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Targeting the Young Gamer
With the summer holidays rapidly approaching, marketers across a variety of industries are vying to capture the attention of school pupils as they make the most of the free time on their hands. The video gaming industry is no exception and the recent launch of the Nintendo 3DS combined with the tumbling prices of console bundles has reinvigorated this already lucrative market. Recently released Youth TGI data shows the gaming habits of Britain's secondary school-aged population, helping to give marketers the edge in tailoring their campaigns to this much sought-after demographic.
The latest data emerging from the Youth TGI survey reveals that a whopping 71% of 11-19 year olds play at least two hours of computer games per week: equating to almost 5 million regular young gamers. There has also been a dramatic rise in the number of heavy video gamers in this age bracket (playing over 15 hours per week), reaching over 1.3 million in 2011, up from 780,000 in 2007 - undoubtedly a result of the launch of improved consoles, such as the PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as the proliferation of online gaming. In fact, 68% of regular 11-19 year old gamers now play online games via consoles or home PCs.
Young gamers are certainly prepared to put their hand in their pocket to keep up with the latest trends: 11 to 14 year old regular gamers spend, on average, £2.28 per week on video games, rising to £4.61 per week for 15-19 year olds (almost 10% of their average weekly income). These consumers are keen on purchasing the latest gaming devices as 40% bought a console in the last year and 21% opted for a handheld system, while 800,000 young tech fans purchased both.
Following the latest trends and brands is a key component of the purchasing behaviour of young gamers and is not confined solely to consoles and video games. They are over a fifth more likely to wear clothes with logos and 22% more likely to believe that it is important to have the latest equipment when playing sport.
In fact, branding significantly influences these young consumers: regular gamers are over 50% more likely than the average young person to believe that "the brand name is the most important thing when buying something". Similarly, GB TGI (surveying adults aged 15+) reveals that a third of all secondary school parents always buy the brands that their children prefer - making households with young gamers a crucial target for marketers across all heavily-branded industries.
Regular young gamers are also receptive to advertisements placed in video games, with online enthusiasts 72% more likely to notice in-play advertisements often.
However, when you can prise these young gamers away from their controllers, they are most likely to be found glued to screens of a different ilk as this group is 53% more likely to be among the heaviest 20% of internet users and 41% more likely to watch at least 40 hours of television per day.