Television and Children: Today, TV is acquiring a strangehold on the lives of the children. The impact of television has been accentuated by the rapid nuclearisation of Indian middle class homes. Children who increasingly come home to empty homes in urban India watch a great deal of television much of it unsupervised. Television is threatening the minds of children and weakening the influence of parents on children. Television the entertainer, is more popular than television the informer and the educator.
Children develop basic television literacy by simply watching television; no one needs to be taught to “read” television’s symbolic code. This audion-visual medium predominates in children’s life very early. Television viewing is often part of their everyday social behavior. It is decreasing community participation. Children made use of whoever was nearby; as joint participants and as a source of information or as live audience to children’s comments. It seems that lack of provision of special activities which children do away from home is one significant factor in the amount of television they watch.
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Families with more money to spend on recreation and those who live in areas where a range of facilities are available and those who can provide alternatives to television watching are at an advantage. Television is changing what children do with their free time and even the nature of interaction within the home and between the members of their family. Playtime is adjusted to watch television so is sleep and study. Television became the central factor around which children and parents schedule their work time. The maximum re-scheduling is in the case of play.
Seventy seven percent of the children interviewed by Sevanti Ninan a media researcher, said they organized their play according to television programmes. Eating did not need much re-scheduling. They ate as they watched. Children are sufficiently addicted to take in their favorite programmes. Children constitute the major section of the viewing audience. An interested and willing audience is more receptive to learning than a group of audience who have been forced into attendance. Television for children has become a focal point of their lives.
Television is considered a remedy for problematic children. Just as ads bestowed a new kind of power upon child consumers. Television seems to distrupt conventional power dynamics between child and adult. Popular media complained that the television image has usurped the authority previously held by parents and teachers. As numerous youngsters indicated that they often watched programmes which their parents disapproved them to watch. In India most of these fears are compounded by the fact that the children watch mostly film based programmes.
If there is one unifying force in Indian, it is the mania for watching movies, irrespective of age, class, language, sex, or background for the vast majority of children, Hindi films and film songs are the first choice and with the kind of satellite boom that India is witnessing today, there is no lack of films on television. In the past, anxieties about parental control had to do with the fact that television was heavily promoted in families with children. During the 1950’s Western countries manufactured and retailers discovered children were a lucrative consumer market for the sale of household commodities.
Even at this young age, children can exercise choice. As one of the newest household items television was quickly recognized for its potential appeal to young children. The number of television sets tend to be high in families with children more than childless couples did. Audience research showed that parents believed that television could keep their children of the streets and thus from trouble.
Impact Of Television Advertising On Children (Between the age groups of 7-14)
‘Yehi hai right choice baby, aha!
Sang two young rag-pickers as they wade through a heap of rubbish gathering scraps of metal, paper and old bottles to sell. Hips swinging and voices raised the children seemed to be caught in a spirited bubble which for instance was lifting them above the dirt and filth on which they danced. Pepsi; the advertisement on television rules the minds and imagination of thousands of children regardless of their situation. At the first glance television is colorful. It is vital alive and visually spectacular. Television and advertisements go hand in hand they are an ssential part of today’s broadcasting. Children are becoming part of a universal tribe of human beings for whom television is as real and influential as parents or a school. They are absorbing new ideas and impressions about the world mediated by the television long before they are capable of articulating their own thoughts. Television has ushered in an information revolution. It has revolutionized the concept of leisure in India. Children are likely to be most vulnerable population to be influenced by the contents of television transmission.
Television acts as a source of information, education, entertainment and consumerism and it is through these functions that it is likely to influence the viewer. Research on television and children have concluded that television has positive and negative consequences on children. On the other hand, TV viewing helps in seeking knowledge about different things and it inhibits child’s imaginative capabilities. Revolution in the Indian advertising scene: 1980’s have turned out to be dynamic decade for Indian advertisers and marketers. The introduction of color television during Asiad in Sept. 982, and later the emergence of serials culminating in perennial favourites like Ramayana and Mahabharata along with the realization by advertisers and marketers to capitalize on this electronic medium with its tremendous visual impact when advertising crossed the Rs. 200 crore mark, in 1988-89 from only Rs. 20 crore. Advertisements directly beamed at children either as consumers or as influencers has now become an important market strategy in India today. Kids are highly skilled, however, at getting their parents to purchase what they can’t buy for themselves.
