This Monographic Special Issue of the Social Research Journal Prisma Social  is the Summary of the the ‘Children, Adolescents and Advertising’ Symposium TWG Advertising Research ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) held at the Complutense University of Madrid in November 2015.

The most important European and Latin American groups working on the issue of Teenagers and Advertising gathered together in this Congress, with particular emphasis on new formats and responding to many issues related to these topics.

From the point of view of advertising,  Children and Adolescents are a very attractive target group. Young people are particularly receptive to new ideas while they are loyal to their favorite brands. Established brands set during childhood are often used for a lifetime. The attractive style of life images that advertising is offering,  seek to identify with them at every stage of his life. For advertisers, Children and Adolescents are working as ambassadors of their brands and products. Of course,  Children and Adolescents have considerable buying and prescription powers into their families. Increasingly, teenagers are playing a crucial role in household decisions.

As a result of the changes in patterns of media consumption among young audiences, many advertisers have adjusted their strategies to focus on Children and Adolescents, especially in digital media and product messages based on content, storytelling, mobile applications, virtual worlds and other forms of communication in development.

No brand, that appeals to the young audience, comes without digital entertainment gifts: games, music, free movies, e-cards, screensavers, exclusive reports about the stars, or new products. Above all, the food industry is driving this development with a lot of pressure and speed. Many of these new forms of hybrid media content, developed between advertising and entertainment, make it difficult for children and adolescents to identify correctly commercial messages. Thus, it is necessary, more than ever, a deep reflection from the academic world.

What are the risks of these new strategies applied by the advertising industry? What new phenomena can be observed? How advertisers, children, teenagers and parents react to changing conditions of commercial communication in the Digital Age?

Patricia Núñez-Gómez
Professor of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Coordinator of the Special No. 1 Journal Prisma Social,  one of the broadcast channels of the Foundation iS + D for Advanced Social Research

Leave a Reply