Pictures, stories, emotions

Paths to successful youth communication

Not better or bigger, but different – this is what ski resorts need to become in their youth communication. Researcher Philipp Ikrath on the latest scientific findings.


singularisation rather than general logic – for Philipp ikrath from the institu- te for youth culture research in Vienna and hamburg, this is the key to success- ful youth communication. As part of the Digital Day in Wattens (Austria), he pre- sented the latest scientific findings on the mentality of young people. “essentially, the older, analogue generation is at- tached to logic of the general.


It is guided by clear standards and norms,” Ikrath says. This can be seen most strikingly in the mass tourism of recent decades. “however, young people do not want an off-the-peg holiday. They want to come back from their holidays with unusual stories,” according to the researcher.



Their logic of the singular therefore focuses on uniqueness and difference. “The young are not interested in places you need to have seen, but rather want to tell their own stories,” Ikrath continues. one example would be a hotel with an unusual ambience, such as a converted prison. “stories like this increase travellers’ social prestige; they attract attention and admiration as well as enabling them to differentiate themselves from other people,” the researcher says.


The principle of general/singular logic can be found in all areas of life but it is especially apparent in tourism. “Ski resorts focusing on young target groups therefore need to communicate not bet- ter but rather differently,” Ikrath emphasises.

Pictures at the centre of communication

How does singularisation work though? Ikrath recommends making pictures the focus of the communication. “The best way for young people to satisfy their need for singularity is with their photos on Instagram or snapchat.” Unfortunately, photos in ski resorts generally all look the same. The pictures here would really need to have their own identity, convey a sense of the destination and tell an interesting story.


“We need to offer guests the opportunity to place themselves in a spectacular setting, such as by setting up Instagram frames with at- tractive motifs in the ski resort,” the researcher suggests. ski resorts need to demonstrate that they are different from their competitors – not better, but more unusual.


The aim would be to convey an exceptional, unusual travel experience. Ikrath summarises the communication strategy as follows: “Pictures appeal to emotions, not the intellect. Arguments convince, but pictures seduce.” ts