Is the Kidfluencer poised for growth?

While presently in its infancy, the industry shows great potential, but concerns about kids' mental health and safety can't be ignored, say experts

e4m by Mansi Sharma
Published: May 27, 2021 9:28 AM  | 11 min read

What’s common between Kobe Eats, Mila & Emma Stauffer, Ava & Leah Clements, Coco, and Everleigh Rose? They are kids under the age of 10 and are highly popular social media influencers with a massive global fan following. 

Not just that, they are pocketing some lavish brand deals as well from the likes of Lego, Burberry, Puma, Walmart, Target, Apple, and many more. And while the western world, and to a great extent, the SEA region has already seen the big rise of these tiny stars, the kidfluencer category in India is still in its infancy. However, the industry predicts that there is a lot of scope for its growth in the coming years. 

exchange4media dives into the details of the industry, the global outlook, and how the Indian marketing industry is indulging with the scope it offers. 

The Influence of Children 

According to Indian Kids Digital Insights 2019, a study conducted by Totally Awesome, kids digital ad spend will reach $1.7 billion by 2021 globally, equating to 37% of total kids ad spend. One of the factors contributing to this growth is that 73% of kids ask their parents to buy something after seeing recommendations online by kids' influencers. 

While within India, this would have felt like an impossible feat earlier as the elders took all the purchase decisions for the household and the kids. 

The trend of children influencing purchases is on an upswing here as well with millennial parents being more culturally open. And this creates a sweet spot for the kidfluencer category to grow here. 

Whoppl CEO & Founder Ramya Ramachandran says that brands realise the pester power that the modern kids have can work wonders for any campaigns these days. 

The Emerging Indian Child Influencers 

The western world warmed up to the concept of kids being influencers almost a decade ago with little children acquiring the digital space on their own with toy unboxing videos initially and then with their styling or acting content. 

YouTuber Ethan (Ethan Gamer), who started his content creation journey merely at the age of seven in 2013 already has his own merchandising line and has worked with numerous brands. 

He currently has 2.8 million subscribers, far ahead of many of the top influencers in India. Similarly, aged only four in 2019, twin Instagram influencers Mila and Emma Stauffer (@milastauffer & @theemmastauffer) had turned fashion designers for Target and currently have a personalised clothing range on Walmart as well.

While they started their content creation journey on mom Katie Stauffer’s page, the girls have millions following them on their individual pages too.

However, the Indian kidfluencer market is still very young. While it is quite difficult to pinpoint the moment of its emergence, many digital marketing leaders believe that the popularity of actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan’s elder son Taimur sparked the trend (around 2016-17). 

Logicserve Digital Vice President-Creative Manesh Swamy says, “In India, Bollywood and ad films are some of the biggest influencers for a lot of new trends. A few years ago, many celebrity couples and their newborn babies were the centre of attention for the audience. And, with Taimur leading the kids army, the audience wanted more of his cuteness and flocked onto social media. Plus, a lot of new kids who became famous overnight due to their stints in reality shows joined the bandwagon. With mobile data being more accessible, there was a surge of kids coming on to social platforms like YouTube and TikTok (when it was the in thing).” 

Also, the kids and parents had taken influence from the mini-stars across the globe and YouTube started seeing its own breed of young content creators. 

It was in 2015 that three-year-old Nihal Rajagopalan (KichaTube HD) started putting cooking videos on YouTube and a few years later found himself on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  

Noida-based Anantya Anand (My MissAnand) started her own YouTube channel in 2017, at the age of seven after appearing in a few videos of her blogger aunt. Today, she is one of the most popular content creators in the category and has worked with brands like  Nickelodeon, Pillsbury, Disney, among others.

The Celeb Mom and Kid Influencers

What catalysed the growth of these kid influencers was the emergence of mommy influencers, who started making their kids a big part of their content, predominantly on Instagram where they already enjoy cult following. 

Ramachandran points out, “In the last 3-4 years, mothers have increasingly started to document their journey on their social media timeline. From announcing their pregnancy to showcasing their prenatal journey, they have been openly sharing their life with their followers. These followers, too, are more than interested and keen to know it all. From getting friendly tips to getting product recommendations by these mother influencers, the followers—who could be mothers themselves— are able to relate to everything that is discussed.” 

