Why young consumers are not open to mobile marketing communications

Ian Grant, Stephanie O'Donohoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores young people's motivations for using mobile phones. Older adolescents' everyday use of traditional and new forms of mediated communication were explored in the context of their everyday lives, with data generated from self-completion questionnaires, diaries and mini focus groups. The findings confirm the universal appeal of mobile phones to a youth audience. Social and entertainment-related motivations dominated, while information and commercially orientated contact were less appealing. While marketers are excited by the reach and possibilities for personalisation offered by mobile phones, young people associated commercial appropriation of this medium with irritation, intrusion and mistrust. In other words, while marketers celebrated mobile phones as a 'brand in the hand' of youth markets, young people themselves valued their mobiles as a 'friend in the hand'. This suggests that the way forward for mobile marketing communications is not seeking or pretending to be young consumers' friend, butrather offering content that helps them maintain or develop the personal friendships that matter to them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-246
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • mobile phones
  • youth culture
  • marketing
  • youth market


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