By Rachel Galloway
Our content director’s daughter spends a day of her spring break at our office in the Crossroads, and ends up writing a blog about what advertising & marketing means to her.
As a 13-year-old, I have a very limited budget. Limited meaning no budget. I have no budget because I have no job. I can’t even legally drive a golf cart yet. The streams of Christmas and birthday money help for about four months after they’re given, and then fade into $3.00 or so. However, companies and their advertisers still choose to target expensive or frivolous items towards teens and tweens. This is why we spend all of our precious money so quickly, instead of saving it for college. We’re pressured in to (and end up) buying a watermelon cooler, when we can’t even drive ourselves to the grocery store to buy a watermelon.
Social Media Influencers are a Bad Influence
Companies will sponsor social media influencers, such as the Kardashians and other celebrities, to review their products, and if they throw in a little extra cash, they can get a great review despite the quality of the product. For example, a 13-year-old like me is scrolling through Instagram and sees her favorite celebrity giving a great review to a product that guarantees fast hair growth. So, with dwindling Christmas and birthday money, you drop $40.00 on a bottle. It arrives, and after a month, there is no change.
You’ve been cheated out of $40.00 AND long, luxurious Rapunzel hair all because advertisers know what you like, and pay the people you like to influence you to buy their product, whether it functions as advertised or not. My mom still tells the story of how she saved her money and begged my grandma to buy Sea Monkeys she found in the back of a magazine that ended up looking nothing like the picture. (Probably why she won’t write about anything she doesn’t believe in.)
Products that are directed towards teens also tend to be extremely pricey. For example, a hoodie with a popular logo on it is $328.00. This brand is very popular and trendy among teens and young adults, many of whom are paying for college or rent or a car. Clothing is a necessity, unless you want to be arrested (in prison, the jumpsuits are free). The clothes teens wear shouldn’t be so expensive, neither should other products. Makeup for young women is very expensive. A bottle of concealer can cost around $15.00 to $27.00. That could pay for a meal or a book used for a class. Concealer is watered down paint, not rare powder found in some tropical paradise mixed with unicorn blood.
Trendy is Spendy
Some advertising & marketing companies are taking advantage of what’s trendy and how far teens will go to fit in, even if that means spending the rest of our birthday money on a hoodie or makeup or hair products. This is unfair, especially if the product doesn’t even work as advertised. If a product is quality and really does work, being on the pricier side is fine, but spending over $100.00 on crap isn’t. Teens should be saving up for a car, college, a house, not to buy something stupid just because Kylie Jenner posted on social media that they should buy it.
Advertising & marketing companies should start to understand more about the audience they’re targeting a product to instead of amping up the price and making it seem trendy and popular. They need to take into consideration that teens don’t have the money to be spending a ton on clothes and makeup and such. Selling expensive items without the value or quality may work now. We’re trendy teens. We may part with our Christmas money from papaw on a product that doesn’t work once. But not twice. Teens eventually get smart to the need to save more of their money, and research the product they intend on buying, instead of trusting a sponsor who’s been paid off.