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1,538, I’ll save you the excitement. That’s roughly the average number of advertisements an American teenager, is exposed to per day. How do I know this? It took me one day (with the proper information) to spend my time doing what the ‘average American teenager does’; however, every time I saw an advertisement, I would record it. As I did this study, I realized it wasn’t so much about seeing the advertisements as it was just being aware.

The average American teenager spends 4.5 hours online per day. I had divided my time between the top four global websites; google, facebook, youtube, and yahoo (spending an extra half an hour on google). I have a pop-up filter, so I only recorded ads on each page I had hit. It was hard to come up with a hypothesis for the number of ads I thought I might come across on google, since, like most googalites, I spend most of my time on the links the search engine brings me to. I ended up recording that; with an hour and a half spent on google, I saw 190 ads. But on the pages linked from google, I saw 434 advertisements. One interesting attribute I found was that when I typed into the search bar a more proficient phrase such as ‘cell phone usage’, I saw no ads as when I typed in ‘cell phone’, I saw 14 advertisements on one page alone. So, if you are researching on google, you most likely won’t receive as many advertisements than if you were just
looking around for something.

Before I spent my time on facebook, I had made a hypothesis that since people spend about 4 seconds to 3 minutes per page, they spend an average of about 1 and a half minutes per page. That’s 40 pages per hour. So, I estimated that with an average of 3 advertisements per page I would see about 120 advertisements. A distance higher than my math, I tallied up 336 advertisements on facebook considering I, like most of my virtually ADD friends, spend about 5 seconds per page. If the number of advertisements for facebook isn’t all that interesting, their marketing strategy is. Most of the advertisements on facebook, I had found, are not ads telling you to buy a direct product, but are what is called ‘self-serve’ advertisements; advertising games, profiles, and groups that are affiliated with or hosted by facebook. The games you play on facebook make money as well by a “5 equation” system called the Monetization Potential. The “five equations”
in which they use to earn a revenue include; the total daily unique users, return users, churn rate, application age, and daily page multiplier. (For example; in 2008, Mob Wars was the highest profiting game, making $22,499 per day, possibly due to it’s committed and engaged fans.)

Another interesting marketing strategy I had found was the marketing technique used on youtube. I had spent about 10 minutes per page watching the most popular videos, where I came across 64 advertisements. However, only 3 percent of the videos are supported by advertisements, so that means you most likely won’t come across too many. Ever since the population of youtube dwellers has increased, it has become a pilgrimage for advertisers. Most youtubers only ask you for your hits, though, which counts as money to those who work with an affiliated network such as the Youtube Partner Program, where each youtuber earns a revenue through placing companies’ advertisements (like the ones you see on the page or before the video starts). Basically, the ‘Leave Brittany Alone’ guy raked in thousands of dollars a month every time you and your friends made fun of his stupid crocodile tears (who’s laughing now?). With my time spent on yahoo, the number of
advertisements I saw wasn’t to any surprise. On average, most people receive 13 junk mail messages a day. Although I only received 5 spam messages, I saw 88 advertisements over the course of an hour. The amount of time someone spends on an email site may also vary tremendously.

The average American teenager watches 4.5 hours of television per day. I thought it would be interesting to record the amount of money the ads were asking for the consumer to spend as well; and it gave me a great insight to which consumer at what time they try to extract more money from. American Idol, (currently, the #1 show on primetime) mostly advertised cars and hot new gadgets. I researched that the ads had asked for about $191,960 worth in direct products (I couldn’t include places, or anything that didn’t ask for your direct money). This show has a huge teen following, so hold on to your wallet. The second highest amount of money in ads came from those on late night; which equaled to about $87,697 (which mostly advertised cars, gadgets and movies; including the stuff each guest was plugging). Interestingly, World News mostly advertised medication and products an older audience would buy. That is almost to say ,‘teenagers don’t care
about the news’. There were also a lot of places advertised, such as hospitals, so I calculated only about $399 worth of products for World News. On Oprah, I researched about $41,542 in products, an even tempo. (Grey’s Anatomy had about $47,990 worth of products, and Private Practice had about $24,000). But as far as my record for the amount of advertisements I saw on television; for 4.5 hours, I saw 120 advertisements.

The average American teenager walks approximately 1.5 miles per day. This includes, of course, every day activity such as walking through the supermarket or from class to class at school. But like I have said before: this project wasn’t so much about seeing and recording as it was about being aware; I had to wake up and smell the coffee every now and then. Like when I was opening my refrigerator, I realized my whole refrigerator door is adorned with advertisement magnets. 9 total. Listening to the radio: 2 (I could easily switch the dial). Billboards while driving: 6. I received 4 in the mail, saw 32 while flipping for one number in the phone book, and while I was casually reading a newspaper and some magazines throughout the day, I recorded 146 advertisements. Also, while walking close to one mile down the main street of my town, I saw about 107 advertisements. Altogether that’s about 1,538 ads the average teenager in America is exposed
to per day.

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pencils_4_hands This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 6, 2010 at 9:53 am
really interesting and facinating.... check owt my stuff also :-)
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