How to Effectively Reach Teens With Your Local Media Mix

local media planning

Traditional local media out performs online advertising when it comes to recall and effectiveness.

American teenagers have grown up with the Internet and social media, so it is no surprise they spend most of their time online.   

According to a new international study by ResearchNow and K&A Brand Research, respondents aged 12 – 17 years old from the US, Poland, Germany and the UK, 62% of the young people surveyed report they go online every single day; 46% several times a day.

Based on these media usage trends, many advertisers naturally consider online and mobile strategies when building a local media mix to reach teens and Gen Y.  However, it is also important to note the effectiveness and recall for various mediums.

This study covered a wide range of attitudes and opinions regarding offline and online advertising, some of which are outlined below.

Advertising Effectiveness


48% of teens surveyed “try not to pay attention” to online ads and 45% say online ads “get on their nerves.”  The takeaway here is not only are online impressions not as effective as some may think, but advertisers should be careful how creative and “clever” they are with online advertising.

There are so many options available for advertising online, including rich media and page takeovers.  These units are sold at a premium and should be used wisely and executed well.  Do not use an interactive or obtrusive unit, just because you can.  It has to fit your creative strategy and make sense to your target audience.

37% “liked watching” offline or traditional mediums and 50% of Americans said they remember offline executions, “for a long time.”  It is a little surprising the rich interactive executions aren’t the ones that are enjoyable or remembered by American teens, it is the tried and true traditional media.  But, these offline tactics must be executed well to be memorable.

Purchase Intent

Based on the survey results, it appears offline tactics are also better suited when it comes to purchase intent.

39% of the teens surveyed said offline ads are used to “inform myself about a product,” compared to 21% for online ads.   Despite the fact online ads are intended to be interactive, linking to additional information and customized landing pages, offline ads are still a powerful way to communicate your message to this young audience.

It is also interesting to note that 46% of American teens were “introduced to a product that was subsequently purchased” through offline advertising compared to 23% that agreed with the statement for online ads.

We are in not discouraging the use of online and/or mobile advertising.  These mediums continue to grow in usage and are an important part of the local media mix.

Bottom line, even if you are trying to reach a younger demographic, do not discount traditional advertising tactics like television, radio, print and out of home.

Just make sure that your creative message and execution speaks to your audience.

Click on the following link for additional information on the ReasearchNow study.

Shelby Nichols

About Shelby Nichols

Shelby is Director of Digital Media at Sheehy, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. With close to 15 years in the industry she has planned and purchased a wide range of media and has a passion for all things digital.

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