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Marketing To Kids

August 16, 2011

Do you know your audience? I mean really know them? If Quanitise is your marketing firm, then odds are you have a pretty great grasp of who you’re marketing to. And if you’re marketing to the kids, you are playing a whole new game….literally. What was once fueled by Saturday morning cartoon advertising spots is now overrun with innovative, sneaky, and highly effective online marketing campaigns.

The Demographic

Kids influenced $1.12 trillion in family spending, according to “Kids as Consumers: A Handbook of Marketing to Children.” Kids as young as 2 years old, ranging up to 15 years old, have become prime market for online advertising via gaming platforms such as Mebkinz and Farmville. This demographic is tech savvy, and spends on average an hour a day online doing anything but studying.

According to the non-profit organization Joan Ganze Cooney Center and the Sesame Workshop, more thatn 60$ of children under age three watch video online, and 36% percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 use both the internet and the television simultaneously.

The Marketing

Marketing firms are seeking new and innovative ways to reach their target audience, and as children become even more tech savvy, marketers will devise new ways to effectively reach them online. Gaming is quickly becoming a huge resource for marketers looking to target kids. The process is simple, really. Create a game for Facebook, or to stand alone on the internet, and saturate with incentives for kids to click on advertisements.

For example, Webkinz, a website that ingenuously links “Webkinz plush animals with online games that encourage kids to earn and spend virtual money so they can create elaborate rooms for virtual versions of the Webkinz pets,” requires players to click on advertisements and pop-ups in order to earn that virtual money and continue playing.

Thinking Outside of the Box

Marketing to kids is not about creating the perfect banner ad, or the commercial that airs during their favorite cartoons anymore. Today, it’s about going tech. Whether you are going to develop your own online game to attract young players such as Webkinz, or you’re investing in technically advanced additions to your retail stores such as American Eagle has done with it’s in-store iPads allowing kids to virtually try on outfits, think outside of the box when targeting a younger demographic.

The Caution

Marketing to children is a highly effective, and at the same time highly scrutinized practice. When targeting this demographic, remain true to your ethical background. Remember that marketing to kids comes with an immense amount of responsibility, and in the end it all reflects upon your brand. See "Mobile Devs Fined $50,000 for Violating Children's Privacy" to understand what we mean.