Advertising Impact on children and their parents buying behavior

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Today parents, someone from his youth, and someone from childhood, have to look advertisements on television, read in magazines and newspapers, hear on the radio and see on billboards and in the internet daily. To the question “What is advertising?” Every adult people will be able to reply that it is commercial message, convincing to buy product or use a certain service. Yes, it is true, but observations reveal that this is something more. In fact, advertising – “a complex type communication, conducted with the goals and strategies, aimed at providing different types of impacts on the thoughts, felling and actions of consumers”(Wells.U.2008)

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What is Advertising?

Today parents, someone from his youth, and someone from childhood, have to look advertisements on television, read in magazines and newspapers, hear on the radio and see on billboards and in the internet daily. To the question “What is advertising?”  Every adult people will be able to reply that it is commercial message, convincing to buy product or use a certain service. Yes, it is true, but observations reveal that this is something more. In fact, advertising – “a complex type communication, conducted with the goals and strategies, aimed at providing different types of impacts on the thoughts, felling and actions of consumers”(Wells.U.2008). Definitions of advertisements appearing in the scientific literature include at least five elements or characteristics:

 “Advertising is a paid form of communication, although some of its species, for example, public service uses free space and time in the media;

Advertising message not only paid by sponsors, but also identifies it;

Most advertising is trying to convenience consumers to adopt particular point of view or take a certain action consequence…is a strategic communications aimed to achieve certain goals…;

Advertising provides coverage of a large audience of potential consumers;

Advertising message is distributed by various media, which in most cases give the advertising impersonal character. But with the advent of the internet and other interactive means of communication, this situation is starting to change (Wells.U., 2008).

    Children have advantage over spending their parents. This effect may be direct (“Mom,buy,buy!”) or indirectly. “55% of parents ask their children board before buying anything necessary or gift, 24% of children don’t wait for the issue and express their opinions themselves. At selection of some product groups, children begin to express themselves since two or three years, with what must be considered the parents. Older children are influenced by the more expensive purchase. For example, the mobile phones and family cars - the categories of goods severely affected children (A. Popov., 2006).

  The American sociologist James Shore writes, "The usual American child is immersed in the market, which suppresses all human experience. One year old child is watching a program  "Teletubbies" and eats the food of the series sponsors Burger King and  McDonald's. In the eighteen months, children already recognize logos of famous brands and by the age of two have already asked them to buy products of these brands. For three years, children begin to believe that brands are no words spoken about their personal qualities, for example, that they are cool, strong or smart. In 25% of preschool children have a TV in your own room, which they are looking for about 2 hours a day.  First-grader could remember the name of two hundred brands. He or she has already accumulated an unprecedented number of toys, average about 70 new toys a year (Schor.J., 1994).

   In addition to specific policies in relation to advertising, also acts on a child and the general tone of communication within the family. The literature describes two types of communication in the family: democratic (dialogical or conceptually oriented, where possible dialogue, negotiation, respected the opinion of each) and authoritarian (monological or socio-oriented), which is characterized by formal, standardized, manipulative, and other non-productive communication styles, the emphasis on unquestioning obedience to the will of parents, standards. Studies have shown that teens from the first types of families are more aware in terms of consumption; had better recognize advertising techniques and not so much showing interest in material consumption. In contrast, children from other types of families are more prone to outside influence, including television advertising (Buijzen.M.,Valkenburg.P.2005).





Problem Analyzis.

“The influence of children on family decision-making has continued to increase in recent years. Recent research estimates that children between the ages of 2 and 12 years indirectly influence $320 billion worth of household purchases, in addition to the $29 billion worth of goods and services that they purchase independently with their own money”  Mc-Donald and Lavelle wrote about it in 2001 so today situation is a little bit changed. A.A. Levickaya in her work “Advertising and Children: Adult problem(2011)” mentioned that for today, children are consumers “three in one”, they spend their pocket money, parents' influence on the purchase, and in the future adult life is to spend the earned money to their favorite brands. In U.S., children under the age of 12 spend an average of $ 50 billion a year, teenagers - 3 times more, in addition, children are encouraged parents to purchase goods by nearly 600 billion dollars.

    Although specific estimates vary somewhat across studies, children’s influence on family purchases consistently accounts for a greater dollar amount than children’s direct spending. The quantity and quality of this influence has also shown a consistent and marked increase over time, with children providing greater input at younger ages and increasingly influencing purchases of numerous goods and services (McDonald and Lavelle 2001; McNeal 1992).

