This study demonstrates how children exert a powerful influence on family decisions

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) unveiled a new global study titled “Kid Power”, in the Nickelodeon Upfront presentation in the Philippines today. The research deep dives into the exploration of kids’ psyche around the world, and the influence they exert within their families, delving deeper into how Filipino kids differ from all other kids in the world today. Crossing 4,900 children aged six to 11 from 30 different locations globally, as well as 4,100 of their parents–the analysis shows the dynamics between kids and parents around brand choices and decision making.

Christian Kurz, Viacom Senior VP

“An undercurrent in the relationship and households now means that kids and parents are working together as close groups. This translates to children displaying a surprising influence when it comes to decision-making and choices made in the house, and our study shows the depth of this newfound influence,” states Christian Kurz, Senior VP of Global Consumer Insights at Viacom.

What else has the Kid Power study revealed? The following are actual insights from the research:

Kids now can also run things at home

Today, everyone pitches in to keep family households running – including kids! Nearly seven in 10 parents globally say their kids help at home, and this figure is higher in the Philippines where 80% of kids help out at home. According to Pinoy parents, kids’ most common tasks are cooking/shopping/cleaning (53%) and childcare (44%).

Extended family ties are deeply appreciated in a household

Extended family ties matter – help also comes from outside the home. A feature of family households in 2017 is how much help flows into and out of the household. For many, help comes from family

members who do not live with them (55% Global, 65% PH). And kids play a key role in these households – they are doing their bit at home, are the beneficiaries of help with childcare from grandparents, but they’re also helping relatives outside of their home! More than half (56%) of Filipino kids render help to family members outside the home, a 26% increase from the global average. Strong help in the Pinoy household may also be due to how the family unit tends to be multi-generational, with 41 percent living in the same house as grandparents (13% Global).
Kids today are more curious than ever

Kids around the world increasingly describe themselves as curious. Kids are changing too. They are more likely to describe themselves as “curious” (89% Global, 92% PH). They have more access to information from online, from friends, from TV—all which provides them with more knowledge.

In addition, their access to internet-enabled technology feeds their curiosity and they have with more devices at their disposal for playing games, communication and finding out information. The percentage of kids 9-11 (Global vs PH) who personally own or regularly use these devices:

  Smartphone: 72% vs 88%

  Tablet: 72% vs 84%

  Smart TV: 50% vs 42%

Kids now surprisingly have a say in what gets purchased for the home

Most kids are involved in household purchases – and their leverage increases at age 10. Globally, about three-quarters of kids and parents agree that kids have a role in buying things for the household (74% kids, 77% parents). This trend is also seen in the Philippines where kids and parents are in exact agreement (70%) that they play a vital role in the purchase decisions in the home. Starting at age 10, kids’ opinions hold more sway.

Both male and female kids’ preferences now matter in the purchases

Both genders have similar powers of persuasion in the Philippines. Parents take boys’ and girls’ preferences into account across many areas: clothing/shoe purchases (84% boys, 90% girls), music to play (74% boys, 78% girls), tablet purchases (55% boys, 62% girls), and new cars (27% boys, 20% girls).

The world’s most influential kids

Kids with the most influence: single children, two full-time working parents, in urban areas. The power of kids fitting these descriptions will likely increase because global trends are on their side: families are getting smaller, dual-earner couples are on the rise, and the experience of childhood is increasingly urban.

Things that matter to kids

Categories that kids influence the most: entertainment, groceries, restaurants, electronics. Virtually all kids play a role in decision-making processes at home (98% Global, 97% PH) and parents greatly value their children’s opinions. The largest percentages of kids say they influence decisions around entertainment (97% Global and PH), food/groceries (94% Global, 97% PH), restaurants (84% Global, 89% PH), electronics (82% Global, 85% PH), vacation (76% Global, 72% PH), and telecom/pay TV/SVOD (52% Global, 58% PH).

In the Philippines, the specific areas where their input is most powerful are toys (96%), movies at home (93%), snacks (92%), clothes (87%), watching television shows together (85%), and going to fast food or self-service restaurants together (84%).

Parents still take the lead

For parents–don’t worry, though. If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s that ultimately, the parent is still the boss, anywhere in the world! No matter how much influence kids have, they acknowledge that the parent is the boss of their household (72% Global, 63% PH); and parents of kids (76% Global, 62% PH) say that they or their partner is the boss of their household.

Kids are more powerful than you think

What brands should know about the sum total of the power of kids. With family households becoming more closely connected to each other, and kids participating in decisions, there are new opportunities for brands to engage everyone in the household. Brands should recognise that families are democracies, not dictatorships and that households function with the support of everyone.


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