Case Studies


In this chapter, we have compiled several relevant case studies on marketing for children's market in order to better comprehend the real-life situation and dilemma faced by proponents and actors in the field. At the end of every case study, we have also prepared a list of analytical questions that could be used to apply and further comprehend the concepts, models, and findings which have been discussed in this book.
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Case Study 1: How Marketers Target Kids

Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy1

Kids represent an important demographic to marketers because in addition to their own purchasing power (which is considerable) they influence their parents’ buying decisions and are the adult consumers of the future.

According to the 2008 YTV Kids and Tweens Report (Poulton, 2008), kids influence:

  • Breakfast choices (97% of the time) and lunch choices (95% of the time).

  • Where to go for casual family meals (98% of the time) (with 34% of kids always having a say on the choice of casual restaurant).

  • Clothing purchases (95% of the time)

  • Software purchases (76% of the time) and computer purchases (60%) of the time.

  • Family entertainment choices (98% of the time) and family trips and excursions (94% of the time).

As a result, industry spending on advertising to children has exploded over the past two decades. In the United States alone, companies spent over $17 billion doing this in 2009 – more than double what was spent in 1992.

Parents today are willing to buy more for their kids because trends such as smaller family size, dual incomes and postponing having children until later in life means that families have more disposable income. As well, guilt can play a role in spending decisions as time-stressed parents substitute material goods for time spent with their kids.

Here are some of the strategies marketers employ to target children and teens:

Pester Power

We’re relying on the kid to pester the mom to buy the product, rather than going straight to the mom. – Barbara A. Martino, Advertising Executive

Today’s kids have more autonomy and decision-making power within the family than in previous generations, so it follows that kids are vocal about what they want their parents to buy. “Pester power” refers to children’s ability to nag their parents into purchasing items they may not otherwise buy. Marketing to children is all about creating pester power, because advertisers know what a powerful force it can be.

According to the marketing industry book Kidfluence, pestering or nagging can be divided into two categories:

  • 1.


  • 2.


Persistence nagging (a plea, that is repeated over and over again) is not as effective as the more sophisticated “importance nagging”. This latter method appeals to parents’ desire to provide the best for their children, and plays on the guilt they may have about not having enough time for their kids.

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