Anyone who has a child/teenager or has seen one in action will vouch for their tremendous powers of persuasion. While the kid may not hold the purse strings, he/she definitely is a major influence in the decision making of the way the rupee is spent. Family dynamics are often influenced by advertisements that create demands by showing a product as a “must-have”. Parents may or may not recognise the power of children, marketers definitely do.
Educators and counselors have strongly criticized advertising that is aimed at children. In recent years, in many countries laws as well as self regulation has become increasingly common against advertising to children. Yet advertising to children is here to stay because of the decision making power of kids.
The unique factor about advertising to children, especially teens, is that they are not yet cynical. They are willing to engage and respond. From an advertisement, children seek not just information but also entertainment. They want brands to offer them contests, scholarships and gifts. They do not seek products, but experiences.
The media through which the young audience is engaged has also rapidly changed in recent years. From television ads, it has shifted to ads on the internet, on social networking sites and also mobile ads. Youngsters are more open to on the spot offers in malls via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
One of the keenest examples of how young people are making their own decisions comes from this delightful ad from Kotak Mahindra Bank. The ad focuses only on the young girl and her endeavour to collect loose change to open a bank account. Nowhere is the ad targeting the parents with gyan about savings and long term gains. Don’t forget to catch the clever jingle “aaj ka chillar kaal ka note banega”
In an interview, Karthi Marshan, EVP and Head – Group Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said,
“Our research says that the bulk of parents in India, even in high-income households, do not even have bank accounts for their children. Whereas, all kids we polled had some notion of saving money, whether in their piggy bank equivalents or otherwise. We felt the time was right to complete our savings accounts offerings portfolio by creating something special for the most special member of any household, the child.”