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"Sometimes, buying a toy is a symbol of complete happiness"

Miguel González-Durán Muñoz, author of El rey de la casa (The King at Home)

  • Key4Communications

The Spanish market has six million children and adolescents, "a small segment of the population with their own money and influence in family purchases. Despite their young age, children are complex and demanding consumers”, explains the marketing and communication specialist Miguel González-Durán Muñoz, Director of Arista Kids, the area specializing in children at the Arista advertising agency. González-Durán Muñoz has just published the book El rey de la casa (The King at Home), explaining hoy children influence purchasing decisions.

How are nowadays children?
Today's children have an innate capacity for learning in the field of technology, they are multimedia language experts, they have an enormous capacity to talk about what excites them, motivates them or what they like, and, in addition to media culture and skill in the use of new technologies, they have a much wider and useful knowledge compared to previous generations about their own power in family purchasing decisions.

What about children as consumers?
Kids are considered consumers when they are 4 years old, since before that age, the consuming products industry targets their parents. The children's market has become a focus of attention of its own: in Spain, 6 million children and teenagers are now a "small segment" of the population with their own pocket money and influence in family purchases. Where there are children, spending increases and, for them, consuming is also an imitiation game.

It is said that children are the most demanding consumers. What effect does this have on advertising?
Children are three consumers in one: consumer influencers, future consumers, and consumers with their own pocket money. If we take into account the 20,000 annual advertising impacts they receive and the role they have when families purchase, we will see that it is not easy to con kids - children are demanding consumers with plenty of information and influence. And of course, children do not like when anybody lies to them.

All this has a direct influence on communication: you have to be truthful, courageous, clear, and also a bit transgressive and fun. Any seller that wants to empathize with children should be aware of their aspirations, and also have enough knowledge and proper segmentation of the target audience, as children are not homogeneous through their different age stages, requiring an appropiate communication style.

In the current economic climate, the purchasing power of many households is decreasing.
Indeed, the family budget is suffering moderations and transformations in the purchase, place of purchase, and brands they buy. In the case of children, they perceive the crisis differently than adults, but they also live it and feel it. But it should be noted that in family budget cuts, what suffers less is all that is related to the health, the education and the happiness of children. Sometimes, buying a toy is a symbol of complete happiness.

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