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4 June 2013

Urban Kids Most Often Ask for Advertised Products

Keywords: North America, advertising, kids, media, parents, consumer behavior, family conflict, purchase requests, survey, television,

Western kids are daily exposed to TV ads. However, not all children respond to these ads in the same way. A study in Journal of Children and Media compares kids’ consumer behavior across three different North-American low-income communities. Urban US children ask their parents most often for goods they see on TV and argue more with their parents over purchase decisions than urban Canadian and rural American children. 

Take aways

  • Low-income children’s consumer behavior differs across cultural subgroups.
  • American kids more often ask their parents for advertised products than Canadian kids and more often have conflicts about those requests.
  • In addition, US city kids make more requests and argue more with their parents than US rural kids.

Study information

  • The question?

    How does the consumer behavior of low-income children differ across cultural subgroups?

  • Who?

    150 low-income children between 3 and 8 years old (mean age: 6 years); 53% girl

  • Where?

    Rural community in Appalachian U.S, urban community in Western Canada, and northeastern U.S.

  • How?

    Parents filled out a paper-and-pencil questionnaire about their children’s media exposure (e.g., TV habits and whether the child has a TV in their bedroom), consumer behavior (e.g., purchase requests and arguments about purchase request).

Facts and findings

  • Low-income American children in the urban northeast asked their parents more often for goods they saw on TV (e.g., toys, candy, and breakfast cereal) than children in urban Canada and rural America.
  • However, American low-income children from rural communities made more purchase requests than children in Canada. 
  • Children in urban America were twice as likely to ask their parents for products in TV ads compared to Canadian children. 
  • American children from low-income families were more likely to argue with their parents over purchase decisions than children in Canada.