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How Do Modern Marketers Target Kids (Part 1)
How Do Modern Marketers Target Kids (Part 1)
By: Alap Naik Desai

Marketing in the earlier days was merely an activity to spread the word about the products being manufactured. However, with growing competition, marketing evolved from the role of creating awareness to creating interest, curiosity & subsequently developing a strong urge to purchase. However, with time this urge to purchase has been aimed at different segments of the society.

In the golden days of industrial revolution, man of the house was the chief wage earner, but more importantly his word was final in the decision making. Hence marketers focused their attention on convincing him (or in lesser cases her) why their products were superior in every aspect as compared to their rivals. Since men have traditionally given precedence to function over form, the technical aspects of the product were highlighted with gusto, whereas the aesthetic points were mentioned as an afterthought.

Post liberalization, when women became actively involved in the functioning & management of a household, these same marketing managers now started to highlight the aesthetics & the appearance combined with the ‘ease’ of operation as the main benefits. However, since globalization has entered mainstream & disposable incomes have been rising rather quickly, a new breed of ‘decision makers’ or more importantly ‘decision influencers’ has boisterously raised their voices. This new breed is the modern day kids, children & teenagers.

Modern kids have been exposed to a lot of technology at a very tender age. While their parents barely managed to handle a bulky mobile phone in their 20s & 30s, these kids know the complete intricacies of a smartphone by the age of 7. Hence it comes as no surprise that adults will most likely involve them while making purchases of Cars, Computers, Internet Service Providers (ISP) & motorbikes.


Kids or as marketers refer them ‘Young adults aged 4-14’ are the new target for them, to lure & then make their parents open purse strings, not just for small priced goods like confectionary, but also high budget, once or twice in a lifetime products too.

So how do marketers train their guns? Like any hardcore buyer, who has a deep association with a brand, marketers simply start the kids on the ‘brand diet’ at a very early age. However, this headstrong generation is also feeble-minded. What was cool this instant is easily let-go for the next says Philip Royappan, Deputy Marketing Manager, Funskool India, “Kids are loyal to a brand till the time the brand is able to retain their interest.” He further adds, “In the present day cluttered environment, what is popular today might not be so tomorrow, and that is when kids change their loyalty.”

Hence brand managers today are trying hard at offering ‘experiences’ that cement the association & advertisements that have a conversation involved. An excellent example is the modern day Bournvita Ad ‘Tayari Jeet Ki’ which urges kids to challenge the inanimate objects & the erstwhile Horlicks campaign ‘Exams ka bhoot bhagaye’. In short today’s campaigns that target kids are designed to stimulate their intellectual & emotional state of mind rather than telling them what’s good & what’s bad for them. Apparently, treating a kid as a young adult offers fantastic brand association.

Do you think advertisers today are overwhelmingly realigning their campaigns towards kids?