Top 5 Commercials that Understand Teens

Top 5 Commercials TeensDrawing from a very unscientific survey of my own opinions, I chose five commercials that best understand teenage life. Each of these makes my incredibly prestigious and utterly subjective list because they uniquely capture a heart for youth. These videos could help society appreciate teens better, which should in turn help students be who God intends them to be. You might have some other commercials you’d like to suggest, so go ahead and leave them in the comment section (with a short comment about it). Here you go:

#5 Chevy | Maddie

Get the kleenex box and watch this life montage about the emotional stability that a dog offers through the upheavals of adolescent development.

#4 AllState | Mayhem Pink SUV Teenage Driver

This one might not fit the emotional tugging of the other videos on my top 5 list, but it is shrewdly aware of a couple of key elements embedded in contemporary teenage life. Adding to their popular Mayhem series, Allstate a) lightheartedly appeals to parental anxieties while b) offering a not-too-subtle public service announcement about the dangers of texting and driving… and perhaps also the dangers of the adolescent emotional spectrum.

#3 Always | #LikeAGirl

During puberty, girls can begin to struggle deeply with their self-esteem. This powerful commercial reminds us that kids have a pure self-confidence but, as they develop socially, they tend to adapt to stereotypes such as “learned helplessness” or other demeaning perceptions.

#2 Dove Legacy | A girl’s beauty confidence starts with you…

Dove has dozens of short videos that could make this list. This one in particular captures two key ideas that are essential to healthy development of pre-teen girls. First, it understands that parents are the #1 influence in a child’s life. Secondly, it demonstrates how simple it is for a parent to either build up or tear down a child’s unadulterated self-esteem, even if the influence is unintentional.

#1 Apple | Holiday | Misunderstood

There is so much to love about this Apple commercial. It plays with society’s assumptions that teenage boys are withdrawn, moody, anti-social and repeatedly disappointing. But in the end it shatters (in a 1 Timothy 4:12 sort of way) the tendency to look down on people because they are young.

I use this commercial in my Faith Development of Youth course at Crown as a launching platform to discuss adolescent development. Teens develop in different domains and under different influencers. This commercial hits them all.

Domain: PHYSICAL – the boy’s features are typically adolescent; EMOTIONAL – evident in the boy’s emotional risks and reservations; COGNITIVE – more significantly creative and capable than most people assume; SOCIAL – learning to navigate a world where teens both belong and yet do not quite belong.

Influencers: FAMILY – more than any other organized unit in the world, the family impacts the development of young people. CULTURE – the irony of the commercial rests in the boy’s fixation with the very device that both encourages him to withdraw even while enabling him to connect to his family. COACHES – I love the way the grandfather in this video loves the boy, constantly reaching out to him.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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