Children are interesting to marketers: firstly, they influence the decision of parents to purchase goods. Secondly, advertising shapes their consumer habits, and therefore makes them loyal to a certain brand in adult life. Thirdly, children have pocket money, which they gladly spend.
However, advertising campaigns often fail due to a lack of understanding of the target audience. To understand it, I will sort out three age categories - 1-3, 3-7, 7-10 years. This knowledge will help to form a promotional offer for children.
Age periodization by Elkonin
Soviet psychologist Elkonin Daniil Borisovich in the book "Children's Psychology" (1960) described one of the best age periodization. I will use it to explain the features of the psychosomatic development of children.
For obvious reasons, I do not consider the period of infancy, as it is not of interest. I also dropped adolescence (from 11 years old): the understanding of advertising in these years occurs at the level of an adult.
The child learns things with the help of adults, as he does not have enough baggage of knowledge to identify them. Actively formed motility, speech and social adaptation. Attention is attracted by large and multi-colored objects: preference is given to what can be folded, placed on each other, tilted or squeezed.
A child under 4 years old perceives all things as his own, therefore, arranging a tantrum in the store, he does it sincerely and does not manipulate. He does not understand why the aunt (seller) does not give "his" toy. There is stress comparable to the loss of a loved one.
Nadezhda Soldatenko, psychologist, head of the department of psychological support and social adaptation of children and youth, V.H. Columbus, Yoshkar-Ola
To work out the psychosomatics of this target audience is only when creating a product. Advertising is pointless: the limited language of children precludes any possibility of understanding it. But you should pay attention to the parents. The survey that I conducted on VKontakte showed that 10 people out of 16 willingly go about their children.
Daughters almost 3. Most often, her desire does not affect the decision to purchase. Because at a particular moment the child needs and this, and this, and this too. I buy toys planned and without the presence of my daughter. With products easier. She chooses something and asks if she can. I watch the composition, if it suits me - I authorize. For one trip to the store I buy no more than 1-2 unplanned snacks.
Alina Latypova, 26 years old
The model of family relations is changing: the child enters the phase of situational role-playing games. Able to speak and read, interacts well with other children, observes the rules. This means that he is able to perceive simple promotional offers with a social message (friendship, love, help).
According to the theory of Peter Galperin’s “Phased formation of mental actions”, the child solves new problems without the help of adults, sets goals and achieves them in the game. With sufficient motivation, the goal may be to purchase a product that, in the child’s opinion, will satisfy his needs. To do this, the kid turns to his parents and skillfully manipulates them. In 2015, IOM Anketolog conducted a survey and found that 50% of children are begging to buy a product from advertising. Approximately 28% of adults agree and go to the store.
Children are attracted to advertising brightness and pitch. Elevated tones, extraordinary positive, promising messages and slogans that easily fall on children's memory.
Tatyana Gileva, child psychologist, director of the psychological studio "Between Us", St. Petersburg
The ideal advertising format for this age is video. The child does not understand the meaning of the message, but he is attracted by the dynamics. The study of the portal "Toys. Segment. Ru" confirms this: young parents said that the initiators of buying toys after viewing an advertisement are most often children.
Barry Gunter in his book "Advertising to Children on TV: Content, Impact, and Regulation" states: advertising gives more results during the Christmas period. For our country, the same statement is true, but adjusted for the New Year.
Use the tips to make a movie that kids enjoy:
- The perception of flowers from parents and their offspring varies. We'll have to balance between the two target audiences. For example, red is popular with children, as it is associated with movement. Adults perceive it as aggressive;
- the same goes for sounds: children's songs often annoy parents, but children are ready to listen to their favorite melody endlessly;
- attention of the child is inconstant, quickly jumps from one object to another, therefore shoot short videos;
- use quatrains: children remember them easily and retell them to their parents. This is another reason to remind the older generation of your product;
- children react to a smile - the more joyful emotions on the screen, the stronger the child wants to see them again;
- Do not create advertising images on the drawings of children. Children see the world without distortion, but they paint it because of their skills. An incomprehensible character deprives children of an anchor for memorizing an image.
