The new age youth comprise a major chunk of potential market for the international fashion retailers and hence they tend to focus exclusively on this segment. Marketers have further divided the youth into kids, pre-teens, tweens and teens depending upon the age groups. Marketing and advertising aims to build brand awareness as well as promote a certain trendy lifestyle catering specifically to these segments.
Advertising to the youth segment is not the same as advertising to the adult segments. Realising the fact that the children generally look up to role models in their lives, advertisers use sports stars, youth icons such as pop stars as well as other celebrities to endorse certain brands and products and become brand ambassadors. Such celebrities project a certain image, value and trust which rubs off on the product too and vice versa. Celebrity endorsements are highly effective on the childrens psyche as they naturally look up to the celebrities and want to imitate them. Many times we see the influence of celebritys character rubbing off on children and in some cases the celebrities become a cult figure with children. Eg. Victoria Beckham, Britney spears & J-Lo etc set the trend for the girls to follow. In such situations the effect of the advertisements can turn out to be positive as well as negative.
In case of sports star, their performance in the field affects their popularity with children thus jeopardizing the effectiveness of the advertisement as well. Advertisers have to be watching and monitoring what happens with their models and celebrities constantly to ensure that their advertisements do not turn negative due to any adversities faced by the celebrities.
When it comes to accessing the youth segment through media, advertisers choose television as well as print media especially the fashion magazines and sports magazines that are generally the favourite with children. Knowing this trend the television producers promote development of soaps that provide opportunities for merchandising associated products and promoted through the soaps. Such marketing gimmicks work well in short time and manage to set a trend provided the program becomes popular with the crowd.
Survey of amongst youth has shown that girls tend to watch television as well as read magazines more than the boys. Girls are generally more fashion conscious and tend to follow celebrity styles very closely. Pop magazines and youth magazines are very popular with girls. Generally it is seen that the teens tend to translate their perceptions into actual fashion and adapt the same in their lifestyle. Such lifestyle fashion especially clothing and accessories are fast changing and moderately priced. With the earlier generations the parents had a say in the matters of buying and fashion decisions concerning children. Now the trends have changed. Girls tend to have a mind of their own and like to shop as well as choose for themselves.
Building advertisements for youth segment using celebrities carries a very high responsibility on the part of the brand owners. The outcome of the advertisement as well as the events affecting the celebrity endorsing the product or the media can impact the psyche and perceptions of the youth group and in turn affect the reputation of the brand too. Retail companies are investing in market research to understand the dynamics of the youth segment all the time in an effort to set the trend. Brand building and advertising for this segment is not as easy as in other cases. Advisers have got to choose the subject, the message as well as the media carefully and monitor the feedback constantly. The youth segment being huge and untapped is a potential emerging market for all retailers.
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