Ways Companies Are Advertising to Children

Companies are always in search of new marketing schemes either to bring established customers back or to encourage new people to use their products. Companies are well aware of the fact that adults are more capable of watching an advertisement and seeing it for what it truly is a means to get them to use or purchase their products. With this knowledge, marketers have learned that if they cannot reach adults, or parents, will target young children and teens in their advertising campaigns.

How exactly do companies direct their advertising to children? The American Marketing Association, AMA, stated they use product, place, price, and promotion, which are the “Four Ps” of marketing. Companies do their research, learn what appeals to children, and build their advertising campaigns around that information. Marketers have also learned that children and teens play a vital role in the buying patterns of their families.

Marketers understand that child can influence where their parents spend money on a number of areas. Here are a few areas where kids have a powerful influence on parental spending habits.

  • Family entertainment and family trips or excursions
  • Meal choices specifically breakfast and lunch
  • Locations for Casual family meals
  • Clothing
  • Computer and software choices

How Marketers Reach Kids & Teens

With children of all ages having such a powerful influence over where their parents spend their money, marketing teams had to learn the most effective ways to reach the different target audiences. Children who watch an estimated two hours of television a day view roughly 20,000 commercials annually. That being said, marketing teams understand if they want to reach very young children who do not understand the difference between commercials and the shows they are watching they want their commercials to be fun, entertaining and let the kids know their products will make them happy. These commercials do not even need to give full descriptions of the products just convince young minds they want them.

As kids age, marketing teams know that the internet and social media is a huge way to reach their target audiences. They turn to websites such as YouTube to get their products out there via engaging videos. Other options they can use include Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. There is also the option of determining who the cool groups of people or trendsetters are on social media and using them to influence tweens and teens. With the right exposure and encouraging push from these people, tweens and teens can get their parents to purchase certain products or vacation at certain locations.

The use of celebrity endorsements is another way that companies can reach young kids and teens. Having their favorite singer or actor pitching a clothing line, a line of drinks, or even a certain phone can result in parents making the purchases because their children virtually nag them into submission.

Finding ways to advertise to children is relatively easy if you pay attention to where they devote most of their time. Kids see things on commercials, the internet, and while using social media sites that encourage them to use or purchase products and services. This interest translates into asking one of both of their parents to get the specific item. This marketing strategy continues to be incredibly useful and successful for many companies.


  • https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/sneaky-ways-advertisers-target-kids#
  • http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/en/news/newsandfeatures/pages/target-market-children-as-consumers.aspx
  • http://mediasmarts.ca/marketing-consumerism/how-marketers-target-kids
  • https://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/18_01_09.pdf

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