In this sense, they represent considerable buying behavior. Children do not react to advertisements in a vacuum. They’re influenced by what Mummy and Daddy say, what he/she knows about the product from television, friends and other sources. The first marketers to exploit television for their child oriented product was Food Specialities Ltd. , for their Maggie noodles, which was launched in 1983, March. According to a study conducted by the Business World Magazine (Feb. 1986) it became the most successful consumer product.
Another kid directed product that met with a success was in the 80’s was Rasna softdrink concentrate made by Pioma Industries Ltd. They blantantly exploited the lovable child artistes and the powerful medium of television. Who doesn’t remember, “I Love You Rasna” lisped by child artist Ankita Jhaveri. Their sales increased from Rs. 80 lakhs in 1982 to 25 crores in 1988. Television became the major advertising medium followed by magazines and newspapers. Biscuits and toys are two major child-oriented products that have undergone a sea change during this decade.
The toy market in India is now valued at Rs. 70 crores in this organized sector alone with a growth potential of 20-25%. Not surprisingly, television is the medium of choice for most advertisers targeting the child market. Many even quite young children watch adult programming and are consequently exposed to advertisements normally aimed at adults. When it comes to children’s perceptions of television advertising, it is clear that very young children see television in a conceptual vacuum in which they cannot distinguish one from the other and know that an advertisement is trying to sell them something.
They are, however, unlikely to have any useful information base, or concept of price and value, by which they can make valid judgments of the television ads. Selectivity in viewing commercials increases with age. Another reason why television is so important, apart from its window to the world position is that it is the child’s most important sources of information is which allows the use of all the effects that appeal to kids. Children have a very low boredom threshold; a penchant for images and bright colors and an ability to absorb more details than adults in a shorter period of time (Travel weekly 9 Sept. 1991).
The boredom threshold of a child is frustrating low; (Marketing week 21 Aug. 1992. ) Marketing consumer products to children; Advertising to children is no plain task. They are unpredictable, difficult to research, though highly conscious of things around them. Marketing communication that is straight, simple, honest and filled with fun is most likely to win their confidence as customers. There are various strategies in marketing to children. A direct appeal in which the promotion is directly oriented to kids for products like pencils, chocolates, soft drinks, etc. Another approach is directed to the parents through the child.
The child is used as hook to buy the product, for all sort of products including consumer durables like Videocon washing machines. Children have thus become the innocent and hidden persuaders. Babies have been employed with winning effect in ads for ages, by Glaxo, Nestle and Johnson and Johnson. The Murphy Radio baby is still on calendars all over India. Children influence parents to buy products of their choice. Children themselves make purchases of goods and services for their personal use and satisfaction. With the nuclearisation of families, children are coming home to empty homes and end up watching longer hours of television.
Parents who find less time to spend with their children feel guilty and adopt a softer attitude towards requests from children ranging from cereals to computers. Mothers perceive that television advertisements influences the children and they estimate the effects of commercials by the frequency with which their children attempt to influence the purchase at home. Parents are now vulnerable to their appeal and positive parental response varies depending up on the nature of appeal used by children. According to a study conducted by D. Stone who was the Marketing Manager of the London College of Printing and distributive trades. The study was titled “Advertising and Children”. When he asked the parents, How often does your child influence you on deciding on your purchases? The findings were; Food 8. 2%, Children’s Clothes 50%, Furniture 30% Holidays 50%, Parents Clothes 20%. And how do Children Perceive their influence on adults purchases. Do your grown-ups listen to your views when they buy. Drinks 75, Shoes 65%, Clothes 65. 6%, Sweets 62. 0%. Holidays 35%, Soaps 33%, Parents clothes 30. 8%. Advertisements in the multi-channel environment.
