Everyone loves children. They have something special in them that attract everybody acting like a magnet. Off late the magnet has started attracting a new set of people towards them – the advertisers. There are different types of people whom the marketers wish to target; decision makers, influencers… etc.
Television is the major channel of communication for the advertisers. Off late increasing number of children have been seen featuring in ads. No, these are not the ads for candies that I am referring to, but ads of major telecom companies, dog food, washing powders, aviation, insurance policies, adhesive, automobile, masala’s etc. Children have become integral part of advertisements. The ads either have the children playing the lead role or are shown as the major beneficiaries of decisions to be taken by the parents.
The use of children has made many to raise eyebrows, especially the ethical cops who have raised the ethical issue regarding use of children in ads.
Well a marketer would not play such a card without having his homework done. Surely the homework would be done. Well let us look at this from a different side, say if children are not playing an active role in the purchase decisions, are the advertisers using children in the ad only to gather the attention of the masses.
I would put my weight behind the latter thought, but one cannot rule out the increasing persuasive power of children in the purchases made in a household. It would be interesting to look into the factors which have contributed to the increasing say of children in the purchase decision of households.
What fascinates me is if at all the marketers are right and that children are surely playing a crucial role in the purchase decisions in a home, then what would be factors that have contributed to such a shift.
The way purchasing takes place in India has undergone a major change with the advent of none other but the malls. As against earlier when the dads and the moms used to go to a grocery store to purchase the daily necessities, today with the advent of malls shopping/purchasing is more like a small picnic for the entire family!
The other strong reason could be advertisement itself! There has been increasing awareness level among children about the latest happenings, and the technologies available with the kids have made them a force to be reckoned with especially by the marketers for selling their products.
Thus a white uniform at school has become more important than a white shirt to be worn in an office say for a meeting. This is one such instance of the changing focus of the marketers and advertisers.
Children thus are wooing marketers like never before. Lets hope everyone plays their roles within their limits for the ethical cops would be having a close watch!!!