In America today, it seems that everything we see and hear is accompanied with advertisements. And many of them seem to aimed at a younger audience. At this point, many of us have just accepted it as part of the world, but maybe we do not have to.
The fact is this: that big corporate businesses will stop at nothing to gain a bigger following. And if this means exploiting an audience, so be it. But the attempt at aiming their advertisements at teenagers has been one of their biggest challenges throughout the years. This is not to say though, that they have not succeeded.
Adolescents are so hard to appeal to because they are so easy to judge, and to see exploitation for what it really is. Sprite was the company that first realized this, and took advantage of it in a surprising way during the 80’s and 90’s. In a television advertisement, the company had a famous basketball player rave about the product while showing money numbers rising in the background. Stating the advertisement for what it really was subtly made teenagers feel like sprite understood them, and sales rose. But it did not take very long for adolescents to get wise to the new advertising game, and realize that they were still buying the product, just as Sprite originally wanted.
The next tactic of big business was to delve into the roots of teen culture and integrate their company into it. At the time, the most popular teen activities were dances like hip-hop, and so Sprite payed dancers to endorse it.
Today, big business still follows whatever teenagers like to do and integrate themselves into it. This may seem like it should be obvious for us to see call out, but the truth is that unfortunately their tactics often work. However, the first step to dealing with a problem is often simply recognizing it.