“Mom!!, How did that kid of my age get a chance to come on TV & share a Dairy Milk with Amitabh Bachhan” asked my little niece from my aunt. The question was straight & simple. But it hit my mind on so many levels. I was forced to think. Be it the latest ads in the FMCG industry, online shopping industry or electronic brands, appearance of young kids in them is almost a norm now. Is it just a normal trend or is there a well thought process behind. Those who have worked (especially in Marketing) for these companies know that, nothing that happens in these companies, happens by chance. Lets try and study the probable thought process behind this trend.
Lets try to reason on the appearance of the young kids in the routine ads we see on TV. For products like Noodles, Chocolates, biscuits, toys, small gadgets etc, it makes enough sense for the ad agencies to include kids in their campaign for the simple reason that these products are meant for kids & such ads will help them to connect with their target consumers. Likewise, any other product which is meant for kids, has to be promoted among kids & thus kids in their ads is a fairly understood phenomenon. But, this is not all.
We have come across ads of products like electronics (laptops, printers, TV sets, etc), which are meant to be purchased by working members of the family, featuring kids in their ads. Some would argue that now a days, these products are used by small kids too & therefore the ads target them. I don’t find the reason sensible enough. There is a deeper & a properly done research behind this trend.
Lets go back to the 1980s. The years when the Indian Advertising industry was young & focused on the Male (earning) member of the family in almost all the ads. This made plain sense as it was always a good idea to focus your promotion on someone who has the purchasing power(money). As we moved forward to 1990s, a clear shift in the trend of product advertisements was observed. This shift was towards featuring more woman in the ads. Due to the change in cultural aspects in the country, Woman in the house started getting more respect and enjoyed equal decision making power as men, at least with regards to home shopping. The Marketers were quick to pick this trend & gradually the advertisements started featuring more women. This was very reasonable as almost all the shopping decisions were being taken by the woman of the house.
And now we stand in 2015, when almost all the ads, and even movies are very keen to feature young kids. There is a clear emotional aspect attached to this. Kids bring highest level of emotions & emotional connect is the best connect any brand can aspire for. As far as home shopping is concerned, has the decision making shifted from earning Husband to house wife and finally to theChild? My answer would be YES.
My Grandmother throws a taunt at my father & uncles, more often than not,” Humare to 6-6 bachhe the tabhi kisi ka dhyan nahi rakhna pada”, tumhare to 1-1 hi hai, isliye nakhre zyada hai“. And, obviously everybody silently agrees. There is so much depth in this statement to be realized by the Marketers. And amazingly, they have picked this trend too & redesigned their promotional strategies.
Kids(at least city kids) today are enjoying a status like never before. Almost all the shopping decisions now are discussed with the kids of the house & more often than not, their choice has the highest say.
This trend has already set itself in the ads of electronics, furniture, food products, etc. But the heights of adaptability of this trend is such that even some real estate companies are designing their entire campaign keeping kids as the point of focus. I came across an ad of a real estate company highlighting the proximity of project location to schools, playgrounds, availability of a cricket club inside & vocational classes for children. What does this signify? Purchasing a flat is way different from purchasing a chocolate or even a TV. The cost involved is phenomenal. Even then, the purchase decision can be influenced by the choice of kids at home. We can imagine the magnitude of importance level being given to kids by parents these days. For reference, watch the latest “Aur Dikhao” campaign by Amazon India.
Another player to pick this trend up is the Government itself. Have you observed the Campaigns of No Smoking, Income Tax Defaults and even Swachha Bharat? Whether directly related to Children or not, these ads are featuring kids. The reasons may be multi fold. One can argue that it is because government wants to prepare the future of our country in advance. But one thing that you cannot deny as a marketer is, if you want to target a market for you consumer goods, target the kids, others will follow.