As a Brand Strategist and Creative Director at Ball Retail, where we work exclusively with Retail Brands, I fully understand the power of digital media to connect with younger audiences, or Generation Z. But I guess I hadn’t quite taken the leap when thinking about YouTube personalities as a career to aspire to as a child.
I found this very interesting as youth are not looking to be “found” so that they can become movie stars, they understand they can become relevant and have a voice just by creating and posting their own unique content online.
Statistics tell us that the way youth find the most new content is through peer to peer endorsements. My son is constantly quoting his favourite YouTube channel “Smosh” as gospel. Today’s youth see YouTube content as relatable so when YouTubers endorse a brand or product it’s like their best friend just gave it a big thumbs up. YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki said that in a Variety survey 8 out of 10 top ranked media talents were YouTubers.
According to a recent study by Miner & Co. Studio, tablets and smartphones are replacing television as kids’ screen of choice. 57% of parents say their child prefers a device other than TV to watch video content, and nearly one in two parents say they punish their kids by taking away their smartphones and only allowing them to watch TV. Ouch, really just TV, “soooo boring” as my 8 year old daughter would say.
So for marketers and advertisers, we at Ball Retail see this digital trend as good news. It means a balancing of the playing field for small to medium size retail brands. No longer is there a need to have multi million dollar budgets to pay for TV media buys. Forward thinking retail brands can dedicate more advertising budget to creating strategic digital content that engages, informs and entertains.
However, this does mean making a true commitment to continuously generating original creative content if you want to stay relevant and connected with teens and pre-teens of today.
Sources: Shaw RocketFund Study. Acumen Report 2016.