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Kids Marketing – The New Trend

Kids are ruling the roost on TV & a big paradigm shift is happening under the wrap, which we are not realizing…I am not referring to Kids Channel or Kid centric programming but its all about Advertisement or Kids Marketing…These days kids are selling Insurance, Cold Drinks, Detergents, Soups, Tooth Paste, Tooth Brush, TV, AC’s, Refrigerators, Health Drinks, Packed food, Soaps & so on.

Yesterday in super market i saw  3 year Kid telling her mother to buy “Bourn vita Little Champs”  i was shocked to see the influence of ads on kids…Other day one of my friend was telling me that his 6 year old son is advising him to purchase Harley Davidson & sell of his 2 year old Hero Honda Bike.. May be when i was kid, i reached this stage at the age of 15 years…These days whenever parents shop for household stuff, they end up buying all the products which are being advertised on TV from soupy noodles to surf excel & from Pepsodant Germi Check to Santoor Soap …Parents don’t decide but little one’s decide…All such ads try to show that today’s generation is more smart & can take wiser decisions than our generation…This shows the power of Kids Marketing.

Many reasons behind this shift in society….First & Foremost is Exposure to media….Today Choota Bheem & Ben 10 have more importance in kids life than parents & Kids are being exposed to hundred of brands on daily basis through TV …Secondly  each family has only 1-2 kids & kids are slowly becoming end to end decision makers in all purchase decisions, Earlier family had 4-5 kids so affordability was key concern & secondly exposure to media was almost nil…Economic liberalization has brought cut throat competition among brands & now hundred of brands are competing in same segment therefore Kids marketing has become more important & critical….At the same time economic liberalization has devalued the money…When we were kid, I used to think 3 times before purchasing something worth 35 Rs, its not parents stopped us from buying but we used to value money & importance attached to single penny…Also very few brands were available in the market so nothing much to choose also…I remember in chips only option was “Uncle Chips”, today 30 varieties of chips available in store..The money had real value those days & we as a kids were wiser in our spending… Today a Kid just point a finger on product & its already in basket so he does not understand the value of money…Also becoz of 1 or 2 kids, parents can afford whatever kid demand & try to overcome guilt of not spending time with kid by meeting materialistic demands of Kid.

Marketer is taking advantage of these social changes and positioning the product so that it appeals to kids…Once it appeals to Kids then Marketer’s job is done, he know now the product will sell becoz Kids are their Brand Endorsers & will ensure purchase…Rather than roping in some super star for 10 Cr, its better to save this amount & spend on creating top of the mind recall in kids mind…it is done through catchy phrases & visuals which create permanent mark in kids memory…It must be 100 times difficult to influence an adult than kid becoz of simple reasons Kids don’t evaluate merits & demerits of product…If today kid spoil clothes then he or she has very simple answer “Surf Excel Hain Na”…

Besides this marketers also create emotional connect through kids e.g. if i don’t buy a particular child secure insurance policy which secure my child’s future creates guilty feeling that i don’t love or care for my child whereas parents don’t know that child secure plans are nothing but insurance of parent only so it’s as good as normal insurance policy packaged as Child Secure Plan & for this premium charged is double…Any parent buy this policy feel, i have done my duty & secured my child’s future and feels very happy about it but he don’t understand that he is being fooled by insurance company in this whole episode..

In my opinion, its unethical to use these kind of tactics to sell product…Kids should promote only kid specific merchandise  food products etc…Lets not make kids too brand conscious that not only harms the thought process of kids & entire world of kid will revolve only around brands…Let them grow naturally without any external stimulus targeting their minds…Parents decide what is good and what is bad for Kids…For small profits, we are putting our future generations at risk…

This practice is not good from brand perspective as parents feel otherwise for brands which deploy these tactics…at the end of the day, if i buy a product based on my kids insistence but not based on merit of product then in all probability, the brand will not succeed…Golden rule of Marketing is to sell Benefits (Core of Marketing) & all 4 P’s are required for success i.e. Product, Price, Place & Promotions…Only heavy promotions & connecting with kids can give short term benefit but in long run only brands with strong value proposition will survive..Take e.g. of Nirma till date they have not promoted their product through Kids but since core of product is so strong that it is still growing against biggies who are spending like crazy to sell their product..Marketer should realize this until its too late to realize.

Copyright © 2011-2012 Nitin Bhatia. All Rights Reserved.

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