Pester Power in India

Our Consumer Behavior professor today talked about ‘pester power’, which simply put refers to the ability of kids below the age of 12 yrs to literally pester their parents into purchasing products which the parents would normally not buy. Now this set me thinking and I just had to post about this phenomenon called ‘pester power’ in India. So here goes.

The fact that pester power as a phenomenon is gaining advertisers interest in evidenced by the various articles and the recent media attention that it has received. For eg, an article in the Business Line dated Feb 18, 2005 states that due to the fact that most cable and satellite homes in India are single television homes, pester power has gained a lot of clout in the ad circles.

This has resulted in purely kids’ channels such as Nickledeon and Cartoon Network being bombarded with ads that are not actually targeted towards these kids. A significant number of non-traditional advertisers to come aboard these kids’ channels. Cartoon Network, which has been around for nine years, has had a run of a wide range of advertisers including the unusual ones such as BPCL, Samsung, Citibank, All Out and Haldirams.

Financial services company and a feminine hygiene brand are some of the atypical advertisers on children’s channel indicating that this genre of broadcasters space has gone beyond children.

Mr Rohington Maloo, MD of MediaScope Associates had the following words to say in a recent interview –

Q. How big is the market for kids products and services?
A. It would be impossible to quantify the kids’ market size today. Not only are advertisers talking to kids but more than before thru kids. Every day more marketers are launching, re-launching or changing existing brand USPs to talk to kids or through kids to their parents. I could comfortably state that there could be as high as a 200% growth year on year in the kids targeted market.
Q. Why do you believe that kids are a segment that holds promise for marketers?
It is now a proven fact that Indian kids will drive sales more than ever before. Companies like HLL and others have started targeting their traditional brands through kids. Categories like detergents, salt, aatta, small vehicles, washing machines, have all discovered the ‘Pester Power’ that kids can create. I hope that marketers use responsible creative ethical approaches while communicating through kids.

From the looks of it, seems like ‘pester power’ is going to pester us for a while. Some exciting times ahead, both for kids and the advertisers targeting them.



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