The memorable advertising for Tribes are those that tell a story with a  positive message behind them, rather than ‘try-hard’ youth adverts that can come across as patronising and condescending, which is an immediate put off for Tribes.

Wahid, Male, 18, Leading Edge


What role does media play in your life?

In terms of advertising, [media] informs me, if an advert is on the TV I usually assume it’s reputable and has a good history (generally speaking). I sometimes use tv media as a guide to evaluate the current trends. I also use media to see what other people of a different demographic are into. 4/5 times a week I find myself on the YouTube ‘trending’ and ‘popular now’ pages. I watch TV programmes not only for entertainment purposes but also for inspiration. You never know what may spark your next idea, I consider myself open minded, and am open to try new things too.

How do you feel about advertising aimed at young people?

Informative advertising works best. The adverts that make you think a little and have a message behind them. I don’t think dumbed down adverts work towards young people (13-25) as we just find it patronising and condescending. Adverts that make us feel like the victim don’t work either. It’s all about being and keeping positive. Good vibes only. I believe our generation is a feeling generation, we don’t want to be treated like we’re dumb, or that we don’t have the capacity to understand things. Generally speaking, I’d say young people nowadays are passionate. Advertising that caters towards passion DEFINITELY works.

Can you think of any examples of good and bad advertising aimed at young people?

Good example:

This advert by SaveTheChildren is memorable to me and really affected me because it shows a normal girl being affected by the Syrian crisis on a normal day and how things can change so fast and how it happened out of nowhere, unexpectedly. It also shows the transition between the girl’s birthday when there was no civil unrest and then her birthday when there was. That’s effective advertising. It’s a scenario that young people can watch and say ‘Hey, that could’ve been me, or my little sister, or my cousin’.

Bad example: McDonald’s adverts that entice young people and children to their happy meals through cunning marketing (using the latest/most popular children movie characters as part of their toys that they include in the meals). This one is debatable, because it works, but, I don’t think it’s morally/ethically correct to implement such a strategy to reel children in to eat junk like that. It definitely uses pester power, that’s for sure.

Annie, Female, 19, Leading Edge


What value does media bring to you?

Educational: I learn about current affairs from online news media outlets or TV news channels, and documentaries act as a basis for encouraging debate with my friends.

Enrichment: high-quality media content can serve to provoke thoughtfulness and critical thinking, much like analysing a good piece of literature or classical music.

Entertainment: short-form media especially is a quick and easy way to brighten my mood, particularly when shared with friends.

What works and what doesn’t?

Always good to target advertising for young people alongside special deals for young people – emphasising a student discount, particularly, is effective.

If something is quirky or funny enough to go viral – e.g. the Nandos rap order video – it can appeal to young people even if not aimed at young people (as we are used to this type of media).

Things relating to and lampooning current affairs/controversy are very effective (e.g. Tweets from bacon-making companies following David Cameron Pig-gate) as, again, we are very accustomed to new media which can respond instantly.

Direct engagement with customers/consumers can be a very effective form of advertising in this age: e.g. the sassy Tesco Mobile tweets.

Anything patronising will be annoying and we will write off the product based on this itself!

Also if we feel that a company has presumed to think they know ‘what young people like,’ we will go off the product/company on principle.

Shakaila, Female, 22, Urban

What role does media play in your life?

The media plays a huge role in not only shaping my outlook on life but also in carving out my position in life. As a minority, the media can play a huge role in determining how you view yourself and how you fit within society at large. A lot of the time, media representations of minority women like myself are hopeful sometimes they’re disparaging and often times they’re just completely inaccurate and you can tell that your story is being told through someone else’s eyes. One program that I recently discovered was Chewing Gum by Michaela Coel. It was hilarious and fresh and it was amazing to see someone I could identify with in a role that was multidimensional and shows like that are a source of encouragement for me.

How do you feel about advertising aimed at young people?

One example of bad advertising was a recent advert for a Theme Park resort (I can’t exactly remember which one).  The advert featured a mild mannered European nuclear family receiving tickets for the Theme Park. Suddenly they started blasting hip hop, dancing, wearing huge gold chains and their caps back-to-front: completely cliché and inauthentic.

I think sincerity and social inclusion plays a big role in successful advertising aimed at young people.


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