TV still good for reaching youngsters

Chris Forrester

The doom and gloom about the drift from TV to web-based content amongst youngsters is hardly a new anxiety. But research from MTV Networks suggests that while web-based activity certainly influences brand choices, it also complements TV as a driver in brand purchases.

MTV’s new research into youth attitudes towards digital technology and media consumption provides new insight into their relationships with brands and purchase decisions. The study, A Beta Life Youth was conducted on behalf of MTV Networks International, Nokia, 20th Century Fox, Fox Mobile Group and Channel 4, in five markets - the UK, US, Germany, India and Japan - amongst technology-embracing 12-24 year olds. Its results throw light on the real importance of technology and media for youth and especially on how they use media such as TV and the internet to inform themselves about particular products and brands before making purchases.

MTV says that despite the number of advertising platforms that youth are exposed to, 1 in 4 young people still claim they first see or hear of brands or products through TV adverts. “Furthermore, apart from coming across brands in shops and through friends’ recommendations, A Beta Life Youth demonstrates that TV advertising is the most efficient medium at introducing youth to brands and helping shape decisions around purchasing. 6 in 10 claim that TV advertising plays a role in their brand decisions. This is most prevalent for youth when buying technology items, especially electronic goods like games consoles. However, TV advertising also has an impact on the purchase decision around clothes and fashion items (50% agree) where TV adverts endorse the brand’s position and image.”

“For youth, a brand appearing on TV elevates its status and gives it an image of quality. Young people also hold TV channels in high esteem regarding trust and the majority of youth say they have a favourite channel that they always tune into (80% in US, 73% in UK, 70% in Germany and 88% in India). Japanese youth have much less affiliation to particular TV channels (38%).”

Jules Robinson SVP, Viacom Brand Solutions International said: “A Beta Life Youth has improved and updated our knowledge on the importance of technology and media to youth since previous MTV studies such as Circuits of Cool. It is interesting to note that, despite the economic climate and challenging circumstances for advertisers, we still see a proven ability for TV advertising to reach the target youth audience in the most direct, impactful way. It is also significant that we’re registering the rise of the influence of blogs and internet research to inform purchasing decisions amongst these consumers. This highlights the real importance of online reputation management for brands seeing their names increasingly widespread and the associated need to engage in comprehensive 360 degree campaigns.”