“My dad’s strong” was the ending dialogue by a cute little angel in Complan’s advertisement almost a decade ago. Children have been used in advertisements since time immemorial. Children have been used to aid in more than “just effective communication”, but to have a considerable share in the hearts and minds of the viewers. The power of using children in ads have been exploited by advertisers from time to time as the emotional attachment in the indian value system places more emphasis on the family, which primarily revolves around the child.
If we research the adverts by the different firms over a period of time, it would be clear that there is a trend. Sometimes a success of an ad leads to another me-too kind of ads. The current trend of rising advertisements using children can be very well noticed from the ads used by Reliance Digital to the ads by Ingersoll Rand. Children have been normally used in ads to evoke and attach an emotional value to the ads. Ads are all about emotions, and using children gives an easy approach to get this done.
Quoting my father, whenever he used to get upset of me “Whatever I am doing is for you and whatever I am earning is for you only….” (some words have been censored to keep the author in a better image:) ). Jokes apart, Indian value system revolves largely around the family and especially around the kids. Attaching emotional quotient to advertisements is the prime motive in most of the advertisements. Unless the EQ level is hit with the right impact the advertisements may not yield desirable results. Research has shown that these ads also have a higher brand recall. Product brand recall is very much essential to increase the probability of a prospect researching on the product and increasing the possibility of conversion into a buyer.
This is especially essential in items which are high involvement purchases and in products where there is only little differentiation. Insurance plans are one such product where the possible differentiation is visibly less. The child education plans initially used to have advertisements showing the different features attached to the product. This was in the initial stages of the lifecycle. After the level of differentiation slowly started reducing, they shifted to showcase the parents love for their progeny, and after sometime now the children have become the protagonists. SBI SBI ad, Tata Capital Tata, LIC LIC are some of the names in the financial product category which have been regularly leveraging child-like emotions and children to evoke beneficial responses. The product differentiation is very much reduced in this market. Hence attaching emotional value plays a significant role.
But children and the child-like emotions, mind it not childish, have been utilised in many famous ads from the Tata Nano to Nivea. Even though the purposes are not just to create an emotional moment of parity, but also to evoke the memories attached with our childhood moments and some other features, to which everybody gets easily hooked. For example, Nivea and Pears use children to evoke a comparative response with the skin of a child. Voltas has been using children to attach an emotional value and simultaneously conveying a message to avoid clutter in the AC category which usually has actress or by just displaying a new technology of air conditioning.
Using children as protagonists in advertisements has become a fad. The recent lavishly spent advertisements by foreign major Ingersoll Rand using the pride of the child in having her dad working for the company as the main theme is a proof for this phenomenon. The advertisers are using children to hit the right spot ringing and to get them converted to suitable responses from the target audience- the parents. The influencers are the emotional attachment with the child and the deciders are the Parents. The advertisers have been using the influencers to take the effectiveness of the ads northwards.
Ingersoll Rand ad: