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Marketing to Teens - US - May 2015

“The teen years are a unique middle ground; teen consumers are not quite children, not quite adults. A big part of being ‘not quite an adult’ is that teens rely heavily on their parents to buy things for them. This means that brands often have to gain the approval of both teens and their parents.”
Lauren Bonetto, Lifestyle & Leisure Analyst

This report covers:

  • Teens' activities
  • How to leverage the internet, social media, and mobile devices to reach teens
  • Teens' shopping habits

In 2015, there are 25 million teens aged 12-17 in the US and their buying power is significant as teens not only shop with their own wallets, but with their parents’ wallets as well. Like Millennials, teens divvy up their spending money across possessions (like clothing and media) and experiences (like concerts and dining out).

Marketing to teens can be tricky as brands must sometimes win the approval of both teens and their parents. However, compared to kids, teens are far more independent, so parental approval is somewhat less important and teens’ preferences are often given more weight and consideration.

Perhaps the three things that most set teens apart from kids are: cell phone ownership rates, social media engagement, and internet use. 

  • Teens are nearly four times more likely than kids to own a cell which suggests leveraging mobile may help brands reach teens(but not so much kids).
  • Teens are significantly more likely than kids to use social media and it is crucial for brands to target them on these platforms. To effectively target teens on social media, a brand must identify which platform(s) work best with its identity and marketing strategy.
  • Teens spend quadruple the amount of time kids spend online each week and are significantly more likely to use the internet for communication. Targeting teens digitally (and not just on social media) is easy to overlook but important to remember.

 

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Abbreviations and terms
              • Abbreviations
                • Terms
                • Executive Summary

                    • Snapshot of teens aged 12-17
                      • The consumer
                        • The majority of teens’ time spend sedentary
                          • Figure 1: Top activities done on week days and weekend days, January-December 2014
                        • Teens watch TV with family members, don’t always give it their full attention
                          • Figure 2: Teens’ most common TV companions, January-December 2014
                        • Teens use the internet to communicate, social media key to reaching them
                          • Figure 3: Top websites visited in the past week, January-December 2014
                        • 75% carry cash, those with savings accounts have amassed a small fortune
                          • Figure 4: How much money teens have in cash and in a bank/savings account, January-December 2014
                        • Teens most likely to shop as mass merchandisers, grocery stores
                          • Figure 5: Top stores teens visit, January-December 2014
                        • Humor effective in reaching teens
                          • Figure 6: What teens most like about their favorite commercials January-December 2014
                        • Teens’ favorite brands influenced by friends, parents
                          • Figure 7: Attitudes toward favorite brands – Any agree, January-December 2014
                        • Teens tend to be accepting – even more so than kids
                          • Figure 8: Attitudes toward diversity – Any agree, January-December 2014
                        • Half of teens worry about bullies
                          • Figure 9: Top issues that concern teens, January-December 2014
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                            • Teens are not quite adults, not quite children
                              • The issues
                                • The implications
                                  • Some purchases require approval from both teens and parents
                                    • The issues
                                      • The implications
                                        • Teens poised to be even more financially conservative than Millennials
                                          • The issues
                                            • The implications
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Trend: Mood to Order
                                                  • Trend: Non-Standard Society
                                                    • Trend: Let’s Make a Deal
                                                    • Snapshot of Teens

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Teens aged 12-17 projected to remain stable through 2020
                                                          • Figure 10: Population <18, by age, 2010-20
                                                        • With each generation, America becomes increasingly diverse
                                                          • Figure 11: Population of teens aged 12-17, by race or Hispanic origin, 2010-20
                                                        • Majority of teens live with both parents
                                                          • Figure 12: Household relationship and living arrangements of teens, by age, 2013
                                                        • Kids versus teens – cell phones, social media, and the internet
                                                          • Figure 13: Kid and teen cell/wireless phone ownership, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                          • Figure 14: Teen devices used to access the internet – At home or other place, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                          • Figure 15: Kid, teen internet/social media use, by gender and by age and by use of internet, April 2013-June 2014
                                                          • Figure 16: Kid, teen time spent online each week – At home or other place, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                      • Innovations and Innovators

