The children of advertising
Back in the day kids were seen but not heard and didn’t speak unless spoken to; but these days it’s a whole different story.
It used to be you’d advertise to children with the understanding that they’d immediately go to their parents and demand the product. All you needed was some fast cuts, bright colours and key words and the kids would respond positively – right? Maybe years ago, but it seems this latest generation of kids have grown up with advertising all around them. These kids understand advertising, and most of them are growing up with multiple TV’s in the house – not to mention the internet. Sure the end result is the parents, after all they’re the ones with the cash, but these kids are clued up, switched on and are responding critically to what they see on the TV. This new generation of children understand what advertising is, and are weary of it.
The latest Ray Morgan study of Australian boys and girls between 6 and 13 highlights a few key points to keep in mind when targeting this age bracket. The first is that kids like funny advertisements, although it seems pretty obvious many businesses often overlook this. Kids are kids, and if you want their attention you must entertain them. The informing surely must be there, but entertainment is key.The second point is that these kids are advertising savvy, and are wary of sneaky, underhanded advertising. They’re critical thinkers and they don’t like to be tricked. Not only that, you may find that they can identify when an advertisement is trying to do so. Finally, and interestingly, like adult females, girls are much more likely to read a magazine or enter a competition than boys. So keep that in mind when you consider who you’re really marketing to. If your target market is boys, think hard about whether a magazine competition is really the best way to go.
At the end of the day what can be taken away from this study for us as business owners, marketers or industry professionals is this: keep it amusing but keep it honest. These kids know what they’re talking about and aren’t afraid to tell us.