When trying to understand why marketers have chosen to increasingly focus their attention on teenagers, three key points point to the answer. First, advertisers have increasing access to the market demographic. Secondly, the demographic shows continuing growth. And third, the demographic demonstrates a steady growth in their influence over spending. As Keith Niedermeier, Wharton visiting professor of marketing and panel moderator at the “What Teens Want” conference stated, "Teens are an enormously important segment because they are disproportionately powerful in terms of being trend setters and early adopters” (http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu)
Before the advent of even the earliest components of mass media, it would have been difficult for advertisers to reach the youth market. While the first advertising agency in America was established in 1841, it functioned as a broker for newspaper space and did not evolve into the standard form that we now know until the early 20th century (Gartrell, 2000). During this period the only mass medium available to advertisers was the print media. Newspapers, magazines, billboard and flyers were the extent of the available channels (http://www.eoearth. org) and theses were not directed toward teens. It was not until Seventeen Magazine was launched in 1944 that teens had the first media outlet specifically directed towards them (http://broadcastpioneers.com).
Technology played an important role in the growth of advertising to teens by giving the advertisers access to teens. First via radio and then television those with something to sell could now communicate directly with their niche market without the filtering effect of adults. This access continues to grow. Probably one of the earliest efforts were product placements in movies and on television programs directed at teens. Recent technologies only add to the advertising channels available. Web advertising is the most visible of the new advertising...
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