Advertisement is one of the major tools that all business firms use for persuasive communication and its effectiveness depends on the extent to which the advertising message is received and accepted by the target audiences. With regard to the above, a brief review of some of the relevant literature is as under:

Livingstone(2006) in his work said that the Internet is the main reason for increasing the impact of advertising on children. His research has shown that every year an increasing number of children using computers every day, in developed countries is increasing every year spending time of kids behind computers. These countries are also a lot of attention is paid to the development of online classes and learning through the Internet.

Mukherjee (2007) in his work show that there are three types of influence on children’s minds: cognitive effect, attitudinal effect and behavioral effect. Children can easily attract the advertised product in relation to their observation, but at the same time, their knowledge of the consumer after seeing advertisements do not exceed the limits of the surface level. The impact of advertisements on the various age groups of children varies depending on their knowledge of the existing brands, parental supervision, mode of delivery of the advertisement and other variables. Parents, advertisement visualizes, marketers and government have to make a concerted effort to reduce the negative impact of advertisements on children.


Pine and Nash (2007) analyzed the impact on children, where pester power is often expressed by the media, parents and the state. The influence of advertising on children is a very big area for research because there are many problems associated with it. Some of this problem is Obesity, the development of alcoholism in young people and the development of materialism. This is because children are not always able to use their knowledge to make the right decisions and awareness of reality. All these problems must be studied in detail.


Sheoliha (2007) opined that Indian marketers are becoming more complex day by day, but a new phenomenon, which is gaining prominence, is ‘advertising to children’. Today, kids have more self-sufficiency and influencing power in the family in purchase decision. Even corporate has realized the power of schools in promoting their products, and naturally companies like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Lilliput and many more successful players have attained a good market share.

Katke (2007) in paper discussed the relationship between television advertising and its effects on child health and family spending. The study found that almost every aspect of life in the advertising and marketing have an adverse impact. In addition, studies have shown that advertising leads to increased violence, obesity and eating disorders in children as well as to family stress and negative influence. Previously, children's television, advertisers appealed to parents, but now they refer directly to the children who do not have the emotional or cognitive tools to assess what they sell.

 Kotwal et al. (2008) in his work show that television and advertising taken together represent a fatal combination and it became an integral part of modern life. The results showed that advertising plays an important role in introducing a new product in the shopping list of the family, as well as helping to choose from when shopping. Most of the respondents after viewing the commercials of a new product want buy it. Interviewed expressed the opinion that it is advertising helps them make better choices when shopping.

Nath (2008) believes that television has become an integral part of people's lives. Many researches has been carried out to identify what impact television has on children. As it turned out there are both positive and negative effects. View the specific programs bring to cognitive development while browsing without purpose leads to switchboard connections aggressively at children. The results showed that parents should play an active role in monitoring and negotiated with children programs on television.

Ninan (2008) emphasized that often, parents have to be very busy and have little time to spend with the children is compensated by concessions in purchases for the happiness of their children. Parents try to give their children the products and goods, which they were deprived in their childhood. Proper positioning of the desired product helps to enhance the image of the company's products and increase market share.

Jam (2010) investigated the impact of marketing activities (specially adverting) on children, which is a very important and sensitive issue for the society and marketers. Results showed interesting findings that ads do not affect negatively on children’s memory and behavior. It enhances the knowledge of children and the ads targeted at children are very effective. Also, for effective positioning of children-related products, marketers should target parents and include ethical orientations along with environmental knowledge to influence the buying behavior of parents.

Tarcza Teodora and Olar Ana-Elena in his article mentioned that the main purpose is to draw attention to problems related to diet and habits of children that they took from advertising. The article was written about the children of Romania, but looking at previous studies can be understood that the challenges are shared. The article also indicates an increase in obesity among children, the development of diseases associated with excessive spending time  on computers and televisions. Children watching TV set choose a character and begin to copy it, believing that by doing so they have more love of parents, and respect of peers.

