Buzz Marketing

By Christopher Zoukis

The problem in marketing to children is how to make and impression on them, how to stand out. Children are bombarded by so much advertising that marketers have to find a way to avoid mediocrity. One way to do this is through “buzz marketing,” which is to utilize the most popular children to create “buzz” about a luxury product. The company provides popular kids with the product, asking them to wear it or use it. In other words, these popular kids are being asked to provide “street-cred” or “coolness” to the product. It is a form of viral marketing and is very effective, because it is easily translated to texting or twittering, and social networking sites.  Image courtesy lushbling.com

Another avenue for successful marketing of luxury products is school. For example, Apple computers are supplied to the computer labs at elementary schools. Apple not only exposes children to its products, but adds to its reputation as a “caring” company. Justice, a luxury brand of children’s clothing, sponsors educational programs at schools. These programs provide elementary students with the opportunity to see and handle exotic animals. Since elementary students are at an age when they are very “animal aware,” the program connects with them emotionally. This connection carries over to the sponsoring brand.

Of course, the internet is an extremely effective method of marketing to children. It is part of their culture, which means they have never known anything else. The internet is part of their daily lives. Children spend hours online without any supervision. Added to this is the fact that most parents have no understanding of how much marketing occurs on websites for children. These websites provide the perfect matrix for creating and building brand loyalty. The most vital factor of online marketing to children might be this: it is easy to track and collect data for future marketing to the same children.

Music, movies, and video games are luxury products that all children grow up desiring. Marketing campaigns on television, radio, and the internet are very effective in targeting young people.

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Richie Rich Kids

Image courtesy funonline.inBy Christopher Zoukis

Last year, over $2 billion was spent on marketing to children, according to MediaChannel, which is a non-profit media monitor. MarketResearch.com estimates the direct buying power of children to be around $60 billion per year. This money will be spent on food, candy, video games, clothing, sports, and electronics.

There are 24 million children in the United States between of 6 and 11, which is 8% of the total population. According to the U.S. Census, children will account for 24% of the total population by the year 2020. And all these children are internet savvy. In fact, the internet is their medium of choice. In 2007, 57% of children age 11 or younger were online. Twenty percent of them have computers in their bedrooms. More than 5 million children between the ages of 6 and 17 have their own websites. At the present juncture, the most internet-savvy children are in New York City, Miami, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Tampa, Florida.

Children between the ages of 8 and 14 spend $6.9 billion per year on cosmetic products for their hair and skin. According to the Food Industry Council, children between age 5 and 14 control $10 billion worth of food and beverage purchases, and directly influence an additional $20 billion spent on the same items.

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