Effective communication to kids stressed at Pester Power Seminar

MUMBAI: "Kids today are no different from what we were. The differences are only minute and so the manner of communication is important." This was one of the main points that came out strongly at Friday's Pester Power Seminar organised by Mind Space.

Lowe Lintas India National Creative Director R Balakrishnan said, "I do not believe kids can be pestered continuously in an effective manner over a long period of time. The trick is to communicate at their level. It is important not to talk down to them. Also remember that to have any chance of attracting the kid you must pay attention to the mother. This especially becomes crucial in places like dental hygiene which the mother believes is her core area."

He also explained that for creating the Pepsodent commercial, the Lintas' creative team realised that it was important to keep the message light. " We made a conscious attempt to avoid preaching to the mother. The message to the mother should be 'Maybe I should not be too harsh. Also the ad was effective as it matched the kids real life scenario. When a kid watches the TVC he sees the ad confronting the same problem that he has to deal with everyday. However we are not saying that a kid can fill his stomach with ice creams everyday. The idea being conveyed is that the odd ice cream will not harm his health."

He also pointed out that any kind of stereotypical behaviour would be a blind spot. You cannot literally show the mother encouraging her kid to have ice creams. For another TVC for Pepsodent, the company decided to stick to the basic fact that the kid uses the toothpaste as it has two colours. A simple kid or even an adult for that matter is not going to think in terms of the German check formula. The savvy creative team decided to make fun of the formula through a voice over which deliberately sounds annoying. He left the audience with these words of caution, "Never overestimate or underestimate your product. If this happens the consumer will laugh at you not the other way around. Also despite the proliferation of media kids will always be kids. It is just that the ways of exposure have changed. So the idli has been replaced with the McDonalds burger."

Are you being tangoed was the theme that Turner International's Anshuman Misra took. He said, " When you tango with kids you have to entertain them. You must involve them by giving them reasons to try your product. You need to surround them through 360 degree communication. Think of it as being more than just advertising.

I manage Cartoon Network which gives us an opportunity to interact with kids 24/7. We constantly do research with our Asian partners to understand them better. You always learn something with conducting new activities." He also took a different track from Balakrishnan saying that kids had changed a great deal over the past 10-15 years. There are more products and choices before them.

" Therefore when we advertise there are essentials to keep in mind.1) Where do we want to go? 2) The product must be different. It must have special attributes that separate it from the competition. 3) Preference. When a category is mentioned your product should be top of the mind recall for the kid. 4) Action - Kids should go out and buy your product. Also word of the product should spread through word of mouth.

Pester Power is growing. Steadily. My five- year old kid hums the Coca Cola tune though he does not know who Aamir Khan is. In terms of Pester power weight for the candies, toffies category pester power weight is 84 per cent. MFD's skewer slightly towards the parents. Pester power weight is 39 per cent. In the purchase of durables kids influenced 40 per cent of television sets bought. This is because kids feel that thereHe went on talk about the results of the promotional licensing campaign the channel has been doing for Bournvita from March 2001 to February 2003. Cadbury's found that in the Summer consumption of Bournvita went down as kids associated it as being a hot drink for a cold climate. The company was able to promote shakers. Cadbury experienced a 20 per cent increase in share. 1,500,000 shakers were an active use of the product for them."

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