I know I said I wouldn’t cover AdWeek magazine here again, but I have to make an exception for the Insights Article in the latest issue.
Emmy Liederman’s article “How Marketers Should-and shouldn’t-Talk to Gen Alpha” was the one and only article I read in the whole issue.
It was insightful, in-depth and an important read for copywriters trying to connect with Gen Alpha market and their parents.
A couple of copywriters and myself had a heated debate about the article contents and what it meant for us in the radio industry – I urge you to get a copy of the latest issue and read the full article.
The major takeaway I got from the article was this comment… ‘Ife Tabi, assistant manager at full-service communications firm Noah’s Ark Communications… “The brand custodians need to ask themselves if appealing to the younger market is truly in their interest,” Tabi said, adding that adult-centric brands tarnish their reputation when they “feign coolness.” “Appealing to a younger group but alienating the historical group may be more unhelpful in the long term.”‘
Wow! So spot on.
Emmy also pointed out that you are not just trying to reach one group – you are targeting a multi-generational audience – one that is usually (in either a limited or expansive way) looking at brands that may be embracing activism and encouraging community.
To me this is popular right now with ‘green washing’ with clients who want to appear to be green.
So it is important that any message put out there in the world (in whatever medium) must be one that is communicated with caution.
I applaud Emmy for saying this, and it was timely too as I had just witnessed a couple of VERY different types of marketing messages on Tik-Tok (that morning) which made me question the ethical message being given to the target audience.
I want you to stop before you write your commercial script – While you think your message may be communicating to one audience, you must be aware that it is being absorbed by others outside your target. Then write with this in mind.
Radio is a prime example of this (we DO target a multi-generational audience) – sure, we have our target audiences that our station music is trying to hook and listen to our music, advertisers then who want to target those listeners, and then we have the fringe audience – and outliers who listen too.
Are our messages communicating the right thing to them all?
In the article Amy Gilbert, head of social at global social media agency The Social Element, said “Brands need to recognize when a product might have been picked up by someone too young to use it… Can brands come together and have this ‘big sister’ mentality? They can use influencers for good and say, ‘Here’s what you need and don’t need to use.’”
So I urge you fellow copywriters – check your radio scripts and messages – are they targeting the right audience? Are they going to have a positive or negative affect on your fringe audience?
Read your scripts closely and make changes if you have to.
Don’t try to ‘be cool’ for the sake of it.
Don’t try to embrace the latest crusade or PC movement or be ‘woke’ just because it will be seen as being on target.
Your message should reflect the brand you are writing for, their core beliefs and message, and most importantly, not alienate anyone who doesn’t fit the demographic you are targeting.
Maybe – but it makes you a better writer when you can do it.
Thanks again Emmy for a brilliant article in the March issue of AdWeek magazine – it’s a seriously good read and sparked some heated debate amongst some copywriter contacts!