A number of successful mom bloggers and influencers like Saru Mukherjee Sharma ((@diapers_and_lipsticks), Garima Bansal (@mommylilworld), Manya Solanki (@manya_solanki), and Bhumika Bajaj (@little_toddler_boggler) are actively sharing their parenting journey and also their kids' lives on social media. 

Another interesting set in addition to these is popular TV stars who are running the Instagram accounts of their newborns very successfully. One of the early starters were TV actor Karanvir Bohra and his wife Teejay Sidhu who made an Instagram account for their twin daughters Bella & Vienna (@twinbabydiaries) in 2017 when the babies were less than a year old. 

Today their profile introduces them as UN Goodwill Ambassadors and has a massive following of 510k. Others soon joined the bandwagon, including  Rannvijay Singha and Priyanka Vohra’s daughter Kainaat (@singhakainaat), Karan Mehra and Nisha Rawal’s son Kavish (@kavishmehra), and probably the youngest addition, Anita Hassnandani & Rohit Reddy’s son three-month old son Aaravv (@aaravvreddy) who already has 100k followers on Instagram.

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A post shared by Aaravv Reddy (@aaravvreddy)

A Democratic Space

While on the face of it, it looks like that the kidfluencer space on Instagram is hugely dominated by children of already famous bloggers and celebrities, that’s really not the case.

Ramachandran says, “The popularity is in store for both categories of kids. The only difference is that for celebrity kids, they innately become popular because of their star parents. The kind of curiosity that fans display in the lives of their favourite celebrity is automatically extended to their babies too.”

Swamy adds, “Yes, the celeb kids comparatively have more access to opportunities rather than the non-celeb kids. But ultimately, what they are doing on social media or if their content is relatable to the fellow young audiences and their parents create the impact. We have seen some non-celeb kids going viral for their display of talent. It will be fun to see a baby version of ‘Mostly Sane’ in the near future, isn’t it?”

And certainly, non-celeb kids are charming the audiences on Instagram too. During last year’s lockdown and with the introduction of Reels, Instagram has seen a spike in the popularity of several little content creators like Kiara Nautiyal (@kiara_minime) who started creating content eight months ago and already has 80.6k followers on Instagram and 43.2k subscribers on YouTube. Amreen Malhotra (@princessamreenmalhotra) has 689k followers on Instagram and a number of brand associations too.

What Are Brands Up To

Lego is already looking for its first-ever Kid Creative Director globally, and as mentioned earlier Target & Walmart are running exclusive clothing lines with these kidfluencers, but in India, the opportunities are still limited. The brands are warming up to the idea of integrating their products in kids content, be it on a mom influencer page or otherwise, the level of involvement is still very simple.

DiVo founder and director Shahir Muneer thinks that brands are still working with a sales-driven approach to these integrations and hence like to have the parents involved in the scripts. “We have been working with a lot of brands who are interested in partnering with mom influencers for organic content. But we have never received any request wherein the brand just wanted the kid to be a part of any campaign.”

Lyxel&Flamingo Co-Founder & CEO Dev Batra notes, “Babies and kids as influencers is still a very nascent phenomenon in India and while some Mom+baby/kids influencers started building pages as early as in 2018, it’s still not a very mature market.

"Obviously, some of the earliest brands that leveraged Celebrity Mom and their babies influencers are Pampers (Who worked with Shrima Rai, Sameera Reddy, Sona Ali Khan), Mamaearth (Shilpa Shetty) and Johnson's Baby. With the rise of D2C brands targeting kids – like Mamaearth, MommyPure, Maate, The Moms Co etc – there has been a steady growth in the engagement of babies and mothers but it's yet to gather steam in my opinion.”

The Mavericks India Reputation Architect & Digital Specialist Archit Agarwal adds that the baby pages on social media right now are not as equipped to deliver a brand message on their own.

Citing an example, he says, “Brands invest a lot in parenting influencers. One of our clients, Hero Electronix was one such brand that launched a baby cam this year and influencer marketing was crucial to their go-to-market strategy. Baby influencers would have been great for them however in our research, we found that most baby influencer pages were not yet equipped to deliver a brand message. Given how new this subset of the industry is, these pages are still trying to build their content buckets and positioning without which it's hard to find a way to naturally integrate a product through them.”