The emergence of the multi-channel environment in 1991 seems to have brought with it at least some modest changes in overall ad scene. Children have more diverse range of products to chose from and are being promoted, especially on the networks channels. Moreover, the amount of advertising varies considerably across channel types. Displacement factors need to be taken into account when assessing the impact of advertising on children. The most important dispositional factor influencing the affects of TV ad is age, first class and third class children are more strongly affected by TV ads than children from fifth grade children.
The greatest impact of television advertising on child is felt in their language, according to teachers of Delhi school where the study was conducted by Namita Unnikrishnan. They said that children now speak to one another in a “lingo” dotted with words.
Parental guidance behaviors are generally too “unfocussed” to produce desired outcomes. Parents reports watching with their children and encouraging them to view appropriate programmes failed to alter children conception and talking to them about TV was effective only when educational shows were shown.
Discouragement from watching objectionable shows also made children more critical, but parents own viewing habits were not the model of behavior and attitudes that had been anticipated. The children’s age was found to relate to their TV notions and to how parents guided their viewing but not to the relationships established between guidance and perceptions. Family views: The effect of training parents to mediate their Children’s viewing on children’s comprehension of commercials. Matthews, Denise Ph. D University of Florida 1994.
Children form primary and secondary classes were pre-tested for three levels of comprehension of TV advt; ability to discriminate between programme and commercial and understanding the deceptive potential of commercial. Child’s pretest ability varied widely among the three levels of commercial comprehension and ability to discriminate commercials from programme was relatively high and increased only slightly in the post test and pretest level of understanding commercial’s deceptive potential was low and remained low on the post test.
However, pretest measures of understanding the intent of commercials were mixed with scores of recognition and low scores on free response items. Significant pretest increased for the experimental group in articulating intent of the commercial. It suggests that parents can be motivated successfully to appreciate their children in understanding the TV content and that they will be most effective when tapping comprehension within the child’s zone of proximal development. The relationship between TV exposure and physical activity among the 6th grade children. Francis, Lorna Lee, Ph. D University of Orgeon, 1983. Results: indicated that while there was statistically significant correlation between TV viewing time and physical activity, the magnitude of the relationship was insufficient to be of practical significance. There was also no significant relationship between TV viewing time and level of physical fitness. Children’s physical activity and their physical fitness were relatively independent of the TV viewing time. The perceived influence of TV on achievement in children and achievement and adolescents in Thailand. Chompaisal, Swangchit, Ph.D Illinois State University 1994. The research was conducted to study the perceived influence of TV viewing on the school achievement of children and adults in Thailand. Study based on a sample of 2520 children and adults from 6 regions of Thailand during second semester of 93-94. Results: Reveal that the children and adults spend an average of 21 hours a week in viewing television. Students who spend fewer hours watching television have higher school achievement. Parents who monitor their child’s television viewing contribute to better school achievement.
Factorial analysis shows no statistically significant relationship between motivation of television viewing and the general performance at school. Need for Study Today, television is part of child’s growing environment. It has become a window through which they view the world. Advertisement and TV go hand in hand. TV without advertisement looks an unrealistic proposition. It is no exaggeration to say that TV Programmes are made keeping in view the ad support which can help them to sustain them for a longer period of time.
It is no wonder that many a beautiful programmes had to be cancelled due to lack of sponsors. Every child is a bundle of potentiality. An interested and willing audience is more receptive to learning than a group of viewers who have been forced into audience. Children are considered vulnerable and susceptible to TV influence. TV advertisement are the creation of brilliant minds and wonderfully talented people who have but one mission in life to persuade us to buy and buy. TV advertisements are masterpieces. These dressed messages get carried to adults and the children on the same level.
TV Advertisements being brief, repetitive and catchy influences the kids. Advertisements can sometimes be unfair to children since they do not have the skill and the experience to process the advertisement messages in the context of reality and needs. Many of the advertisements aimed at children show that muscle and bluster get you what you want. If you want Babul bubble gun, the quickest way is to brandish a gun. Cartoons and computer games have an inordinate amount of violence and children soon get desensitized to the violence.