7-11 years old
A person at the age of 7-11 is already formed, there are preferences and tastes. The child is inquisitive, exploring the world without the participation of adults. Arbitrary attention is weak: distracted by everything bright and interesting. Developed visual-shaped memory, verbal information is memorized mechanically, without analysis. For a marketer, this is a fertile audience - the child is old enough to express brand loyalty. In addition, the first pocket money appears: children quickly spend these small amounts. Due to the weak volitional regulation of behavior, children are capricious and stubborn - this magically affects their parents.
Son is 9 years old. Advertising is not very exposed, because it rarely watches TV and does not sit on the Internet. Mainly based on what friends have. If the store asks for a branded toy, then the purchase depends on the price. If it is expensive, I explain and offer to look at a similar toy, but cheaper. And if the price suits, I buy what I want.
Evgenia Sherikhova, 30 years old.
At this age, there is a change in the perception of truth and fiction. American psychologist Howard Gardner found that children under 8 years of age respond positively to cartoon characters. That is why they are so attracted by Nestle advertisements with the Kwiki rabbit or the astronaut bear in the ready-made Kosmostars breakfasts.
After 8 years, the situation changes and children prefer reality to fiction: they respond well to advertising with peers or children older than 2-3 years.
7-10 years - the beginning of adolescence. Marketers should create products for this Central Asia with an eye “I will be like an adult”, “I will be cooler than all my peers, because I have, for example,“ iPhone ”. I need to use an imitation model here. In general, modern children are big snobs than their parents at the same age. Now they are attracted by blogging, fashion, social networks. They are too similar.
Nadezhda Soldatenko, psychologist, head of the department of psychological support and social adaptation of children and youth, V.H. Columbus
Preschoolers perceive ads in any format other than pure audio. Although priority still remains for the video. Consider the following when creating:
- Children are curious, enthusiastically perceive innovations and unusual goods. However, it scares adults. This explains the failure of products "Skeleton" from Danon. After the advertising campaign, parents demanded to stop promoting violence;
- children's values change constantly: what mattered today may become unnecessary tomorrow. Add more values for adults: the benefits of the product or saving the parent budget due to its properties;
- Consider the gender of a child: at this age it is important - children notice differences between themselves on a physical and psychological level.
Ethical aspects of advertising for children
Before you make a proposal for children, study art. 6 of the Federal Law "On Advertising": it reveals the essence of the protection of minors from pressure from manufacturers and sellers. I will focus on unethical stories from the point of view of child psychology:
- refuse stories with violence or mental suffering of the target audience. An advertisement where a toy is taken from a child causes stress to the viewer of the same age;
- do not intimidate. Realistic monsters and aliens can seriously undermine the psyche of the child and cause health problems;
- Do not break the generally accepted norms of education: in kindergarten, kids eat on a schedule, and at night they always sleep at home. You can’t call for snacks or wake up at midnight to study ladybirds in the garden: the children are trustful and will unconditionally follow the advice. This will lead to conflict in the family or violation of the regime;
- Forget about the plot with unsafe situations: children are curious and imitate their favorite characters. The famous ad "And you pour it, and get away" looks harmless, however, it pushes children to immensely use juice. This has a negative effect on the stomachs of young consumers;
- Do not use appearance as an image to attract attention: ridicule over glasses in favor of lenses form an inferiority complex in children.
The use of the described plots leads not only to problems with a child’s psyche, but also to fines. In 2014, the court fined the bank "Revival" for 300,000 rubles for an image with three young children in the trunk of a car. The court found the situation dangerous for children's perception. Let me remind you that legal entities are liable under Part 1 of Art. 14.3 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation and in case of violation of the rights of children are required to pay a fine from 100,000 to 500,000 rubles. Individuals get off easier: the amount payable is only 2000-2500 rubles.
Children are not only flowers of life, but also the driving force of B2C trading. Only a careful study of the children's target audience will help develop successful advertising, save money and nerves on trying to appeal to small consumers.