The Future is Bright but Challenging

All said and done, the growth potential of kids influencers in a brand’s journey and also in their social media popularity is huge. The space is new and is attracting a lot of new faces to be a part of this booming trend.

Muneer feels that the industry will gradually pick up and a lot will depend on the kind of interest the audience will show to the type of content that this young breed of creators is going to offer.

Batra says that the industry will definitely grow but won't be a major influencer category sometime sooner. “The growth in this category will require a higher level of creativity, intellect, planning & effort as compared to most of the generic influencer categories. The Kidinfluencer category will grow much faster as compared to babies as per our understanding of the industry and with new categories like Neobanking for teenagers – we might see more kids like Agastya Shah becoming important influencers.”

Albeit, Ramachandran states that the baby influencers industry is quite big, and it’s only going to grow in the years to come but will predominantly be a source of information for new mothers.

“Mothers generally are quite paranoid about their child’s health; hence they actively lookout for content on the internet. Not just that, from the consumption perspective, there has been a considerable shift from synthetic products to natural, homegrown products.

"From a huge Pamper to a relatively small and new Baby Jalebi, Indian mothers are expanding their horizons. Consequently, there is a huge demand for mother and baby influencers.”

However, the industry is also worried about the challenges that this trend can bring for the real subjects of the motion, the kids. Agarwal rightfully points out, “It (kid influencer industry) has the potential to be huge and really change the game. I also do worry about the children, as they grow so would their own outlook to such a public image of themselves. This could have some deep mental health challenges that come with them. Given that you really can't take consent from a child before building their profile, I would rather see baby content be more of a messaging arc on a mom influencer's page than as a separate persona of its own.”

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TAM Sports launches CTV and mobile ad monitoring service for IPL 2023

This specialized service will provide real-time data and insights

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 24, 2023 3:23 PM   |   2 min read


TAM Sports (a division of TAM Media Research) has announced the launch of Connected TV & Mobile (Android & IOS) Ad monitoring & Verification service for IPL 2023 Live Streaming. This specialized service will provide real-time data and insights to help you stay ahead of the game.

The CTV Ad monitoring will be initially for Live Streaming audiences watching on Connected TV targeted at Mumbai City, while Mobile Ad monitoring is for Live Streaming audiences viewing on IOS /Android mobiles and Geo-targeted  to cities Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad across key cohorts that the Advertiser is addressing.

CTV monitoring will also include 14 different language/other feeds - English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, Odia, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Lifestyle feed and 4k English feed!

Both the Monitoring services will provide Advertisers & Media Agencies with Pre, During and Post-Match Ad streaming reports within a day for IPL data users, enabling them to track their sponsorships on a real-time continuous basis. 

"We are ecstatic to introduce this path breaking and unprecedented Ad Monitoring & Verification service on CTV & Mobile platform during the most happening Cricket Event of the year (IPL) via our flagship unit – TAM Sports”; said TAM India CEO Mr. L V Krishnan. “It will be a unique service as we kick start CTV and Mobile monitoring with this year’s IPL. With daily reporting of the data, it is almost real time for Sponsors, Agencies and other Stakeholders to track and maximize Ad Spends. We believe, this is one more step in our attempt to bring more clarity to investments on High decibel Digital properties and will pave way for more transparency to future Advertising spends on Digital Media.”

The report would essentially cover a variety of variables that comprise of – Platform, Stream Language, Targeted market selected by the Advertiser along with Match Date, Stream Duration, Category, Brands, Advertisers, and Ad Positions. 

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Markand Adhikari’s column on OTT content a hit on Twitter

Apart from being ranked 4 in India trends, it has also sparked a social media conversation about OTT content

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 24, 2023 11:12 AM   |   2 min read

Markand Adhikari

An opinion piece written by Markand Adhikari, Chairman and Managing Director of Sri Adhikari Brothers Group (SAB Group), on nudity and obscenity in OTT has been ruling the social media charts.  

The article was published by exchange4media on March 21st.

It was no. 4 in India trends on Thursday.

The article has also spurred a lot of discussion on OTT content on Twitter.