It must be remembered that the children are under the impact of the advertising is not only aimed directly at them, but also advertisements aimed at adults. In the daytime, is advertising a movie-films containing scenes of violence, in many commercials focuses on the increased sexuality of the character, and without special needs - all this is understandable fears. 
That's what a research by the American Academy of Pediatrics ( 
1. Advertising of cigarettes may be more significant risk factor for children than smoking family members or peers, and even the ability to undermine the educational influence of parents. Approximately one third of teenagers started smoking under the influence of advertising. 
2. Alcohol producers spent $ 5.7 billion a year on advertising and sales promotion. As a result, children see about two thousand commercials for beer and wine in a year (especially during the broadcast of sports games). 
3. Of all the television advertising constitute half of the commercials that promote unhealthy food products, especially sugary breakfast cereals and high calorie snacks, 20% of fast food advertisements promise a free toy with food. 
4. Contact adolescents with advertising, exploiting sexuality (this technique is used virtually everywhere, from beer commercials and advertising shampoo to cars), can induce early onset of sexual activity. At the same time, not enough advertising of contraceptives. Studies have shown that such information does not affect the earlier onset of sexual activity, and, on the contrary, contrary, would be useful. 
5. Advertising is often demonstrates an extremely thin models, which can lead to low self-esteem and mental disorders until anorexia in teenage girls. 
6. Advertising captures high school - more than 200 U.S. schools contracted with manufacturers of carbonated drinks fast food network spread in 10 000 school cafeterias. 
7. Advertising enters the school and in the guise of educational TV. An example is the first channel (Channel One), available in a quarter of secondary schools. The program consists of a ten-minute news and a two-minute commercial break. 

    We also have advertising, specifically focused on the "younger" adolescents, and children 8-12 years old who is just beginning to develop a sense of identity and self-image. Marketers provoke this age group to a more rapid maturation. Past surveys indicate that the eleven children no longer consider themselves children. Demonstrating relevance to younger teens as an independent, mature consumers, marketers are able to move the control force (ie, parents) in the background. 
    As a result, the child is left alone with advertising messages, reproduce stereotypes of the perfect physique, sexuality, interpersonal relationships. Manufacturers exploit the age-old teenage self-doubt, causing them to believe that to be "cool", you need to buy their goods.


The influence of advertising on children is growing every year, advertisers find children material for producing their customers in the future and one of the best tools to influence their parents. The effect, is even more likely a defect, that advertising bring to children is very high. The negative impact that advertising has on a child's life is much more than positive influence. In my work, I try to figure out how advertising affects children in Russia. Thus, the main task of my work is the following:

1) Identify influence of advertising on children and their parents buying ability 
2) Identify parents' attitudes to children's advertising, and find out their views about the negative impact of advertising on their children 
3) Identify the most negative factors impact on children and the means to combat them.


































1)Wells.U. (2008) ”Advertising: Principles and Practice .”


2)Popov.A. (2006) “Marketing game. Entertain and rule. “


3)Schor.J. (1994). “Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and New Consumer Culture.”


4)Buijzen.M., Valkenburg.P. (2005).” Parental Mediation of Undesired

Advertising Effects.” Broadcast Education Association Journal of Broadcasting

& Electronic Media 49(2), 2005, pp. 153–165.


5)McDonald, Marci and Lavelle, Marianne (2001). “Call it Kid-fluence.” U.S. News & World Report.


6) Katke K (2007), “The Impact of Television Advertising on Child Health and FamilySpending: A Case Study”, International Marketing Conference on Marketing &Society (IIMK), April, pp. 284-286.

7) Kotwal N, Gupta N and Devi A (2008), “Impact of TV Advertisements on Buying

Pattern of Adolescent Girls”, Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 51-55.

8)Livingstone (2006), Television Advertising of Food and Drink Products to Children, retrieved in January, 2008, pp. 4-9, available at



9)Mukherjee (2007), “Advertisements—Shaping a Child’s Future: An Indian Insight”,Advertising Express, October, pp. 27-30.

10)Nath (2008), “Television and Its Impact on Children”, Advertising Express, January,pp. 52-58.

11)Ninan (2008), “Pester Power—Emerging New Dimensions”, Advertising Express,October, pp. 36-38.

12)Noergaard M K, Bruns K, Christensen P H and Mikkelsen M R (2007),

“Children’s Influence on and Participation in the Family Decision Process During

Food Buying”, Young Consumers: Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 197-216.

13) Pine and Nash (2007), “Dear Santa: The Effects of Television Advertising on

Young Children”, International Journal of Behavioral Development, Vol. 26, No. 6,

pp. 529-539.

14) Sheoliha (2007), “Kids: A Bull’s Eye for Advertisers Today”, Advertising Express, June, pp. 39-42.



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