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Kids Online Behaviour Considered and Deliberate: Survey
Kids Online Behaviour Considered and Deliberate: Survey
By: iMedia News Bureau

A new survey throws some light into the successful methods to approach kids in online advertising campaigns. 

Kids have always been the apple of advertiser’s eyes. Unlike fickle minded adults, children are not just more receptive to ads targeted at them, but in the modern household, they use their rising influence to influence spending decisions. Web has been one of the last bastions where kids were ideally though of to be absent. However, lately kids are indeed found online and hence advertising have begun targeting them directly. A new survey from UK offers some invaluable insights and pointers about what a brand needs to keep in mind while doing this.

The survey by Turner Media Innovations and The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK shows that children aged between 6 to 12 are very selective in the kind of advertising they respond to and also the types of sites they visit. The research finds that unlike the typical surfing behaviour of adults, children have a habit of limiting themselves to a select few entertainment sites instead of surfing randomly throughout the net. The reasons for this – they do not want any interruption in their quest for fun. The researchers have labeled this "considered behaviour.”

The study was conducted using a combination of eye-tracking technology that measures exactly where on a page a respondent is engaging in, and consumer focus groups. Eye-tracking is a method used to find out which parts of a website were most appealing to audiences. The combination of these two methodology, allowed the researchers to “understand what kids said they did when online, and to compare that to their observed behaviour.”

The research also finds that kids aged 6-12 were accustomed to the presence of advertising on the web, just like they are aware of advertising on other media like TV.  The report states that “Whilst they don't know their names, they recognise online display ad formats such as leaderboards, skyscrapers and MPUs from their shape, positioning and imagery. They are less likely to find ads intrusive if they are engaging such as rich media, pre-roll and in game formats that don't require them to navigate away from the page.”

However, the behaviour of kids on the internet is monitored by their parents, who encourage kids to view it as an entertainment tool. They consequently educate their kids, “from a young age about clicking on links, the difference between content and advertising, and inputting personal information online.” And the comfort and familiarity of the parents with brands offline plays a great role in them allowing their kids to visit the websites of these brands. The sites of toy manufacturers are thus encouraged by parents, while TV channel sites are considered safe and trustworthy by them. This thus means that ads that come on these are trusted by parents with regards to their children. 

Though the study is based in the UK, it holds some interesting insights into brands for India. The internet penetration in India is increasing, and the upwardly mobile Indian with a laptop and internet connection, wants his or her kids to be aware of the internet from an early age. Thus, they too, just like the UK parents, encourage safe browsing for their kids and monitor the same. It thus calls for concentrated effort by brands, especially those directly deals with kids like toy manufactures, to look at the internet as a viable option when making ads specific to them. In a cluttered media space they would not want to miss an opportunity and the internet provides them with another tool to reach out to their tiny-tot consumers.