                                                          • Clothing and retail
                                                            • Yellowberry is for teens, by teens
                                                                • Figure 17: “The Yellowberry Company” YouTube video, 2014
                                                              • H&M partners with Coachella for clothing line
                                                                • Nasty Gal goes offline
                                                                  • Figure 18: “Nasty Gal Melrose” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                • Activities and entertainment
                                                                  • Nerf aims to keep teens interested with high power guns
                                                                    • Carnival offers DJ classes for teens
                                                                      • T.R.U.E. Fit takes on sedentary teens
                                                                        • Figure 19: “T.R.U.E. Fit Team training” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                      • Miscellaneous
                                                                        • Aquafina campaign offers teens the chance to explore their passions
                                                                          • Figure 20: “Aquafina Flavorsplash Commercial” YouTube, 2014
                                                                        • Willa uses direct selling to reach teen girls
                                                                            • Figure 21: “Welcome to Willa” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                          • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                            • Health, wellness, and safety
                                                                              • FNV to give fruits and vegetables a teen-friendly rebranding
                                                                                  • Figure 22: “Prepare to be marketed to” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                                • American Legacy Foundation tells teens to ‘left swipe’ tobacco
                                                                                    • Figure 23: “LEFT SWIPE DAT” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                                  • Campaigns warn teens of the dangers of distracted driving
                                                                                      • Figure 24: “Manifesto – Texting while driving” YouTube video, 2014
                                                                                    • Sugar and spice – marketing to teen girls
                                                                                      • Kind Campaign combats girl-against-girl bullying
                                                                                        • Figure 25: “We’re in this together” YouTube video, 2014
                                                                                      • Katy Perry and Claire’s caters to teens’ desire for versatility
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Katy Perry for Claire’s “Prism,” “Wildflower,” and “Kitten” collections, 2014
                                                                                      • Stella McCartney and Adidas launch line for active (and stylish) girls
                                                                                        • Figure 27: “Adidas StellaSport: For Action Girls” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                                      • Clean & Clear partners with transgender teen
                                                                                          • Figure 28: “Jazz – Be Your True Self” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                                        • Snips and snails – marketing to teen boys
                                                                                          • Old Spice follows up ‘Momsong’ with ‘Dadsong’
                                                                                            • Figure 29: “Dadsong” YouTube video, 2014
                                                                                          • Guitar Hero set for comeback tour
                                                                                            • Figure 30: “Guitar Hero Live Reveal Trailer” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                                          • Mountain Dew targets teen boys with humor, pro skateboarder
                                                                                            • Figure 31: “Come Alive” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                                            • Figure 32: “Fireboard” YouTube video, 2015
                                                                                        • Teens’ Activities

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Teens most likely to spend time on sedentary activities
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Top 15 activities done on week days, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Top 15 activities done on weekend days, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                            • Female and higher-income teens most focused on education
                                                                                              • Teen girls more likely to use mobile apps
                                                                                                • Eight in 10 teens own a cell phone
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Attitudes toward cell phones – Any agree, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                • Teens do not always want to play the social butterfly
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Attitudes toward leisure – Any agree, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                              • Teens and Watching TV

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Watching TV is a family affair
                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Teens’ TV companions, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                    • How teens watch TV
                                                                                                      • Figure 38: How teens watch TV, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                    • Teens likely to eat, text, go online while watching TV
                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Activities done while watching TV, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                      • Advertising at movie theaters can boost awareness
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Attitudes toward media – Any agree, by gender, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                    • Teens and the Internet

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Teens use internet for communication, information, and entertainment
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Websites teens visited in the past week, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Teens’ use of social media platforms, September-March 16 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Adobe Marketing Cloud advertisement, “Woo Woo?,” 2014
                                                                                                        • Teens spend eight hours online each week, most likely to access internet via laptop, cell phone
                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Hours teens spent online each week – At home or other place, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                      • Teens and Money

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • On average, teens carry $34 in cash
                                                                                                            • Figure 45: How much money teens have in cash, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Teens’ ATM/debit card and credit card ownership, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                          • On average, teens have $931 in a bank account
                                                                                                              • Figure 47: How much money teens have in a bank/savings account, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                            • The majority of teens do not have money in gift cards
                                                                                                              • Figure 48: How much money teens have in gift cards, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                              • Figure 49: How much money teens have in other places, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                            • Teens’ money given to them, not earned
                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Where teens’ money comes from, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                            • Teens averse to debt, want to be rich
                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Attitudes toward finance – Any agree, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                          • Teens and Shopping

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Teens most likely to be saving for college, the future
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: What teens are saving for, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: What teens spend their money on, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                • Teens most likely to visit mass merchandisers, grocery stores
                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Where teens shop, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                  • Drive me to the mall… or maybe to Starbucks instead
                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Teens who have visited the mall and mall companions, by gender and age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                  • Targeting Teens

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Targeting teens
                                                                                                                        • Humor makes ads memorable for teens
                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: “When you get caught bae watching” by Lele pons, March 2015
                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: “When you see school supplies” by Kaylen Walker, July 2014
                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: “When your parents try to be cool” by Dem_White_Boyz, April 2015
                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: “How long it takes boys to send the right selfie vs. girls” Vine Stars# by Lele Pons, April 2015
                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: “What REALLY should have happened...” by Lele Pons, February 2015
                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Taylor Swift GIF, April 2015
                                                                                                                          • Multicultural teens more engaged
                                                                                                                            • Special delivery
                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Favorite commercials, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                            • Teens most influenced by discounts/special offers on social media
                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: What teens want from their favorite brands/stores on social media, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Attitudes toward favorite brands – Any agree, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                          • Teens’ Attitudes and Opinions

