New trends in the advertising and social media market

May 10, 2013
3 min read

Trend Observation: Age Appropriate Ads

A Spanish organisation for abused children has found a way to hide its message from adults while still reaching at-risk youth.According to a report on MSN News, Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation created a billboard that displays a different message to children than to adults. A video on YouTube explaining the ad says the creators used the average height of adults and kids to create “a message only for children”. The ad shows everyone above a certain height a message about child abuse awareness. But for those who are the average height of a child or shorter, the ad changes. For children, the ad reads “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you”. It also displays the phone number for ANAR. In theory, adults will not be able to view the message because they are too tall.

For their eyes only

Advertisers have more challenges when it comes to holding consumers’ attention. Ads and marketing messages have become so common in public spaces that we’ve seen some communities seek to ban new ads or try to limit the growing number of ads to cut down on the overcrowded ad landscape of modern cities. Indeed, fewer consumers pay attention to ads, even when they’re interrupting screen time. Mintel’s Social Media and Networking UK May 2012 report found that two in three social networkers pay little attention to adverts on social networking websites. To combat this, we’re seeing more marketers introduce increasingly creative ways to attract consumer attention and drum up interest. Exclusivity is boosted by secretive ads that can only be seen in the dark or those that must be viewed at a particular time. The issue addressed through this campaign is a serious one and deserves to be handled with care and respect. But, the concept is one that can be applied to other, less dire subject matter as well. We have already seen vending machines that dole out treats to consumers who are of the appropriate age. Perhaps this billboard technology can be used more often to target younger consumers and parents in different ways through the same ad space.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation of the Social Media and Networking industry in the UK, Mintel published the following market research: Social Media and Networking Industry in the UK

This is an observation from our Inspire trend Secret Secret which looks at locations and products that garner exclusivity and turn consumerism into a game. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire click here.

Catherine Cottney
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