Study Finds Kids Love the Internet and Recognize Banner Ads as Bunk

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Feb 06, 2002
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If they had to choose only one, a majority of children would rather have access
to the Internet than TV, radio or magazines, according to a study of the youth market conducted for Advertising Age by NeoPets.com, a youth-oriented Web
site. The survey, which polled 12,500 youngsters up to 18 years of age, also found
that even preteens recognize advertising as hype and believe that children are
more susceptible to its influence than adults. Among kids (defined in the study
as seven years of age or younger), 59 percent believed advertising can affect
the opinions of children more easily than adults; that percentage climbs to 62
percent for tweens (eight- to 12-year-olds) and 72 percent for teens (13- to 18-year-olds).

The preferred ad medium for young people overall, and the one they consider
to be most interesting, is TV, followed by the Internet, magazines and radio.
The Internet shows great potential in the study. Except for kids, respondents
spend more hours a week with the Internet than with any other ad medium, and
the hours soar as they get older. The Net also bests all other media in “how
involved” young people are when using the medium.

“Television is clearly the leader in terms of delivery of advertising and influence
on sale of product. As an advertising medium, the Internet actually lags behind,
and I think that’s reflective of the ineffectiveness of traditional banners
and buttons that Web sites have been notorious for,” says NeoPets Executive
Vice President Rik Kinney, whose site offers a form of product placement rather
than traditional Web ad tactics. Overall, 89 percent of respondents said they
like TV ads that are funny; the number drops to 41 percent for commercials with
famous musicians, 36 percent for famous movie actors and 27 percent for sports
celebrities.

Moderator Comment: How do you think the increase of households with broad band Internet access and the convergence of technologies will affect advertising in the future?

There is no great revelation that kids still look to
television commercials for product information. They are very comfortable, however,
directing their parents to go to Amazon, NetFlix.com, chipsbits.com or other
sites to either research or buy/rent games, movies, music, etc. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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