Remember the time when it used to be so simple- an advertisement during Saturday morning cartoons or a kid-friendly image on the back of a cereal box was all it took to appeal to children? This is no longer the case, the tiny, but mighty, group of adolescents may not yet own a credit card, but their voices are being heard in many households. While the kinds of products marketed to children have remained the same, the buying power of today’s youth has increased exponentially.
DRTV has established itself as an effective way to reach the youth market by creating brand awareness and desire among an influential component of today’s household. When Pillow Pets were first introduced in 2003, they earned a gross income of $300,000. By the end of 2009, Direct Response marketing helped Pillow Pets pull in a gross income of over $7 million. John Miller, president of the DR firm Hutton-Miller, says that “DRTV toy commercials have evolved from simply introducing products to creating categories that everyone jumps in on.” The momentum established by children’s products- which debuted in the DRTV space- has opened doors for companies seeking a channel for their youth-oriented products.
Since this age group is influenced easily, marketers must be careful to not be misleading. Creating children’s advertising, if not done correctly, can hit a ton of regularity snags. For instance, if an ad shows children playing in the pool, a shot of adult supervision needs to be shown. To avoid mistakes, many DR advertisers are turning to CARU, Children’s Advertising Review Unit, for assistance ahead of time.
Bottom line- marketing to children and adolescents is a way of life in the United States. Marketing practices such as regulated environments and exciting, enticing commercials are effective in attracting children’s attention, helping products stay top of mind and influencing their purchasing choices.