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KidSense 2007 finds kids have moved from being ‘influencers’ to ‘consultants’

16-October-2007
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KidSense 2007 finds kids have moved from being ‘influencers’ to ‘consultants’

The Walt Disney Company India and GroupM have unveiled the findings of their proprietary research KidSense 2007. The research attempts to explore the kids’ category in India and share insights on the overall kids’ business. This initiative includes annual research and periodic industry forums for stimulating discussions to better understand the largest kids market in the world. The research results were unveiled by Antoine Villeneuve, Senior VP and MD, Walt Disney Television International (India), and Vikram Sakhuja, COO, GroupM, South Asia.

Disney’s KidSense 2007, which was conducted and collated by research firm IMRB International this year, underscores the kids’ media interaction and consumption habits across conventional and new media. The topline findings also highlight the increasing influence of kids in the family purchase decisions across 13 product categories, including those which are not directly consumed by kids.

This quantitative survey covered kids aged 8-14, and parents of kids aged 4-14, belonging to SEC A and B households. The fieldwork was carried out from July to September, 2007 across 10 cities in India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana and Jaipur. The survey was carried out among 3,560 respondents.

Villeneuve said, “With kids emerging as consultants for parents on key purchase decisions in homes across India, Disney’s KidSense 2007 provides comprehensive, category-wide insights into the young minds. The study continues to serve as a credible reference point for the industry and our business partners, and will help grow the business in the industry as a whole.”

Sakhuja said, “Once we accept that kids play an important role in purchase decision-making, as marketing practitioners we have to deal with practical questions such as ‘what appeals to this segment in a particular category, and how do we reach them’. In the past, initiatives were taken based on individual opinions which are hugely subjective. Disney’s KidSense study now addresses these information gaps, making it possible for us to make informed and data-based decisions on how best to address this segment.”

IMRB’s Hemant Mehta asserted that kids today are far more aware, and parents have come to realise that. The role of kids has got further elevated from being active influencers or having pester-power to being seen as ‘consultants’. “Parents do look at them for consultation for various categories that are not even directly targeted at kids,” he said.

The quantitative aspects were in the categories of Accessories; Eating out; Two-wheelers; Video games; Mobile phones; DVD players; Cars; Computers; Clothes; Bicycles; Holidays; Sports gear and Television sets.

The study also included perspectives of both Metros and Tier 1 towns, and what was largely seen is that, on a broader note, kids in these towns behaved in similar patterns. A key difference seen was in media consumption habits, where kids in Tier 1 towns read more than Metro kids, and those from the latter were watching more TV than the former.

The basic take-home that comes from this study is, first, the reassertion of the fact that kids are not a homogeneous set but segmented in three categories -- kids, tweens and teens. Also, they have moved from being ‘influencers’ to that of ‘consultants’. Finally, parents clearly seem to be recognising the role of kids as consultants in the buying decision process by taking them along for shopping of big ticket items.

Sakhuja, citing the example of the mobile category, explained that these insights can play a crucial role in devising any media plans for various clients, like looking at infotainment and comedy genres than just kids’ channels.

Last year, Disney’s KidSense provided an analysis of kids aged 4-14 with segmentation that brought out a distinction between the three main groups -- 4 to 5, 6 to 9 and 10 to 14 -- as kids, tweens and teens. It covered 15 product categories. This year some of the obvious kids’ categories like chewing gums and confectionary were dropped and other categories which are not very kid-centric were added. With insights gathered from research, opinions from child experts, media professionals and international learning, it attempts to open up a window to the Indian kids’ minds, interests, behaviour and their influence on family purchase decisions.

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