The current permanent ultra-connectivity has affected us all for several years and has been accentuated since the start of the health crisis.
The same is true for children and adolescents, who spend more and more time on digital tools browsing different content and different social networks, including Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, or Tiktok, which has exploded recently.
The observation is clear, the screen time per day and per child is on average 2 hours in weeks and 3 hours on weekends. Also, more than half of children over 8 years old have at least one account on one of these platforms.
It is possible to believe that there is nothing alarming about this, however, advertisers have understood that their targets and their communication channels have to change to reach the right people.
Why target children?
Children have long been a prime target for advertisers for several reasons.
Establish consumption habits
Faced with this increase in digital use by children, advertisers see them as a long-term investment in their communications. Indeed, consumption habits and in particular eating habits are built from an early age.
It is therefore interesting, in order to retain a consumer, to capture them as soon as possible so that these habits become anchored in their daily lives.
The purchasing power of the child
Children represent a particular target for advertisers because they have no real purchasing power, but rather a significant power of decision and persuasion with their parents.
Insofar as a child is endowed with strong sensitivity, a single viewing of an advertisement intended for him can have an immediate impact on his will to own the promoted product.
The child, however cute he may be, will be able to influence and persuade his parents to purchase the product.
What are the means used by these advertisers?
In addition to the use of personification in advertisements aimed at children, advertisers mainly use two means of communication.
You can also hire a digital marketing agency to run targeted advertisements aimed at children mainly.
The use of social networks and other digital platforms lead to the scattering of personal data during our visits. This data is then used in different ways and particularly, by companies, to carry out targeted advertisements to various consumer profiles.
Adults using digital technology know the importance of protecting their personal data and therefore beware of requests to collect information. However, in children, this notion of private information is difficult to understand.
Collecting personal data is, therefore, easier with children than adults, and as a result, targeted advertising will be much more present on platforms used by children.
Influencer advertising, which comes under influence marketing, makes much more use of the affective objective (making people love) of the advertisement rather than the cognitive (making known) and cognitive (making people act) objectives.
Regarding influencer advertising targeting children, we find names like Néo and Swan, who are the most important French YouTubers in the children’s Youtube sphere.
Part of their video content is based on unboxing (product opening) and more particularly kids unboxing. The brands will therefore sponsor them so that these young influencers open, comment, test, taste the products.
The child will not perceive these types of videos as advertisements. He will feel close to the brand or the product because he feels close to his favorite influencers and has confidence in them.
Most exposed to these ads
Significant exposure to advertising content is often linked to social factors and mainly affects:
• Working-class backgrounds, because children from these backgrounds often lack extra-curricular activity.
• Small siblings, because this family situation does little to encourage moments of play between brothers and sisters.
• Children whose parents use screens as a reward for a good deed.
The Consequences of Overexposure Of Advertising Content
There are many consequences that can be observed from the overexposure of children to advertisements, we give you the main and most important.
Disagreements multiply when a child is exposed to a lot of advertisements.
Indeed, between what the parents want and what the child wants, the gap can be significant and create discord on points of view and opinions.
The frustration of popular circles
The colors, the sequins, the scenes, the slogans, bait the children. However, not all parents can afford to give their children all the toys they see in the ad and ask for.
This will create a feeling of alienation from his favorite influencers and his comrades.
The major problem is childhood obesity. Particularly because of the unboxing of food. In fact, mainly fatty, sweet, and salty products are presented in advertisements targeting children.
However, eating habits are forged very young and half of the brands consumed during childhood are part of the daily life of adults.
It is therefore important to understand that the influence of digital content is reflected in the daily diet of children and that we should protect against these risks.
Means to protect children
Legislate to protect children
In terms of the law protecting children from advertising influence, France is largely backing down compared to countries like Ireland where advertisements are prohibited in children’s television programs, or like Greece, where it is forbidden to promote toys, or Canada and Sweden, which prohibit all advertising aimed at children under 13 years of age.
In France, no law protects children from exposure to advertisements.
Educate in digital culture
Insofar as there is no law regulating advertising for children and to cope with this growing power of these communications, the solution would then be education.
This strategy would aim to make the child aware that all these advertisements are created precisely to influence their behavior. Therefore, through play, recognize what is the present product, what is the tone, the emotions felt, the hidden messages, etc.
All this, in order to teach the child, that the stake behind the advertisements is obviously to sell him the product.
—————————————————————————– Author Bio
Name- Raunak Pandey
Bio- Raunak is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & Marketer by passion. He is the founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing company that provides world-class search engine marketing services in Lucknow & Kanpur.