An attractive advertisement is necessary when trying to grab and retain the attention of a child. From their breakfasts to their after-school TV programming, children are constantly flooded with branded imagery, and advertising is one of the best ways to help brands stand out. When marketers advertise to children, they are actually advertising to two audiences: the children (the end users) and the parents (the buyers). To make a campaign successful, the advertising message and strategy must be attractive to both.
Grabbing a prime-time spot, in conjunction with before- or after-school television programming, can be effective in gaining product awareness. Additionally, TV ads can be made more effective if there is an incentive tied to the advertisement. With only 30 seconds to make an impression, not to mention all the “noise” provided by other competing advertisers, kids need more to retain brand information. Colorful ads, catchy songs and slogans are some of the ways to ensure the audience retains the commercial’s message. But adding an incentive like a free gift or membership to an exclusive online club (with parental permission) can help children better recall the brand.
Kid’s magazines are filled with short stories, games and activities--and it is up to advertisers to integrate their branded product. Advertisers can take full- or partial-page ads showcasing their product. But some take the concept a step further by making their print ads more interactive. A branded game or activity can help kids retain the brand’s information. Moreover, the more a child is occupied or participating in an activity, the more likely they are to remember it. Educational activities can have a positive effect on the child’s development, but can also send a positive message to the parent. Additionally, some products intended for child consumption can be targeted toward their parents (the buyers) by advertising in adult magazines.
Billboards and Outdoors
A strategically placed billboard or outdoor advertisement can speak volumes about a new brand. One way marketers get more mileage out of outdoor advertisements is to have children participate in the design or installation. Children benefit from the pride they feel when they are a part of the building process. But marketers can also benefit from the additional publicity that can come with getting children involved in design or installation. This can extend a campaign's reach into newspapers and TV news programs.
Internet games are a resource for advertisers looking to integrate their brand name with known kids' websites--from advertising with kids' TV programs that have substantial web presence, to known Internet portals that have designated a kids' section. Internet ads can be interactive, allowing kids to play at length and thus retain brand information. Additionally, marketers can construct their own linked site to fully tell the story of their brand. Through engaging activities and multimedia applications, they can create a virtual branded world.
Putting an ad in a product targeting kids--for example, on an ice-cream pop’s stick, can gain a child’s attention--whether it is advertising a new product from the same manufacturer, or for a completely different company. For example, a new kids' movie, about to be released, can advertise in conjunction with cereals, fast foods and popular amusement parks to gain exposure. Special offers, toys and incentives can also be tied to the advertisement, enticing kids to see the movie.
- "The New York Times": A Fine Line When Ads and Children Mix
- "Advertising Age": Latest Hot Kid Trend: Brand Bandz
- "The Wall Street Journal": Celebrating 'Ideas That Stick,' Television Star Angela Kinsey Partners with Post-it Brand and Publicolor to Unveil World's Largest Artistic Billboard Made of Post-it Super Sticky Notes
- “Advertising to Children on TV: Content, Impact, and Regulation”; Barrie Gunter, Caroline Oates, Mark Blades; 2005
- kids image by Marzanna Syncerz from Fotolia.com