A recent study found that 96% percent of teens and tweens check in with a social networking web site at least once a week. That's an insane penetration rate for any media channel, and a very desirable advertising market.
However, winning points with those teens and tweens is not as simple as a display ad campaign on myspace. The social networking generation is notoriously resistant to being "sold" anything. Interrupt-driven advertising designed to be disruptive to their use patterns can cause their primary response to your brand to be annoyance, rather than recognition and positive vibes.
In seeking to get past the basic "advertising insulation" that kids seem to be born with in the current century, advertisers are increasingly offering value not just with their products and services, but with their company messaging vehicles themselves. Downloadables, widgets, desktop images and advergaming are a few of the ways that companies are wooing younger users by enhancing their online experience. If the disruption is sufficiently valuable or entertaining content, even jaded millenials will stop and take notice of it.
Burger King has effectively become the King of Advergaming, even going so far as to sell branded console video games such as Sneak King, Pocketbike Racer, and Big Bumpin'.
When it comes to younger users, you don't have to simply be in the right place. You have to be in the right place with the right message delivered in such an engaging way that it feels like entertainment rather than advertising.
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