2nd draft of fws research paper - Final FWS Research paper...

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Final FWS Research paper Chanel Casayuran Final FWS Research paper PSYCH 1120 Fukukura “Teen consumer culture: Do marketers affect teen consuming behaviors or do teens play more of an influence on how marketers advertise to teens?” Marketers advertise many products that appear to “solve” the several problems that plague teens and idealistic images of what is considered “cool” to convince the teen crowd into buying their products by playing on the insecurities of teens and their desire to be socially accepted. I propose that contrary to popular belief, that teen consumer de- cisions are primarily influenced by advertisers (Bush, Martin, & Bush, 2004), teens have more influence on their own decisions as well as the media, marketers and retail com- panies than commonly assumed. Influence marketers have on teen consumption Advertisers try to lure in teens by playing on teens’ desire to be socially accep- ted. One marketing tactic common amongst businesses is portraying to teens the ideal look of beauty and masculinity (“Special issues for…,” 2010). In many advertisements, idealistic looks of beauty are characterized by scantily clad sexy women that are ex- tremely thin (Durham, 2007), while idealistic looks of masculinity are usually depicted by rugged men that are extremely muscular (Ging, 2005). This strategy is particularly ef- 1
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Final FWS Research paper fective amongst teens because at the ages of 13-19, teens are vulnerable to external in- fluences and often adapt to their surroundings by identifying with appearances that seem to be popular with their peers (Barol & Leonard, 1990). Even though the people in the ads possess body-images that are nearly impossible to attain by the average indi- vidual, teens are often apt to copy these ideal images depicted by these ads because it is what they think is cool and more often than not, it is also what their friends think is ac- ceptable. These types of advertisements subtly force teens to grow up sooner than they should be in a negative way (“Special issues for…,” 2010). By portraying the idealistic view of beauty as a thin woman who wear clothes that make her appear sensual can in- fluence teen girls and guys (Ging, 2005) to strive to achieve this look; which often lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and depression when they are dissatisfied with their outward appearance (Irving, 2008). By displaying unrealistically thin or toned mod- els in ads, marketers instill in today’s youth unhealthy ideals of attractiveness and body image that may successfully convince teens to purchase their products but may also lead to teens’ adoption of harmful practices. Some other strategies that businesses like to make use of are television com- mercials that show provocative images of men and women. Radio commercials with celebrities endorsing their products. Internet ads that are often tailored to the personal preferences of the user. Companies resort to any means possible to lure in the ever
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2nd draft of fws research paper - Final FWS Research paper...

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