Marketing to Kids

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Marketing to Kids: Why & How Marketers Target Kids

Before discussing why and how marketers target kids, let us look at these facts: * Companies spend about $17 billion annually marketing to children, a staggering increase from the $100 million spent in 1983. * Children under 14 spend about $40 billion annually. Teens spend about $159 billion. * Teens between 13 and 17 have 145 conversations about brands per week, about twice as many as adults. * Children under 12 influence $500 billion in purchases per year. * Children aged 2–11 see more than 25,000 advertisements a year on TV alone, a figure that does not include product placement. * Almost every major media program for children has a line of licensed merchandise including food, toys, clothing, and accessories [Source: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood]

Kids are a valuable market to marketers and represent an important demographic segment. They have become an essential element in most punch-line advertisements. Known for their sprightliness, kids play a significant role in promoting brand image. Realizing this potential the marketers today know that if they are able to target kids it’s a battle half won.

Why do marketers target kids? There are a number of reasons. Kids are impulsive buyers and have money to burn as parents today are willing to buy more for their kids. They have their own purchasing power; they influence their parents' buying decisions (nag factor). Children are easier to persuade as they are less prejudiced and sceptical than adults. Industry spending on advertising to kids has exploded in the past decade, increasing from a mere $100 million in 1990 to more than $2 billion in 2000 []. Companies know that kids are the adult consumers of the future and once they have “branded” a child, he or she is likely to be a customer for life-from “cradle to grave.”...
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