Today’s kids have more autonomy and decision-making power within the family than in previous generations, so it follows that kids are vocal about what they want their parents to buy. “Pester power” refers to children’s ability to nag their parents into purchasing items they may not otherwise buy. Marketing to children is all about creating pester power, because advertisers know what a powerful force it can be.
According to the 2001 marketing industry book Kidfluence, pestering or nagging can be divided into two categories—”persistence” and “importance.” Persistence nagging (a plea, that is repeated over and over again) is not as effective as the more sophisticated “importance nagging.” This latter method appeals to parents’ desire to provide the best for their children, and plays on any guilt they may have about not having enough time for their kids.
How to get an idea to the Kid.
Just as with teens and adults, getting an idea or brand to stick in a child’s mind is no easy task. However, there are ways to improve your chances. I’ll give you, what I think to be, the three most important ones:
- Make it clear and important – A child is just developing his/her analytical skills. Give it to them in simple words, phrases, and through visuals that connect the information with a subtle story. Like many psychologists have found kids tend to ground information through stories. Make it easy for them to do that, present a story for them to solve out in their heads.
- Interact through dynamic content – This doesn’t mean you must get them online or in second life, this means that there are techniques (through visuals) that you can implement to make the child take part in the story you are telling, even if its just for a quick 30-second spot, you can grab the attention by getting them to participate.
3. Repetition is Key – Unlike other segments (with apparent more developed minds), kids don’t hate repetition. Actually they even enjoy it if it is done in a way that they get something new out of it every time they watch it. Consider that and put it into your next ad.
In France, Nestlé has recently launched a website for its Chocapic brand to engage kids and build a relationship with them online. It’s an heavy Flash website created by Touche Etoile, full of goodies to entertain young consumers and introduce “Pico” the brand mascotte.
Users can explore the Picoland village using the keyboard to move around and discover the items and the houses around the site.
Picoland offers kids the possibility to watch the TV spot, play advergames and quizzes, send SMS and e-cards.
This is an interesting example of online marketing to kids, quite similar to the Animatosi village created in Italy by Kinder Ferrero.
New Media Age (sub. req.) recently published an interesting feature by Clare Good on the use of advertainment to target young consumers. The idea is not to deliver a straightforward call to action “buy-my-product” but rather to work on the branding aspect, to build a relationship with the children.