Specialists in children’s marketing call their customers “three in one”: children are shopping for their pocket money, affect parents’ decisions and form habits and needs, which in the future become a sustainable loyalty to brands. At first glance, children’s marketing is an easy victory, but in fact it is not so, because children’s perception of the product is very different from an adult one. Practical marketing knows many examples when well-known marketers zealously switched from adult products on children ones, and in their dreams they saw themselves as market leaders, but in real life, they got a resounding defeat.
Today, marketers are wary of the market of children’s goods, but are forced to work on it, because this market is very promising and brings a good income. In such a reality, marketers are struggling to find effective ways of influencing on children’s minds, in particular, develop interesting and innovative of advertising for our small, but exacting customers.
According to the researches, the market of children’s goods and services is growing rapidly. Children’s marketing depends on the purchasing power of parents and the diversity of proposals of producers.
At the age of six children get their first pocket money. At the age from six to nine years children basically spend them on toys, gifts and computer games. At the age of 10-12 years they spend their pocket money on mobile communication, computer games, newspapers and magazines. Personal funds of adolescents at the age of 13-15 are paid for mobile communications, cosmetics and jewellery, movie and again for a computer game.
So, all segments of the market of goods for children, from toddlers to teenagers, are actively buying video games. This is kid’s trend and lifestyle. The answer to the question “how can you get to the heart of the child?” lies on the surface. It is necessary to use trend of child’s admiration of computer games and integrate them in measures ambient advertising. Why ambient? According to the title it is “ambient”, so, it is always before the eyes, and it’s bright, unexpected and unconventional, but at the same time it is also understandable and emotionally close to the kids.
Game advertising is an elegant and well thought-out marketing strategy which combines product placement, ambient advertising and the psychological impact on the child. Such advertising promotes close relations between the player and the advertised brand. This technique is suitable for chocolate, chips, snacks, drinks and goods of impulsive purchases. According to American studies, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC were the most popular products among gamers.
In online games the range of actions of marketing is very wide, because the advertising message can quickly changed and “programmed” for a specific player, which in this case is the absolute target audience. Moreover children at the age of eight years are unable to distinguish game content from advertising or to isolate product placement from the game.
Experts in interactive advertising believe that computer advertising should associate players with goods that they see on supermarket shelves. Moreover, ambient-advertising must be exciting and constantly updated. For example, there is community of Sony and Pizza Hut. In the game Everquest II, you can order a pizza. There is another area of computer games, advertising games, the plot of which consists entirely of adventures advertising characters – Ronald McDonald from McDonald’s, Skittles or Sponge.
On the website neopets.com that is visited mostly by children 8-17 years old, young “users” care about virtual animals (neopets), earning in contests and games virtual money (neopoint) to pay for the maintenance of animals. This is an updated version of the acclaimed toy Tamagotchi. On this website you can buy products for your pet, clothing, and also to give Tamagotchi friends. This game is played by millions of children. A lot of advertising comes from a real company that is helping to care for neopets.
Among the companies that are represented at neopets.com are Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Mars, Procter & Gamble, General Mills and others.
So the way to a kids heart is through Internet connect, and the faster adults understand it , the sooner you will cease to fly to pipe huge amounts of money that is wasted on TV and outdoor advertising.