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Teens and acceptance – teens tend to be tolerant
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: “It Gets Better Promo,” YouTube video, 2013
                                                                                                                                • Teens’ in real life: an example of acceptance
                                                                                                                                  • Teens and health – eating healthy not a number one priority
                                                                                                                                    • Black teens are optimistic about the future
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Attitudes toward life – Any agree, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                    • The internet makes bullies feel ever bigger
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Issues that concern teens most, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                    • Teens’ Activities
                                                                                                                                      • On weekdays
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Activities done on week days, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Activities done on week days, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Activities done on week days, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Activities done on week days, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Activities done on week days, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                      • On weekend days
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Activities done on weekend days, by age and gender, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Activities done on weekend days, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Activities done on weekend days, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Activities done on weekend days, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Activities done on weekend days, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Teens’ and watching TV
                                                                                                                                        • Teens’ TV companions
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Teens’ TV companions, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Teens’ TV companions, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Teens’ TV companions, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Teens’ TV companions, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • How teens watch TV
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: How teens watch TV, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: How teens watch TV, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: How teens watch TV, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: How teens watch TV, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Activities done while watching TV
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Activities done while watching TV, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Activities done while watching TV, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Activities done while watching TV, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Activities done while watching TV, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Teens’ and the Internet
                                                                                                                                          • Websites visited in the past week
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Websites visited in the past week, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Websites visited in the past week, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Websites visited in the past week, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Websites visited in the past week, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Teens and Money
                                                                                                                                            • How much money teens have in cash
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 94: How much money teens have in cash, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 95: How much money teens have in cash, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 97: How much money teens have in cash, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                            • How much money teens have bank/savings accounts
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 98: How much money teens have in a bank/savings account, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 99: How much money teens have in a bank/savings account, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 100: How much money teens have in a bank/savings account, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 101: How much money teens have in a bank/savings account, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                            • How much money teens have in gift cards
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 103: How much money teens have in gift cards, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 104: How much money teens have in gift cards, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 105: How much money teens have in gift cards, by country size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • How much money teens have in other places
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 106: How much money teens have in other places, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 107: How much money teens have in other places, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 108: How much money teens have in other places, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 109: How much money teens have in other places, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Where teens’ money comes from
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 110: Where teens’ money comes from, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 111: Where teens’ money comes from, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 112: Where teens’ money comes from, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 113: Where teens’ money comes from, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Teens and Shopping
                                                                                                                                                • What teens are saving for
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 114: What teens are saving for, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 115: What teens are saving for, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 116: What teens are saving for, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 117: What teens are saving for, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Where teens shop
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 118: Where teens shop, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 119: Where teens shop, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 120: Where teens shop, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 121: Where teens shop, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Targeting Teens
                                                                                                                                                  • Favorite commercial
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 122: Favorite commercial, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 123: Favorite commercial, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 124: Favorite commercial, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 125: Favorite commercial, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • What teens want from their favorite brands/stores on social media
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 126: What teens want from their favorite brands/stores on social media, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 127: What teens want from their favorite brands/stores on social media, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 128: What teens want from their favorite brands/stores on social media, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 129: What teens want from their favorite brands/stores on social media, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards favorite brands
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 130: Attitudes toward favorite brands – Any agree, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 131: Attitudes toward favorite brands – Any agree, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 132: Attitudes toward favorite brands – Any agree, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 133: Attitudes toward favorite brands – Any agree, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Teens’ attitudes and opinions
                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes toward life
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 134: Attitudes toward life – Any agree, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 135: Attitudes toward life – Any agree, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 136: Attitudes toward life – Any agree, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 137: Attitudes toward life – Any agree, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Issues that concern teens most
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 138: Issues that concern teens most, by household income, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 139: Issues that concern teens most, by race/Hispanic origin, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 140: Issues that concern teens most, by region, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 141: Issues that concern teens most, by county size, January-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Experian Marketing Services Tables
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 142: Teens’ cell/wireless phone ownership, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 143: Kids’ cell/wireless phone ownership, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 144: TV channels watched, by gender, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 145: Types of media followed on social media, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 146: Frequency of social media use, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 147: Number of unique websites visited each week, by gender and by age, April 2013-June 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                      • Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)
                                                                                                                                                        • American Advertising Federation (AAF)
                                                                                                                                                          • American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s)
                                                                                                                                                            • American Marketing Association (AMA)
                                                                                                                                                              • Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
                                                                                                                                                                • Digital Media Association (DiMA)
                                                                                                                                                                  • Generations United
                                                                                                                                                                    • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
                                                                                                                                                                      • International Advertising Association (IAA)
                                                                                                                                                                        • World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)

                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                        Marketing to Teens - US - May 2015

                                                                                                                                                                        US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)