4A’s: Teens Elude Digital Marketers

SAN DIEGO Yahoo! evp of global sales Gregory Coleman said digital marketers are still not getting through to the youth market, while TBWA\Chiat\Day ecd Rob Schwartz outlined three ways planning can come to the creative department’s rescue.

The execs shared their insights at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Account Planning Conference here this morning.

“To corral them to a commercial message is difficult,” Coleman said of teens. “They will swear they will not look at any advertising online. It’s a market allergic to the commercial message. We have to do a better job.”

As an example of “who got it,” Coleman noted Doritos’ consumer-generated commercial contest in which the top spot was aired on the Super Bowl. In that case, “a CMO of an important brand made a decision that could have gotten him fired,” Coleman said. “They wanted to use social media as an ad campaign, but do it in a large way that made a gigantic difference.”

That campaign “moved the needle tremendously” in terms of sales, lending credence to the use of the Internet to tout consumer packaged goods, he said.

Schwartz, meanwhile, used his agency’s “Hunger gets what hunger wants” campaign for Sara Lee’s Ballpark Franks as a case study. He summarized “planning’s moment” with three points: cultural anthropology, clarity and media insight.

To the first point, Schwartz said that in a “world of cliques” where the only things that unify viewers are “tragedy and celebrity,” it is important for planning to truly show where a target audience lives.

On the point of clarity, Schwartz said, “The more simple the brief, the more liberating.” For example, the brief on Ballpark, “Make teens make mom get Ballpark.”

Finally, to illustrate his point about media insight, Schwartz showed an interconnected branch tree of media. “When I was shown this, I didn’t know half the logos. It’s such a complex web.” Schwartz called on planners to “organize the closets of media thinking.”