Adolescence and Teens

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Marketing is the buying and selling of products. Advertisers use marketing to interest their customers into buying their products. Advertisers’ main targets are teenagers. Teenagers are their best consumers and they are being used shamelessly by savvy advertisers. The young minds of this generation’s teens are easily persuaded by the desire to be considered popular and cool. Teen branding has many unsettling effects. There are teens who are working as consultants for corporations, letting them know what other teens are interested in so they can better market their product. In return, these teens are offered money and products along with the feeling of being cool. Such branding makes teenagers obsessed with becoming the people they see on TV and living a life filled with luxury and designer items.

Alissa Quart, author of Branded: the Buying and Selling of Teenagers, uses personal and non-personal anecdotes to make her point about teen marketing. Quart describes her experience at an Advertising and Promoting to Kids Conference, where the audience shamelessly clutches issues of a youth marketing magazine titled Selling to Kids. “The influence of kids has expanded,” said the pristine blonde ad exec. “Kids are the most powerful sector of the market, and we should take advantage of them.”

She also spends time with teens involved with marketing, teen consultants, getting the inside scoop on how teen marketing is influenced and taking over teens minds and wallets. These teenage girls’ input helps companies learn what will sell their products. In turn, their merchandise is put on display by the teenagers, engaging interest in other teenagers their age. “As Amy explains why some makeup is better than others, it strikes me that although she is an unpaid counselor to corporate culture, she is also still just a pink-cheeked child in braces who wears a fluffy yellow sweater and Nikes instead of heels because she feels she is ‘too young’ for chunks or spikes or...
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