Home IMJ Features Opinion: Media and Advertising Through the Lens of a TY Student

Opinion: Media and Advertising Through the Lens of a TY Student

Saul Light

In the final series of articles written by Transition Year students who have spent time working with IMJ and Adworld, Saul Light, a student at Newpark Comprehensive in Blackrock shares his views about media and advertising.

Snapchat and Instagram have become the most popular social media apps by far that my generation use and if you don’t have either, you might as well be living off the grid. Snapchat has an amazing feature of deleting messages after the person has seen it and every teenager loves privacy. Instagram allows you to text other people posts and send them photos of you with your friends in top quality.

Facebook is considered a social media dinosaur by my generation barely anyone uses it and if they do it’s only for the messenger feature. A lot of people my age considers Facebook for parents and teenagers don’t like parents spying on them or on their posts. I believe Facebook is outdated for my generation and should stick with the older generations.

Press skip ad

A large majority of ads I never look at or think twice about, I usually just press ‘skip ad. My friends feel the exact same way and get quite frustrated when there’s a no skip ad button. Honestly, I think all my friends forget there are ad blockers myself included I’d say that it would stop them throwing their phone across the room when they get spammed with minute-long ads.

I haven’t watched regular TV in years because I use YouTube and Netflix. One of the reasons I stopped watching is because of the long ad breaks, its painful to sit through them. YouTube on the other hand is so much better because the ads are shorter and many of them are a lot more interesting than the ones on TV. Netflix is now the new updated form of Live TV for a lot of people me included it has so many more shows and movies, doesn’t make you sit through fifteen minutes of pure ads. In a few years I bet Live TV will go completely extinct. I don’t think anyone really goes over to a friend’s house to watch TV its now Netflix or YouTube.

The man on the moon Christmas ad for John Lewis UK was a very memorable one because it was part sad and part heartwarming. The ad was about an old man stuck on the moon and a little girl saw him through a telescope. She tried to make him feel less lonely by doing everything she can to get presents to him on the moon. Nothing works for her until she uses balloons and he gets her gift and he smiles. I think a lot of people were quite touched by it. Coca Cola made that ad where they put people’s names on the Coke cans, it was very memorable sadly they never had my name on any of the cans.

I never read newspapers or magazines and barely ever watch the news. I only really see the news on Instagram, hear it on the radio or hear my teachers in school rant about it and how the world is going downhill fast. They aren’t completely wrong a lot of the time.

Starting a new trend

I feel that social media influencers have a ton of power and influence over my generation more than ever before, especially celebrities. Celebrities on a social media platform with a fan base can really affect people with what they say; they can change the way their fans think, dress, talk and their actions. They can influence people for the better or worse.

Social media influencers can really motivate people to go and make a change in the world or to change themselves for the better, which I think, is what they should be doing. My peers are influenced mainly by music artists and a lot of them change their fashion sense and sometimes the way they talk. It’s fascinating to see how much one singer can change so many people.

Nowadays if you want to advertise to people my age you have to find a face that means a lot to my generation, so getting a star music artist to advertise a product can really help. Keeping up with trends can also be an advantage when selling something but you must time it carefully so as not to miss the trend. Companies should think about where they are advertising- Instagram and YouTube are the place most ads will be seen instead of on TV or in newspapers if you’re trying to connect to the younger generation.

A Digitalized future 

I have a little brother who is six years younger than me and I do wonder will he be in the real world in the future? Will this generation be wearing three d googles and living in a virtual world? Will they record everything that they do? I bet in the future everyone will be on social media and Regular TV, Newspapers, Magazines, books and theatre plays will be gone. Celebrities and Social media influencers will then be a very big factors in their lives. I remember being a kid and not having social media and doing things without technology, like climbing trees but I feel that a lot of future generations will not know what it’s like to not have a phone which is quite scary.

I’m hoping that as there has been so much bad press around privacy that social media in the future will be designed to protect people and used for good instead of what we’ve seen up to this point. It’s hard to imagine the leaps that will take place in technology in the next 5 years, but will AI mean that we will spend more time talking to robots than people? I hope that the future of Social Media will bring more collaboration and go back to the essence of social media which was to connect more easily with one another. After all Ireland has just declared a Climate Emergency and we’re running out of time to work together to save the planet.

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