How have brands started to support our teens?


As a result of immense pressure from consumers, brands have now recognised that they have an increased duty of care towards their audience. This duty of care encourages them to make more informed decisions around their marketing materials, to remain as inclusive as possible, and present themselves as the go-to brand for a diverse range of people using both online and offline methods.

Brands are also aware of the need to prepare for what comes next. Recognising that teens will make up the consumer pool of the future means that for them, advertising to this group is vital. The teenage generation utilise different shopping techniques than their parents. As a generation that grew up with the internet, social network influence such as Instagram, streaming platforms and reviews from platforms like YouTube are a pressing factor for brands to take into consideration. 

But which brands are breaking the mould with their marketing activity to support teens?



For young girls, starting their period will be an important time in their life, but as every woman knows, it can be anxious time too. However, Lil-Lets has created their own teen range which is perfect for breaking the stigma around periods.

This brand has created period starter kits, keeping their age in mind. The kit is designed to reflect what appeals to young girls; using pastel colours and love-heart sketches on the packaging, keeping it both discreet yet unembarrassing. This reinforces the idea that periods don’t have to be a scary thing to encounter and will allow young girls to carry products around without feeling embarrassed when the time comes.

The Lil-Lets teens pads themselves have been created so that they are smaller and narrower, making them ma better fit for a young girl’s body. This doesn’t affect their functionality however, as they remain as absorbent as adult products and are comfortable to wear.


River Island

In partnership with anti-bullying charity, Ditch The Label, River Island launched its ‘Labels Are For Clothes’ campaign to promote its AW18 collection. The aim of the campaign is to champion self-expression and reject stereotypes and so, for its 30th birthday, the fashion store created advertisements that featured a range of body types and abilities to heighten inclusivity.

Arguably their most diverse campaign yet, their advertising uses people from different backgrounds including those with disabilities and down syndrome, in an effort to acknowledge its responsibility to project the world around them. Everyone wears clothes, after all!

Increasing awareness of differences, the more they are represented on a national scale will allow more young people to become more accepting of the world around them.



Skincare is something of a battleground for many teenagers. One of the few tried-and-true brands that generation after generation head back to has to be Clearasil.

It was a still a bold move then, for the brand to release a campaign admitting they “didn’t know teens. This ad campaign rose from their incorrect use of a meme, which was duly torn apart by teenage viewers saying Clearasil clearly didn’t know what teens liked.The campaign consisted of a series of videos in which employees of Clearasil presented themselves as being woefully out of touch with teen culture and admitting that they while they know teen acne, they don’t know teens.

The campaign’s success lay in the sense of honesty, which teenagers would connect with, rather than attempting to present themselves as “cool”. As a result, Clearasil have proven that not only is honesty the best policy, but that it’s always best for brands to actually know their target market, and not just think they know them. 



A recent Google study of 13-17 year olds placed Doritos higher than the likes of Apple and even Instagram in terms of “coolness”. So how is this brand reaching out to support teens?

One key way for brands to appeal to teenagers is to support the movements they support. Doritos nailed this by showing their support for LGBT campaigns with their limited-edition rainbow-coloured snack. To get one of these colourful packs, a donation had to be made to the It Gets Better Project. As a result, this resonated hugely with consumers and the limited-edition Doritos quickly sold out.

The main thing we can learn from this approach is that Doritos showed support for a world concern that teenagers today value, without claiming to be the entire solution.



Toiletries company Dove are firm believers in allowing young people to reach their full potential. Their Self-Esteem Project, delivered through educational programmes, has changed 40 million lives since its launch in 2004. Dove’s research discovered that nine out of ten girls with low self-esteem put their own health at risk by not seeing doctors or by missing out on meals.

In an effort to tackle this issue, Dove offers free parent, teacher and youth leader resources to help adults talk to a young person who may lack confidence. As well as this, their online blog allows you to learn more about key issues that influence a teens life — from social media and reality TV pressures to school bullying and mental health.



Another brand that scored very well in Google’s study is Nike, with teenagers ranking it the same level of “cool” as Apple, even outdoing the likes of Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Twitter.

Like Doritos, Nike has not shied away from supporting movements that teenagers value. For example, their classic “Just Do It” campaign recently featured Colin Kaepernick, the American Footballer who started the “Take a Knee” protest against racial and social injustices by kneeling during the national anthem.

Nike continued to show their support for sports stars who were standing up against racial injustices with their latest campaign, featuring Raheem Sterling. This willingness to “speak out” in defence of equality has a huge value to teenagers in particular, who have a greater appreciation not only for what a brand sells, but what it stands for.

Evidently, major brands are discovering ways to meet the demands of modern culture and cater to their newly found audience who will soon become their main consumer base. By capturing their custom at an earlier stage, they’ll be able to focus on retention and ensure loyalty as they transition from teen-to-adult in the near future.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.