There is little heard now about ‘Pester Power’ or the ‘Nag Factor’, but these were terms frequently used a few years back by marketers. Happening on a brochure from a very old conference about marketing to children, held in a southern European city, it is clear from this that the message appeared to be ‘how do we persuade kids to buy, or pester their parents to buy for them’. It is refreshing, and probably says a lot for the adoption of CSR by large organisations, that the emphasis now is on child wellbeing; how might we understand children and how might we protect children rather than how do we sell to them. Not that children today are regarded any less as consumers, but they are rightly viewed also as potentially vulnerable consumers with rights. Perhaps the industry has grown up. Certainly many of our clients now have children of their own, something that was not always the case a few years back when anything to do with kids was delegated to junior execs.
My experience is that clients today have a deep interest in and hunger for knowledge about their target market, be it child development, cultural differences, behaviour, or psychology. They are far more sophisticated and sensitive in the way they communicate with families and children, and are eager to learn about children’s world and children’s behaviour. ‘Learn how to maximise pester power and tips for encouraging kids to ask for your product’ (a true quote from that old conference brochure) is unlikely to be seen again.