Questions about effects of television advertisements on television have frequently been raised by Television critics. Investigators have examined the effects of TV programmes on children, but little published research exists in this area. Conversely much research has examined effects of television Advertisements, but the focus has been on adults rather than on children. It would be native to use these sources to derive hypothesis for research studies of effects of commercials on children. The content, structure and repetitive presentation of the commercials messages are different from programmes.
So the effects on children and adults should be different. Moreover, hypothesis about effects of television advertisements on children simply cannot be derived from research with adults. A fourteen-year old boy was killed in Oct’97 when he tried to emulate the bungee-jumping shown in a popular TV soft drink advertisement. What is ads doing to children and what is the impact of TV on children’s need to be given a thorough study in this era of consumerism. After all children are the most avid watches of Television programmes. It has become a central point in their lives.
For all these reasons, the overall purpose of the present research programme is to explain the effects of television advertisement on children between 7-14 years of age. Objectives of the study: To study the viewership of children’s programme on DD National, DD-II, Sony Entertainment TV and Eenadu TV. To study the awareness, exposure and comprehension and recall of ads. To study the influence of advertisements on kids buying behavour. Scope: Two schools one located in Hyderguda St. Pauls Boys High School and the other is located in Chapel Road, Sujatha Public Girls School.
Kids from 5th class to 10th Class where chosen for the study. Methodology The procedure adopted for the collection of the data was a questionnaire consisting of 17 close ended questions and two sub-questions and two open ended questions were asked. Universe The Universe for the study was two schools. The classes chosen from each school were six. The Universe for the study had 600 students. Sample A stratified random sample of the universe has been taken out of these 600 students. 120 students were taken as the sample for the study. That is around 20 percent. The sample consisted of equal number of boys and girls.
Ten each from each class were taken. The questionnaire were later analyzed and tabulated accordingly. The ads were monitored for this research on four channels. DD National: Viewership and reach are the highest in India. It airs its programmes in Hindi the national language of India. Children’s Programmes; Great Expectations and Heman. DD-II: Viewership and reach many not the same as DD National. Airs a lot of children’s programmes everyday from 05. 00 pm to 07. 00. These include a variety of cartoon shows very popular with children. Children’s Programmes: Boy meet world, Flash Gordon, Blossom, Telesoccer, Rimba’s Island, Our friend the Dolphins, Quack Pack Spiderman, Mickey and Friends, Green Teen Quiz, Dennis the Menance, Jaldi Jaldi Game show, Goof Troops, Chip and Dale, Super Human Syber Squad, Heman and the Masters of the Universe. Sony Entertainment Television: Airs its programmes in Hindi. It is a satellite channel. Airs children’s programmes every day from 05 00 pm to 07 30 pm. The programmes include comedies and cartoon shows. Children’s Programmes: Bewitched, Different Strokes, Silver Spoons, He-man, Real Ghost Busters, who is the boss?
Regional Channel Airs it programmes in te local language Telugu. The usual stuff films and film songs dominate the channel. Very less children’s programmes are aired. Children’s programmes: Charlie Chaplin, Bhale Denver, Stone Boy, Baboi Dennis. The ads that are aired during these programmes were monitored from 01. 12. 97 to 15. 12. 97. The ads were as follows: Food ads: Drinks-Coco-cola, Pepsi, Health drinks-Complan, Maltova, Top Ramen Smoodles, Maggie Rich Soups, Macaroni Pack Maggie Pickle, Kellogs Wheat Flakes, Kellogs Cornflakes, Milk Bikis, Kellogs Frosties, Eclairs Gems, Wriggley’s Juicy Fruit Bubblegum, Tez Tea.
