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Bitefile Brand Characters

General research insights on brand characters

  • More than half of popular children’s websites feature fun characters for advertising purposes. 
  • Kids like the taste of food products better when a popular cartoon character is present on the packaging. 
  • A popular character (like Elmo) can hold a child’s attention while reading, but can also be a distraction if adults cannot control it. 
  • Most kids don’t see a brand character as a marketing technique, but rather as someone who tells them about products, entertains them, or even as a friend.

Research insights on brand character design

  • When media characters have similar characteristics as the target audience, kids are more immersed into the medium (e.g., video game).
  • For elementary school children, use girl characters with feminine products and boy characters with masculine products (and avoid mixing boys and girls).
  • Boys pay more attention to male characters, girls pay more attention to female characters.
  • New and unknown characters can be just as effective as more expensive, licensed media characters, but only when they are carefully chosen to match a particular product (like a rabbit and carrot, monkey and banana, or caterpillar and apple).
  • The match should be based on content, such as familiar story lines or media images.

Research insights on brand characters and kids’ diets

  • Brand characters on fruit and vegetable packaging can improve the diet of kids, because kids are more likely to eat healthy food that is well advertised with cartoon characters.
  • Brand characters can advertise healthy foods to kids just like junk food.
  • By making healthy food more fun and interesting, well-chosen brand cartoon characters can help kids eat healthier.

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