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Advertising more of a child’s play: O&M study

04-March-2004
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Advertising more of a child’s play: O&M study

Their stakes are getting bigger and bigger. Unlike in the past, kid advertising is now being characterised by more changes than what was witnessed over the last one decade.

This is one of the findings of a study done by Ogilvy & Mather’s discovery group, which is into brand planning, consumer insights and knowledge management, on Indian kids with direct advertising, branding and marketing implications and learnings.

From categories such as confectionery and breakfast cereals where children are directly concerned, their influence now spreads across other household categories such as technology, automobiles and appliances, says the study.

It is now a well established fact that children play an important role in purchasing decisions. If children’s role in purchasing is growing, they are also playing a vital role in brand building.

With increased spending power and influence of kids, marketeers have started recognising them as a powerful audience. This is true for Maruti, Orange, Dishnet DSL among others, states the report.

Kunal Sinha, vice-president, discovery group, said: “With the dynamics of the market changing, kids are becoming more powerful and influential in shaping behaviour.”

They have been divided into three segments — users, influencers and the adult kids (those adults who behave like kids).

There are no figures available to justify the role of kids in improving the sales and performance of brands in respective categories.

Sinha points out that as per the study, brands and communicators must stop pushing kids and setting standards by depicting super-achieving children. “Let kids be kids, let the child revel in innocence and the joy of discovery,” the study implores.

The study critiques the gender bias in communication - as nearly two-thirds of all advertising depicted boys only, and even when girls are shown, the boys seem to be the beneficiaries of energy and power, and older girls were shown to be assuming ‘mothering’ roles.

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