Choclates-Kit-kat, Cadbury’s, Perk, Nestle Milky Bar, Parry’s Maho Lacto king, Cadbury’s 5-star, Uncle Chips, Ruffles Lays, Big Babool, Boomer, Glucogold, Bourbon Biscuits, Dabur Honey, Allens Koffees, Frolicck Ice Cream, Alpenliebe and Annapurna Atta. Babu Foods: Cerelac and Farex. Clothes and Foot Wear: Garden pure silk, Kalanjali, Action Shoes, Books and stationary: Diamond comics, Stic Colur Pens, Zee Ball Pen, Mayapuri Film Magazine, Rotomac Pens, Archies Cards, Saber Free Styles pens, Dreamland Books, Reynolds pens, Jetter pen, Camlin Velvetta Ball pen. Others:
Vardhaman Knitting Yarn, Raid (Insecticide), Novino Gold Batteries, Aron Alpha, Hero Cycles, Sunrise coffee, Royale Paints, Rohan Badam Shrim, Sunny and Maxima Watch. Toys: Funskool, G I Joe. Medicinal: Borosoft, Hansaplast, Hajmola, Megamind 2 Plus Soaps: Dove, Lux, Jai, and Palmolive. Shampoos: Organics, Lux, Sunsilk, Heads and Shoulders. Tooth Pastes: Colgate,Close-up, Pepsodent. Creams: Lakme, Nivea and Charmis. These ads when analysed can be concluded safely that they are dominated by food ads. The number of chocolate ads are higher than any other product ads. These ads employ child artists.
Awareness: The first stage of traditional adoption process.
Behaviour: Conduct, manners, general course of life, treatment of others, mode of action, response to stimulus.
Consumer: a term used to describe two different kinds of consuming entitles: Personal consumers and organizational consumers who buy products, equipment and services in order to run their organizations.
Decision: A choice made from tow or more alternatives.
amily: Two or more persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption who reside together.
Marketing: Activities design to enhance the flow of goods, services and ideas from producers to consumers in order to satisfy consumer needs and wants.
Product: A product is a set of tangible and intangible attributes, including packaging, color, manufacturer’s prestige, retailer’s prestige and manufacturer’s and retailers services, which the buyer may accept as offering satisfaction of wants and needs.
- Total number of respondents-120
- Do you watch Television Yes/No
- Percent Boys 60100
- Girls 60100
- Total 120100
Majority of the respondents 80. 8% had cable connection, boys and girls were equal in this respect. About 41. 6% of the respondent watch about two hours of television daily. Children’s movies dominated the viewing time of the chidren (42%). Followed closely by film-based programmes. 42% of the respondent liked cartoon shows. 76. 9% of the respondents said they liked ads but interesting thing to note is that though some did say they didn’t like advertisements they still could recall ads. 65. % of the respondents said they liked chocolate advertisements closely followed by 23% of clother’s and footwear ads. They liked to watched advertisements with children in action and equally adventure advertisements. It was closely followed by advertisements with sportsmen and film-stars (girls liked them more than the boys).
Most of the respondents felt that advertisements did not influence them to buy the products, but few that it did influence them very much. More number of boys said that they will not pressurize their parents to buy the products where girls were equal in their positive and negative response. 5% of the respondents gave ambiguous response to the question that do they insist on buying the product after watching the advertisement 70% said ‘yes’ they do but for the earlier question they said they do not pressurize their parents to buy the product. 65% of the respondent said they received pocket money to spend on themselves. Majority of the respondent’s boys and girls said they saved the money that they got as pocket money. Most of the respondents recalled chocolate advertisements more than any other.
All the girls recalled ’Perk’ advertisement more than any other. Important thing was that respondents who said they did not like advertisements too recognized at least three to four advertisements. Suggestions for further study: Subsequent research must fulfill methodological requirements
- In order to investigate earlier development in watching behavioral reactions to advertisements, sampling must include children younger than those in those in the present research that is from three to seven year old.
- Sample can be increased from a mere 25 percent to around 50 percent so that generalizations can be made more freely.
- Sampling can be done even from rural areas. There is a boom in television viewing in rural areas too.
- Research is needed to determine why some children and adolescents too develop negative feeling towards advertisements.
- Research needs to be done into why younger children have high attention p of advertisements than older children that is children above 14 years have a less attention p.
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