What Ticks for Indian Consumers/ Children -Lara Balsara and Nabendu Bhattacharyya

18 Aug,2014

Continuing with our extracts from the second edition of the MxMIndia Annual, we present contributions by Lara Balsara and Nabendu Bhattacharyya.



Stay truthful and honest about brand attributes


By Lara Balsara


TV is the lead medium today when it comes to targeting kids and their moms. Kids and their moms love to watch serials, cartoons and movies in that order. Cinema, shopping malls, computer games are key media touchpoints that marketers must consider. Book reading being a popular habit in metros, bookstores could be used as a touchpoint. Internet as a medium is growing in importance with the number one activity being playing games, followed by searching for information and social networking online.



Do children notice OOH advertising?


By Nabendu Bhattacharyya


Children are increasingly the target of advertising because of the amount of money they spend themselves, and because of the amount of money they influence their parents to spend – their pester power. Studies show that by age 12 children have developed their behaviour as consumers, effectively recognise advertising in its various forms and are able to adopt critical attitudes towards it. Advertisers recognise that brand loyalties and consumer habits are formed when children are young and vulnerable and will be carried through to adulthood.




The most important thing is to stay truthful and honest about the brand attributes and promises made. No one likes being cheated or mis-communicated to.



Today, children are bombarded with marketing every moment that they are awake via television, radio, print, OOH, internet as well as other electronic media. Like most adults, even children spend majority of their time outdoors – going to school, classes, recreational activities etc. With the advancement of media and technology, the future of OOH (Out-of-home) is brighter than ever. Yes, children notice OOH advertising, amongst many other forms of advertising and it plays a substantial role in their decision making. Children are very observant, and also have an established mind-set of their own.

The use of relatable characters, heroes, icons, celebrities, vibrant colors, free coupons and free gifts are all common ways in which brands connect with children. Viral marketing, special programmes, contests and activities run in schools, malls, amusement parks etc are some other ways brands capture the children’s attention. TV channels like Cartoon Network, Disney etc. have child-centric advertising focused on the impulse buy and junk foods category. Brands like Cadbury, Kellogg’s, HUL, Colgate, Maggi, and Britannia are heavy spenders for television spots. Children are also exposed to out-of-home advertising on their way to school via bus shelters, bus branding, billboards etc. During weekends, children are exposed to advertising in malls, multiplexes, game centres and movie theatres. Majority of children today are tech-savvy; at an early age they get exposed to technology via the internet, TV video games, iPad’s and smartphones. It is a known fact that children are great influencers in decision-making processes and this includes decisions around food, technology, vacations, car etc. Also, marketing in schools and within specialized kids clubs, organised by brands have also proliferated in recent times.


Child-targeted marketing earlier was concentrated on sweets and toys; it now also includes clothes, shoes, a range of fast foods, sports equipment, computer products and toiletries etc. To get children to notice their campaigns, brands adopt an entirely new communication strategy targeted to these evolving consumers. In India, brands like Cadbury, Britannia, McDonalds, HUL, Lays amongst others have focused products targeting children. Children are a large consumer segment for a variety of brands. The communication strategies are carefully crafted after observing the receptiveness of a product across numerous groups of children. Cartoon characters launched as movies will be followed up by television series and then be merchandised on hundreds of products from t-shirts to toys.


To conclude, children are an important TG for brands while planning their communication strategy as they do play a substantial role – directly or indirectly in the decision making processes of the household. The market for children’s products and food is enormous. Thus, they represent an important demographic to advertisers because in addition to their own purchasing power they influence their parents’ buying decisions and are the adult consumers of the future.



Tomorrow (Aug 19): Family – Vijay Bobby and Avik Chattopadhyay



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