How Big Brands are Changing to Support Teenagers of Today

Lifestyle / Thursday, January 24th, 2019

These days brands are making it their mission to target their marketing towards teenagers, in a way that supports their needs.

As a generation that grew up with the internet, it’s vital that brands make the effort to target this age group in a way that speaks to them directly. Namely, social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a sure fire way for brands to influence this market and support their needs.

It is now recognised as the responsibility of the brand to take care of the consumer. To look after their best interests and make themselves accessible to all different kinds of people. Brands are now able to make their target market feel happy and comfortable in their own skin, through great marketing techniques and this is a huge benefit to both parties.

River Island

In partnership with anti-bullying charity, Ditch The Label, River Island launched its ‘Labels Are For Clothes’ campaign to champion self-expression and reject stereotypes. For its 30th birthday, the fashion store created advertisements that featured a range of body types and abilities to heighten inclusivity.

Promoting its AW18 collection, this is arguably their most diverse campaign yet and uses people from different backgrounds — including those with disabilities and down syndrome. River Island has acknowledged its responsibility to project the world around them, seeing as everyone wears clothes.


Skincare is a difficult subject for a lot of young people, but there are a few tried-and-true brands that generation after generation head back to. Clearasil is one of those brands, the go-to name in facial scrubs for the acne-prone.

It was a still a bold move then, for the brand to release a campaign admitting they “didn’t know teens”. Perhaps more triumphantly, the brand’s ad campaign rose from their incorrect use of a meme, which was duly torn apart by teenage viewers saying Clearasil clearly didn’t know what teens liked. There’s no better way to reach your audience than by honest. Laying downs one’s cards lets other people know that they are human and that everyone is out to learn. Honesty is an endearing and relatable theme in any campaign.


A recent Google study of 13-17 year olds placed Doritos higher than the likes of Apple and even Instagram in terms of “coolness”. So how is this brand reaching out to support teens?

One key way for brands to appeal to teenagers is to support the movements they support. Doritos nailed this by showing their support for LGBT campaigns with their limited-edition rainbow-coloured snack. To get one of these colourful packs, a donation had to be made to the It Gets Better Project. Naturally, this resonated hugely with consumers and the limited-edition Doritos quickly sold out.

The key takeaway here is that Doritos showed support for a world concern that teenagers today value, without claiming to be the entire solution.


Nike did reallywell in Google’s study, with teenagers ranking it the same level of “cool” as Apple, and outdoing the likes of Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Twitter.

The brand, like Doritos, has not shied away from supporting movements that teenagers value. For example, their classic “Just Do It” campaign recently featured Colin Kaepernick, the American Footballer who started the “Take a Knee” protest against racial and social injustices by kneeling during the national anthem. This brand shows excellent bravery and willingness to speak out, giving the younger generations the courage to stand up for their worth and what they believe in.


For young girls, starting their period will be an important time in their life, but for many, it can be an anxious time too. However, Lil-Lets has created their own teen range which is perfect for breaking the stigma around periods.

When it comes to the Lil-Lets teens pads, they have been created so that they are smaller and narrower which means they are often a better fit for a young girl’s body. They are also just as absorbent as adult products and are comfortable to wear.

This brand has created period starter kits with age in mind, making sure that everything is designed to reflect what appeals to young girls; using pastel colours and love-heart sketches on the packaging. This is specifically to target teenage periods. This campaign has been an excellent way to convey to teenagers how normal and natural periods are. It continues to teach this generation that periods are nothing to be frightened of. This can only be a good thing!


Toiletries company Dove are firm believers in allowing young people to reach their full potential and has launched the Self-Esteem Project that has changed 40 million lives since 2004 through educational programmes. Their research discovered that nine out of ten girls with low self-esteem put their own health at risk by not seeing doctors or missing out on meals.

The brand offers free parent, teacher and youth leader resources to help adults talk to a young person who may lack in confidence. As well as this, their onsite blog allows you to learn more about key areas that influence a teens life — from social media and reality TV pressures to school bullying and mental health.

So many major brands are targeting their marketing at an age group that may not necessarily be their customer now, but most probably will be in the future. Investing in campaigns that achieve this show that companies are putting a lot of time, effort and care into getting it right and looking after future generations.


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