. So you do not need to show kids at home or in a library, but bungee jumping is best to be avoided. When showing activities like skate boarding, proper safety equipment should be depicted. If the activity is one where adults should supervise, adults should be shown supervising in the ad. No marketer wants to get press by reports of children who are injured trying to model stunts they see in a TV spot. • Product Demos Need Keep it Really Real. All ads are required to show truthful and non-doctored product demonstrations. When marketing to kids, this holds true as well. But in addition, marketers should refrain from suggesting use of a product will make users more popular or smarter. An ad should show the product being

electronicRETAILER | October 2012



Electronic Retailer - October 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - October 2012

Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Ask the Expert
From the Executive’s Desk
It’s All About the Numbers
Media Attribution Goes Mobile
Marketing to Teens: Not All Fun and Games
Guest Viewpoint
Guest Viewpoint
DRTV
Teleservices
Fulfillment
Member Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classifieds
Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover1
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 9
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - FTC Forum
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Ask the Expert
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - From the Executive’s Desk
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - It’s All About the Numbers
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 22
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Media Attribution Goes Mobile
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 26
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Marketing to Teens: Not All Fun and Games
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 30
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 34
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 36
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - DRTV
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Teleservices
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Fulfillment
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Member Spotlight
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 42
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Advertiser Index
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com