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FAST & Freemium: Why more & more advertisers are streaming towards Connected TV

These platforms, say experts, provide access to massive amounts of user data, enabling precise targeting and cost-effective advertising campaigns

By Shantanu David | Mar 24, 2023 8:27 AM   |   4 min read

connected TV

Even the most traditional advertisers are now dipping their toes into streaming, while more adventurous brands are already making a splash. And with the introduction of subscriptions with ads on streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, as well as Jio’s push towards freemium TV, the Connected Television (CTV) landscape is evolving with each new login and the following reams of data, and terms like FAST and Freemium are creating more buzz than an old cable TV’s antenna.

Swati Kardak, Group Account Manager, Media Planning & Buying, SoCheers, believes that with IPL in their kitty and now rolling out of freemium TV, Jio has already got the ball rolling for them. “This is a big boon for advertisers and brands as FAST (Free, ad-supported TV), will open up opportunities for advertisers to widen their addressable audience size. It will also work as a magnet to attract more audiences to the streaming platform and ensure a long-term client relationship.”

Meanwhile, “As subscription plans with ads are introduced, advertisers and brands have a unique opportunity to reach a large and engaged audience. These platforms provide access to massive amounts of user data, enabling precise targeting and cost-effective advertising campaigns,” says Keerthi R Kumar, Business Head-South, FoxyMoron.

According to the recently launched Gateway to Open Internet report, published by The Trade Desk and Kantar, 33% of consumers perceive ads on OTT/CTV as more premium than those on YouTube and other user-generated content platforms, making CTV/OTT a particularly attractive avenue for brands.

Additionally, 44% of consumers expect to significantly increase their usage of CTV/OTT in the next six months. The surge in popularity of Connected TVs also allows advertisers to reach a subset population of cord-cutters that they cannot reach on linear TV.

Tejinder Gill, General Manager, The Trade Desk, says that to capitalize on this fast-growing ad opportunity on OTT, brands will need to invest in data-driven advertising tools on platforms like The Trade Desk to help them to more effectively target and engage consumers across the multiple OTT platforms that consumers engage with today.

In Kardak’s opinion, Freemium will bring about a major cord-cutting change and a huge shift towards Freemium is most likely going to come from the traditional TV audience as they will be able to avail entertainment for free. “Therefore, brands and advertisers will have to be very mindful about picking the right content on FAST for their ad placement. In comparison, the audience on FAST is likely to be more massy, so, brands who have products or services catering to a larger audience should look at partnering with them,” she says.

The abundance of content and vast user base on platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus provide advertisers with the opportunity to target affluent audiences. With the introduction of ad-supported tiers, advertisers can leverage high-quality content to reach their desired target audience.

“AVOD and Freemium models offer precision targeting, real-time optimization, and measurement, leading to a shift in advertising budgets from traditional TV to OTT. As competition increases, advertisers must understand each platform's audience, engagement patterns, and results to make informed decisions that align with their business objectives,” says Kardak.

Vikas Mangla, Founder, Digital ROI, points out that by parsing through the consumer data available through viewership on these platforms, advertisers can develop new ad formats that engage viewers and do not disrupt their viewing experience. “Interactive ads, sponsored content, and native advertising are some of the ad formats that can help advertisers achieve this. For instance, Voot offers non-intrusive ad formats like sponsored content and integrated ads that blend seamlessly with the content,” he says.

Advertisers and publishers also need to analyze the collectible data to gain insights into their audience's behavior and preferences. This can help them optimize their ad campaigns, improve their targeting, and measure their ad campaign's effectiveness.

“For example, MX Player uses data analytics to track viewer behavior and preferences to create personalized recommendations for each viewer. Advertisers can also use data analytics to track ad performance and optimize their campaigns accordingly,” says Mangla, adding that publishers can leverage the popularity of streaming TV by creating content that resonates with their audience.

That being said, as Gill points out, “Another important consideration is frequency capping which is important to ensure consumers are not seeing the same ad multiple times across the different OTT platforms that they are engaging with. This is where programmatic media buying platforms offer value in helping brands preserve a positive ad experience.”

In conclusion, experts agree that the Indian market presents a significant opportunity for advertisers and publishers to reach a large and engaged audience base through FAST and Freemium. By adopting a data-driven approach, using new ad formats, programmatic advertising, data analytics, and content marketing, they can create more effective ad campaigns, engage viewers, and increase their revenue.


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Mark Zuckerberg announces new WhatsApp app for Windows

The app will enable group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 23, 2023 3:25 PM   |   1 min read


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new WhatsApp app for Windows, which will enable group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people - all from your desktop.

