Fashion Advertising, Consumerism & Social Media Influencers – A Lethal Combo Targeting Teens

By Jenny Park

It’s not an undisclosed matter that more than the majority of marketing departments now capitalize on teenagers niche to boost sales and brand reputation. It comes from the fact that teens have higher spending aptitude than adults and will become adult consumers too in the future.

This kind of targeted advertising and marketing begins its root during the 1980s. More than three decades after, according to the study published by the American Psychological Association, many enterprises and companies now apportion more than $15 billion for youth marketing alone.

Teenagers constitute a significant chunk of the potential market for the local and international fashion retailers. Hence, the majority of media and print ad campaigns for different brands tend to focus exclusively on this segment.

Advertising and marketing aim to develop and establish brand awareness as well as encourage a particular trendy lifestyle that specifically caters the youth segment.

Teenagers and Retail Fashion Advertising

Marketing to the youth segment is different from marketing to the adult segments. Advertisers use celebrities, youth icons, sports stars, as well as social influencers to become brand ambassadors and endorse certain products and brands because they realize the fact that the teenagers look up to role models in their lives.

Such celebrities convey a particular image, trust, and value which rubs off on the product too and vice versa. Using public figures like celebrities is very efficient on the psyche of teenagers as they naturally look up to influential and famous people and imitate them.

On a daily basis, you see the influence of celebrity’s character profoundly changed the perceptions of youth. In some cases, these celebrities become role models or cult figures to youth.

For example, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Victoria Beckham are among the famous female trendsetters who set the standards high when it comes to the impeccable dressing which teenage girls patronize. This scenario is the evidence to the effect of targeted advertisements that can turn out to be positive and negative as well.

According To Studies

The surveys conducted among teenagers show that adolescents, especially females, are in general more fashion conscious and likes to follow the styles of celebrity very carefully.

Moreover, studies show that teenagers channel their perceptions into real fashion statements and do the same in their lifestyles. This kind of lifestyle is moderately priced and fast changing.

If we go back to earlier generations, parents always have something to say about fashion matters and buying issues that concern their children. More than three decades later, the trends have changed. Teens decide on their own, they spend and shop to their likings.

The effects of fashion advertisements and the events influencing the endorsements of products or the media can impact the perceptions and psyches of teenagers which also affects brand reputation.

The Pros

It’s inevitable for people to think about negative things whenever they reflect on the influence of fashion marketing in teenagers’ lives. And, most often than not, girls are more likely to contend with peer pressures and a significant amount of influence from their friends and other people in different environments.

It’s typical that media displays unrealistic and unattainable images of body types and expensive clothing, which can affect self-acceptance and self-esteem among teenagers. Nonetheless, this negativity is controllable through guiding and educating the teens the importance of accepting oneself and wearing clothes that fit their real frame.

Boost Self Confidence

One of the good points that fashion advertisements possess is its power to teach the youth to be confident in their skin. Being confident with the clothes that they like to wear brings positive impacts on the overall self-esteem and personality of a teenager.

Teens should be encouraged to wear the clothes where they feel most beautiful and comfortable wearing in, as long as it’s not offending anyone and not coming from negative influences.

Moreover, dressing the way they want also gives teenagers the confidence to follow other endeavors in life without worrying about what other people will say.

Encourages Self- Acceptance

Because fashion is a form of expressing oneself through women’s and men’s clothing, a teenager with confidence to wear the clothes and personal styles that he or she wants is a positive sign that he or she is comfortable with who he or she is becoming as a person.

When a teenager develops his or her sense of style and fashion, he or she is also learning that it is not always good to follow the ways of others.

Develops Creativity

Another positive influence of fashion marketing to teenagers is that it helps them develop creativity, or use the ideas of others to develop their own. It happens when a teenager learns to adopt the clothing styles of others to create his or her style.

Hence, teens grow into confident, independent and active adults. They also respect the potential value of ideas from other people as well as ways of doing things.

The Cons

Marketing campaigns projected to teenagers have numerous advantages for companies. However, there are potential downsides too. As a matter of fact, there are groups of consumer watchdogs that often target the companies which they believe manipulate the purchasing decisions of teenagers.

Most advertisers wield specific methods to target teen consumers. And by nature, they are easy to influence. And teens at the same time, become influencers who spread awareness to their friends on social media platforms.

While the scheme is beneficial for advertisers, some psychologists are showing concerns about the effects of marketing on this media-savvy audience. Also, doctors point out that negative influences of fashion advertisements may lead to long-lasting repercussions to teenagers.

Capitalize On your Insecurities

Teenagers fall in the trap of finding an identity which leads to a handful of insecurity issues and makes them vulnerable to advertisers.

Marketers and advertisers then take advantage of the situation. The familiar slogan that you often see and hear is “You’re cool if you have this shirt” which have a prestigious label or might be endorsed by famous celebrities.

According to Dr. Tim Kasser, a psychologist, teens typically want to relate to their peers and often believes that material possessions are all that matter. This system of interpreting self-worth with material possessions distorts the organic ability of teenagers to establish their identities.

Influence Poor Diets

There are an estimated 3,000 advertising messages every day that teens face every day. Most of these advertisements are discreet and relate to an unhealthy mentality of shaving off weight to fit in with the clothing items that they are trying to sell.

Exposure to this kind of ads encourages the teens to go on a diet with extreme measures which only lead to risks of eating disorders and severe health issues.

Natural News reports that the quantity of advertising exposed to teens on the mobile platform is still in the process of adequate research, which is expected to be much worse.

Fuels Impulsive Spending

When it comes to spending habits, teenagers are more likely to go on a spendthrift without thinking about tomorrow. This problem is favorable for advertisers, who dash right away to satisfy the whims of teenagers.

Sad to say, most teenagers if not all, are impulsive spenders and don’t think when it comes to making purchases, especially when it relates to fashion.


The influence of clothing fashions and media still continue to stir debate and controversies in the sector of consumerism. While we understand that teenagers like to patronize trends that they see and hear on different platforms, such trends are not without many consequences.

The fashion society oozes its influence through various facets of media and has its talons in the market. The role of parents is to guide their children and teach them the nitty-gritty of buying things, dressing up and accepting oneself.




Jenny Park is a budding writer/blogger and young designer at the same time. Her typical day involves traveling to look for new inspirations for her business and blogging career. Jenny’s interests also extend to fashion, and photography and cooking. On her downtime, she indulges herself to dressing up and blogging about anything related to fashion and shares them with her readers.


  1. Pingback: Power of #Celebrity Part 2. #Fashion Industry Influence on #Youth Culture – Debra Russell Blogs From Down Under

  2. Pingback: Meet The Advertising Industry Exec Working Toward Gender Equality Behind The Scenes. - GirlTalkHQ

  3. Pingback: Why Making Eco-Conscious Decisions About Fast Fashion Are A Good Idea - GirlTalkHQ

Leave a Reply

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