Exploratory study on children s perception of tv ad in urban china
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Exploratory study on children ’ s perception of TV ad in urban China. Kara Chan, Hong Kong Baptist University James McNeal, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University. Chinese children as consumers. One-child policy in urban China 1-2-4, one child spoilt by parents and grandparents

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Exploratory study on children s perception of tv ad in urban china l.jpg

Exploratory study on children’s perception of TV ad in urban China

Kara Chan, Hong Kong Baptist University

James McNeal, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University


Chinese children as consumers l.jpg
Chinese children as consumers

  • One-child policy in urban China

  • 1-2-4, one child spoilt by parents and grandparents

  • 290 million children aged 14 or below (US population of 60 million)

  • Estimated that in 1999, 60 urban children spent US$6 billion and influence family purchase worth US$67 billion


Chinese children as consumers3 l.jpg
Chinese children as consumers

  • Index of influence: 68% on 24 routinely purchased family items, compared to 45% in US (McNeal 1992)

  • Main sources of new products: TV, parents, retail outlets, and the mass media


Chinese perspective on child development l.jpg
Chinese perspective on child development

  • Emphasis on moralistic orientation

  • Filial piety

  • Good manners

  • Importance of education


Tv advertising and children l.jpg
TV advertising and children

  • With increase in age, comes

  • Increased understanding of TV commercials

  • Decreased trust in commercials

  • Decreased liking of commercials


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Ad regulation in Mainland China

  • No specific law about children’s advertising

  • China Advertising Association’s guidelines for spiritual civilization (for children’s ad)

    • Should not induce children to pester parents

    • Respectful to seniors and others

    • Should not link superiority with possessions

    • Should not deceive children

    • Child should be save, no smoking/drinking


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Illegal ad activities

  • According to China Consumer Association

  • Snacks claim that increase children’s intelligence

  • Health foods enables students to score full marks in examinations

  • Shoes can enhance growth

  • Promotional gimmicks


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Research objectives

  • Explore Chinese children’s understanding and perceptions of television advertising


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Research method

  • Focus group study

  • Three age groups: 6-8, 9-10, 11-12

  • Conducted at Peking University

  • October 2001


Findings l.jpg

  • Understanding increases with age

    • Commercials give us a break (boy, 6)

    • Commercials tell us about new products (girl, 9)

    • Commercials want people to buy the products. When more people buy the products, a company can expand its business and become a well-known international company (boy, 11)


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What they like and don’t like

  • Younger children like funny and educational ads

  • Older children like funny and meaningful commercials

  • They like jingles

  • Among 22 favorite commercials, 6 are PSAs

  • Dislike slow, long and repetitive commercials

  • Dislike commercials that exaggerate and make false claims, dislike medicine commercials


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Perceived truthfulness

  • Most of them said commercials are partly true

  • Younger children consider an ad not true because of visual presentation not real

    • A commercial shows a man coming out from a bubble. It is impossible. (girl, 7)

  • Older children suggest more ways to check

    • I’ll try the product to see (girl, 11)

    • See if the endorser is credible (boy, 11)


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Advertised vs non-advertised brands

  • Younger children have greater confidence in advertised brands, other children are skeptical

  • Advertised brands are being tested or used. They should be better. (Girl, 7)

  • Only brands of poor quality or those overproduced need to advertise. (Girl, 12)


Conclusion l.jpg

  • Seems to have developmental changes with age

  • Higher awareness of public services advertising

  • Should verify the result with quantitative study

  • Compare liking and disliking of advertising that uses different creative executions