Being a Young Teen (age 13 up to age 16) is a period of intense and significant change. Brands that help them navigate these rocky waters are the ones that gain special significance for their whole lives. This audience is responsible for a fundamental shift in the way families make their purchasing decisions. Young Teens are a unique segment with their own needs, motivations, and communication preferences. Yet many brands’ mobile creative strategies take a one-size-fits-all approach. This short guide will help your brand reach this influential audience and build a lasting relationship. 

5 ways to put Young Teens at the heart of your creative strategy

1. Make your video strategy stronger with attention-grabbing effects and animations 

Young Teens are visual in their communication and video is their preferred medium for accessing information. Creating video content is an effective way to reach them.  Animated video is a strong medium to include in your strategy because it aligns with the way Young Teens process information. As they are used to multitasking while processing information via video, the creative will benefit from additional features and effects and will help catch their attention. The animated skin can, for example, include automated carousels that are time synced with the video to showcase the products from different angles as well as list product features. 

2. Create playable experiences using mechanics Young Teens recognize and enjoy

Over 70%1 of Young Teens play games, with mobile being the second most used device to play. Engagement is key for this audience — they expect a high level of interactivity and they want to be entertained.  Include the game mechanics they know and love within playable experiences to grab their attention. Keep in mind their advanced cognitive abilities and interests; consider more complex tasks, increased speed, and difficulty. Also, as they are strongly engaged with their peers, allow them to share the play with friends, so they can talk to them about their experience and become your brand ambassadors. Some of the popular game mechanics that work well in creatives for Young Teens are Top Down Runner, Trivia, and Problem Solving Games. 

3. Make your experiences shareable to allow them to engage in it with their peers

Relatability and independence are crucial for Young Teens. They expect direct and tailored communication with personalized options. To help them find products relevant to their interests, use quizzes as an entry point for the creative to show a tailored selection of products as a result. Then, put them in the driver’s seat; allow them to explore and compare the options they were given as a result. Alternatively, give them the option to  modify the experience to their liking, for example, by using themes and filters. 

4. Give them control over the creative and make the content respond to their choices

Young Teens rely on each other for information. After YouTube, friends are the most important way for Young Teens to discover new products and brands. They discuss them and make recommendations; 48%2 turn to friends for advice when purchasing and 52%2 believe their advice is sought. Provide them with the ability to share their creations and favorite selections with their friends. Allow their friends to join in and try the experience themselves or contribute to what was already built. For example, allow the audience to create their everyday outfit or make a selection of their favorite shows and share that with their friends. 

5. Provide them with interactive tools to explore the products in detail 

Young Teens are avid researchers – 61%2 say they love researching new products online. The brand choice drivers are quality and value but many also look for the “cool factor”. Provide them with different forms of information to explore. Consider a more visual and interactive representation of facts to allow them to easily digest the content; interactive animations, videos, and hotspots can help with the interactive discovery.  Supporting content can also include a selection of influencer video reviews that they can watch to make their own decisions.

Young Teens are a powerful and distinct segment with their own needs, interests, and loyalties —  tailoring your messaging is key to a successful creative strategy with this audience. 

Interested in more tips to engage Young Teen audiences?

Are you interested in learning more about how to safely and effectively reach young audiences through interactive experiences? Our in-house creative team can provide guidance and help you find the right solution for your unique needs. Check out some examples of our work, or get in touch today to learn more.

1The insights People’s Kids Insights Data portal Do you play video games? 13-16 Kids European View (3.9.19 – 3.12.19 – 3.9.20 – 3.12.20)

2SuperAwesome primary research conducted by Smarty Pants, n=1800 13 – 15-year-olds in the UK, US, and Germany.