Adolescent Images in Advertising
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With the growing intensity of market competition, companies seek to expand their customer base. Adolescents are often considered as competent decision makers, and businesses develop health and beauty products to target this customer segment. It has become quite common to develop and market advertising campaigns, whose intent is to persuade the adolescent audience that their products are the best. More and more products are being developed for adolescents. Present-day adolescents have access to a variety of useful and not so useful products. However, as adolescent health is becoming one of the state's social priorities, companies design new products to meet this demand. At the heart of this analysis is the video commercial for Invisalign, an invisible braces product developed specially for teenage consumers.
The choice of the commercial was justified by the fact that (a) the product is intended for the adolescent audience; and (b) the spokespersons in the commercial are teenagers. The goal of the commercial is to provide the adolescent audience with information about the new brand and a product they possible want to have. It is essentially about the clear braces that hold the promise to make adolescents more beautiful and the process of becoming beautiful – less painful and torturing. It should be noted that the discussed brand is not limited to teenager products but includes a complete range of health options. Adults and teenagers can obtain clear braces to straighten their teeth and make their smile beautiful. The price strategy used by Invisalign is quite complicated and even challenging to many adolescents. Not everyone can pay thousands of dollars for making themselves more beautiful and attractive. This is probably why the company emphasizes the most outstanding attributes of their product to persuade their teenager audience that clear braces are worth being bought.
The commercial was obtained from one of the YouTube channels. Invisalign is also widely advertised in other magazines, including those intended for the teen audience. However, the use of YouTube as an advertising channel for adolescents raises a number of questions, one of them being that of accessibility and appropriateness. It is no secret that millions of adolescents around the globe use YouTube on a daily basis. It has become a convenient medium of communication for thousands of youth. Nevertheless, with the growing amount of video content on YouTube, this commercial may be lost among thousands of other similar commercials. Therefore, it is difficult to expect that the use of YouTube as an advertising channel is relevant and appropriate in the context of the target audience.
In order to understand what qualities or benefits of the beauty product are emphasized in the video commercial, its contents and context should be described in detail. The video tells a story of a teenager girl, whose life is full of various activities. She attends school, participates in extracurricular activities, and goes to night clubs with her friends. Here, the marketers imply that a teenage girl who leads such an active lifestyle may not have any chance to use traditional metal braces. They simply do not look attractive. The commercial emphasizes the invisibility of the product and confirms that it can suit the needs of the most active teenager. It is a unique combination of invisibility and health, and every teenager can have his (her) teeth straightened without sharing the problem with anyone. From what the audience sees on the screen, it is possible to assume that the advertisers emphasize the convenience of the product. Moreover, adolescents are particularly sensitive to the way they look, and the video commercial recommends a perfect approach to solving their beauty problems. The commercial promises that Invisalign will work and bring tangible health results. Teenagers need healthy teeth, but they do not want metal braces to distort their appearance.
Today’s adolescents want to look beautiful but prefer convenience to high heels and sophisticated clothing. The commercial suggests that Invisalign is everything an adolescent may need to look good and, at the same time, remain part of the peers’ community. The commercial depicts adolescents as a group. This group culture, socializing, friendships and communication are rightly considered as the most essential attributes of any adolescent’s life. The Invisalign commercial implies that its products can help the adolescent become a member of their community, thus making him (her) more successful and satisfied with life. The video also implies that it is with the help of Invisalign that the teenager can avoid the risks of exclusion and rejection by peers. Adolescents often judge one another by appearance, and metal braces can become a serious barrier to building effective relations with peers. Invisalign sends a message of inclusion, diversity, friendship, and popularity, which can greatly contribute to every adolescent's success.
It is because the commercial speaks to adolescents as a group that marketers believe it will sell to them as a customer segment. The fact that the commercial is made in the contexts that are familiar to youth implies that adolescents will find many common features with its characters. Millions of young people attend schools, participate in extracurricular activities, go to night clubs with friends, and want to be popular among their peers. The Invisalign commercial tries to persuade the teenage audience that clear braces is what they need to achieve their goals. The central thought of the Invisalign commercial is that the use of its brand products can bring adolescents together, as they are striving to achieve their socialization tasks. The commercial shows that, when together, adolescents and young adults will finally feel satisfied with their educational and friendship experiences. Clear braces give adolescents a unique chance to straighten their teeth without disrupting their daily activities.
The following adjectives can describe the adolescents featured in the ad: young, healthy, well-dressed, convenient, happy, active, and socially-oriented. The commercial depicts an adolescent, who leads an active lifestyle and loves what he (she) is doing. If I were an adolescent, I would like to try this product. I must admit that the information provided in the commercial sounds very compelling to me. Most probably, it is because the adolescent spokespersons in the Invisalign commercial emphasize the most painful aspects of teenagers' existence that the need to use clear braces sounds so urgent. They speak about socialization and popularity, which so many adolescents long to have. They emphasize the importance of being beautiful, because this is the only way they can remain popular and recognized among peers.
My personal opinion about the commercial is dubious. On the one hand, it reflects the most essential attributes of modern youths’ life, including active lifestyle, convenience, and beauty. Actually, the importance of physical beauty is pushed to the forefront of Invisalign's philosophy. The commercial speaks about how traditional metal braces make the life of an adolescent difficult and even unbearable. The product is presented as a perfect solution for those adolescents, who live an active life and do not want to give up their habits due to problems with their teeth. On the other hand, the commercial does not send any persuasive message that its product is better than those of its competitors. Overall, it does not look brighter or more distinguished than thousands of other commercials targeting the youth audience.
The most concerning is the continuous emphasis on physical beauty: only adolescents who have no problems with their teeth and choose to use clear braces from Invisalign will have a chance to remain part of the adolescent community. Unfortunately, the commercial does not say anything about the affordability of the advertised product, which presents a serious controversy. Adolescents want to be equally beautiful and convenient, and the products advertised by Invisalign should make young girls and boys more beautiful without crossing the boundaries of affordability. Consequently, I would advise that the marketing professionals working on this program revise their philosophy and make the brand message brighter.
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