Kids control more than $1.8 billion: Cartoon Network

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 27 April 2015

The market under appreciates the extent of power kids have on their parents' purse strings, says Cartoon Network.

The network is currently in Australia doing a roadshow to advertisers and buyers, with Turner Media director for research and planning for Asia Pacific, David Webb, telling the market that kids are increasingly holding sway over what parents are buying.

Cartoon Network has commissioned the New Generations study for the 11th year in a row, with a raft of results being presented to buyers today.

The study reveals that Australian children control a potential pool of $1.8 billion from pocket money yearly, which increased to $14 per week per child this year.

However, the full spending power of children was not appreciated by buyers and advertisers, according to Webb.

He told AdNews that the level of co-viewing, that is both parents and children watching the same TV show, is on the increase.

“What we're seeing is more TV co-viewing. The genres that are driving this are movies and cartoons. From an advertiser point of view that's interesting because it's adult eyeballs in a non-traditional place, so other than pure adult programming,” Webb said.

He said some brands in the Asia Pacific region have cottoned onto this, with banks in particular shifting ad dollars to Cartoon Network.

According to Webb, full appreciation of just how influential children could be on household budgets has not been grasped by advertisers.

The study found that 90% of kids have influence over weekend activities, 91% have influence over books and clothing purchased, and 86% had influence over what is purchased for Father's Day.

“They [children] have a huge influence over what's bought for their mothers and fathers and some advertisers don't necessarily think that kids have that level of influence,” Webb said.

He said part of the problem was that agencies were employing younger and younger people into planning positions, meaning they were less likely to have families and understand how children could influence the purse strings.

“A lot of media planners are younger and don't necessarily have a family. It's difficult for them to connect with that, and they're looking purely at the numbers rather than the dynamic,” Webb said.

In order to sell the numbers, Cartoon Network has created a number of vox pop videos, conceding that simply providing numbers from a study is unlikely to shift budgets.


“I think those demonstrate our point in a different way than just giving buyers a whole stack of numbers. It's more powerful,” Webb said.

“When we've done research previously to clients, you can do lots of stats and give them a lot of charts, but when you have a genuine family sitting around talking about it it really brings it home to them.

"I think it's a challenge, but it's just something we have to educate them on and continue talking to them about. You have to keep on supplying them supporting evidence to show how both kids and parents are consuming media.”


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