Making the announceemnt on Facebook, he wrote, “Launching a new WhatsApp desktop app for Windows. Now you can make E2E encrypted video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people.”

“The new Windows desktop app loads faster and is built with an interface familiar to WhatsApp and Windows users. You can host group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people. We’ll continue to increase these limits over time so you can always stay connected with friends, family and work colleagues.

Since introducing new multi-device capabilities, we’ve listened to feedback and made improvements including faster device linking and better syncing across devices, as well as new features such as link previews and stickers.

As we continue to increase the number of devices which support WhatsApp, we’ve just introduced a new WhatsApp beta experience for Android tablets. We’re also launching a new, faster app for Mac desktops that is currently in the early stages of beta,” he wrote further.

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MarTech can brilliantly answer the ROI question: Hareesh Tibrewala

The Joint CEO of Mirum India spoke to e4m Editor Naziya Alvi Rahman on a host of questions with respect to the India MarTech Report 2023 that will be unveiled at the e4m Pitch CMO Summit today

By Naziya Alvi Rahman | Mar 23, 2023 2:41 PM   |   1 min read


Hareesh Tibrewala spoke to e4m on a host of issues related to MarTech while delving deep into the India MarTech Report. He started by addressing the roadblocks in the implementation of MarTech in the country.

He also explained the point about MarTech explorers in terms of the sectors, which is invested in this marketing technique.

Tibrewala further spoke about how martech was critical in the role of a marketer and how it could be extremely significant for calculating ROI.

The conversation also veered toward the importance of MarTech in the cookie-less world and the advent of Web3.

Watch the entire conversation here.

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Google opens up access to Bard

In a blogpost, Google said that Bard could provide tips or explain several posts

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 23, 2023 1:07 PM   |   1 min read


Google has said that it is opening up access to Bard, the ChatGPT competitor, as per media reports.

The tech major will be expanding the access to Bard in more countries and languages.

In a blogpost, Google said that Bard could provide tips or explain several posts.

Google unveiled Bard in February. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced the soft launch of the AI to "trusted testers". 

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MarTech no longer only about marketing, it needs to drive sales: Mirum India report

The survey for the report shows 88% of respondents expect to increase spending on MarTech over the next 3 years

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 23, 2023 12:43 PM   |   2 min read


Mirum India, a Wunderman Thompson company, has put together a report on the emerging MarTech landscape in India.

The report captures how MarTech solutions are being utilized by brands to effectively communicate their brand messages to the right set of audiences at the right time.

The report highlights that while the global spend on MarTech solutions is around 25% of the total marketing budget, in India, majority organizations spend less than 15%, indicating significant potential for growth. With MarTech spending set to increase across company sizes and sectors, 88% of respondents expect to increase their MarTech spending over the next three years. The report also emphasizes the need for brands and organizations to work with growth partners as preferred by MarTech HEROES, focusing on ROI, and delivering value to the brands.

The report will be unveiled on March 24, 2023, at the e4m Pitch CMO Summit in Mumbai. The summit will see India's most reputed brands and top management coming under one roof to interact and share insights on their game-changing success stories.

Speaking on the report, Hareesh Tibrewala, Joint CEO – Mirum India, said, "The estimated size of the MarTech industry in India is expected to be between $35bn and $50bn by 2026, presenting a sizeable opportunity for businesses. Our latest report highlights how brands are using MarTech solutions to effectively deliver the right brand message to the right customer at the right time, creating fabulous customer experiences and increasing brand loyalty. It is interesting to note that marketers globally spend 25% of their budgets on MarTech solutions, and our report shows the emergence of MarTech EXPLORERS, who are keen to leverage the power of MarTech. This presents an exciting opportunity for businesses to grow and thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape."

CVL Srinivas, Country Manager – WPP India said, "To succeed in the rapidly evolving tech and data driven world, organizations need good marketing automation tools and diverse skill sets. The report highlights the need for growth partners, preferred by MarTech HEROES, to ensure strong ROI for clients. It brings clarity to the ecosystem and presents an exciting opportunity for businesses to create fantastic customer experiences and increase brand loyalty. At WPP, we've invested heavily in building our tech and data practices, creating a comprehensive ecosystem where value is delivered at every touchpoint."

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