Reckless Advertising Directed At Teens
Are teens targeted by advertising campaigns for tobacco and alcohol products? The simple answer is: There is no simple answer. Advertisements are designed to have mass appeal. They find a way to target a broad audience. Their specific demographic may be young, adult men, but they may also appeal to adolescent males who want to feel more “grown-up.” In this sense, the advertisement is indirectly targeting a teen-aged audience. The lifestyle of the smoker/drinker is glamorized in the commercial. It seems like robotic think, but it works: If I drink that brand of beer I too can be the “World’s Most Interesting Man.” If I smoke those cigarettes, I too can be a “Marlboro Man.” Adolescents are trying to fit in and are easily influenced by images. Couple that with raging hormones, and it’s no wonder that advertising companies use sex to sell their products. Think about all of the products that are out there that have teen appeal. You have fruit-flavored cigars and energy drinks with an alcoholic kick. They throw out names for their products like Joose, Sparks, and Tilt all wrapped up in colorful packages, attracting both the palate but the eye. So, yes, teens are targeted by advertising for alcohol and tobacco. The companies have to know the audience they are reaching and must realize that they are planting a seed for future consumers.