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KidSense 2006: When it comes to cell phones, even tiny tots have a mind of their own

17-July-2006
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KidSense 2006: When it comes to cell phones, even tiny tots have a mind of their own

Cell phones indicate a high degree of participation from the kid genre right from the recommendation of the brand to the final purchase. Interestingly, the 4-7 year old and female kids show a high level of interest in this category. This has been revealed by KidSense 2006, a study undertaken by Walt Disney India and GroupM.

Looking at the data closely, cell phones have an overwhelming appeal to kids across age groups and geographies. Almost 74 per cent of the interviewed kids asserted their interest in cell phones, with girls showing more interest at 76 per cent, compared to 73 per cent of the boys. The level is highest in Chennai and Chandigadh (90 per cent) when it comes to geography, unlike Mumbai, where it is just 63 per cent.

Children enjoy cell phone advertisements too, but the percentage of interested kids is just 44 – older kids and females contributing more to the number. In fact, only about 37 per cent of the kids from the west enjoy ads – the north is the highest on this count with 49 per cent.

The enjoyment rate may be low but ad recall is significant. 68 per cent of the kids interviewed recalled the ads they liked. The numbers coming from non-metros is higher than that of metros. Based on this, 47 per cent of kids coax parents into buying brands of their preference, though in this case, the numbers are higher from the metros than that of the non-metros. This would hardly be a surprise given that the research shows that 62 per cent of the kids have a preferred brand in mind based on the advertisements.

The study shows that 44 per cent of the kids at times even suggest models to parents than just brand names. Perhaps what is more important to note here is that kids want to be a part of the buying experience rather than ‘be heard’ only – as many as 54 per cent assert this. Not only are 54 per cent of the kids curious to know if ‘their favourite’ brands are under consideration, but research showed that 46 per cent believed that parents would listen to what they would want to buy and would tend to rely on the inputs from their kids. The north really scores here with a 56 per cent vis-à-vis 32 per cent of the west.

Kids are quite critical about their parent’s opinion on cellular phones and almost 50 per cent is clear that they would be happy only if their brands are bought – one reason may be that 35 per cent would also end up being interim or final consumers of the product.

With 54 per cent of the kids being instrumental on which cell phones are actually bought – evidently, or as researchers like to put it, empirically – cell phone are the kids’ new high involvement ‘toys’.

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