Advertising to Kids? Here is What You Need to Know About Different Channels

Vandan Jain
7 min readAug 26, 2018


Marketers love kids. Period

According to Statista, Global Ad Spend on Kids is forecast to grow to $4.2 Billion by 2019

In addition to their own consumption requirements, they influence their parent’s buying decisions on automobiles, clothes, family trips and dinner places.

So, what is the behaviour of kids across media platforms and what all opportunities are available for advertisers?

We will attempt to answer these questions — This should help an advertiser employ appropriate strategies to measuring and reaching this audience.


Even in today’s world where kids are inundated with technologies, TV continues to be a great source of entertainment for kids.

According to BARC India, Kids account for 20% of the Total TV Audience of 780 Million.

This makes it the largest channel to reach out to children.

While we now have mobile phones and tablets, they still come late in a child’s life. TV viewing starts early. Children spend more than 4 hours every day watching TV. This time spent comes down gradually as these children start going to school.

TV Viewing Behaviour — Who watches What and When?

Again, going by BARC India’s report of viewing habits of kids in the age group of 2–14, 13% of the impressions are contributed by kids channels i.e. Cartoons and Animations. The rest 87% are contributed by Non-kids channel, primarily General Entertainment and Movies. (Chart 1)

Chart 1: Content Consumption on TV by Kids (Source: BARC)

While it is still unknown which non-kids channels have the maximum kid viewership, when it comes to Kid’s channels, top channels include: Cartoon Network, Disney TV, Hungama, Nickelodeon, Pogo and Discovery Kids. (You can get exact viewership details of these channels from The Media Ant)

Not all segments are created equal. Children, who are still in the age group of 2–8 Years, give preference to Kids’ programs. However, as the child grows up and gains more control of the remote and personal viewing habits, he starts watching more of entertainment and movies.

This fact is underscored by the number of impressions across different time bands. (Chart 2)

Chart 2: TV Viewing — By Day Parts (Source: BARC)

Viewership of Kids channels is mainly during school time after which it starts dropping. However, the viewership for Non-kids channels starts increasing post school timing.

Top Players

Given the niche of the content, there are only a few players which dominate this space: Cartoon Network, Pogo, Disney, Hungama and Nick. Some programs which children love are Motu Patlu, Shin Chan, Tom and Jerry etc.


Over the past few years, the commercialization aspect of schools has gone up. Companies realize the power of the captive and uncluttered environment provided by schools for promotion of their brand and products.

What are the opportunities available?

Schools provide a multitude of commercial touch-points to advertisers:


Companies can conduct various events for students which are directly or indirectly related to education and/or extra-curricular activities. This would help them to promote their brand name in a value-generation environment.

Some of the popular formats of these events could be: Quizzes, Aptitude Tests, Spell Bee, Sports Tournament, Art Events, Music and Dance Competitions etc. Top publishers like The Times of India and The Hindu already conduct such events throughout the Year. Advertisers can partner with them to promote their brand alongside.

While these are general events in which integrations can be done through branding, companies can also create immersive experiences for children to develop positive brand associations.

Some examples of this can be found on Krayon’s and Victor Tango’s website. Top brands across F&B, Personal Care, Stationery, Technology etc. are using this a platform to develop an engaging student connect.

In-school Newspaper:

Students get a customized newspaper from top media publishers like The Times of India every day. It has also been observed that schools have a free period at the start of the day for students to read the paper, which means,40- 45 mins of dedicated time with the paper.

Advertisers can use this as an opportunity to promote their brands through insertions in these newspapers.

In-school Stalls:

This is an option which is restricted primarily to F&B companies. Most schools today have a cafeteria from where students can purchase beverages and fast food. Brands can get into special deals with schools to get exclusive rights to sell their products through these cafeterias.

This, not only provides an exclusive space to reach out to children but also directly contributes to product sales for the brands.


Advertisers also have other non-popular, but highly effective options available. These are:

Other than this, schools can out-rightly provide popular space (Classrooms, school buses, cafeterias etc.) to brands for their advertisements.


More kids across all age groups are going online than ever before. This, along with the benefits provided to the advertisers by internet, makes digital an extremely desirable platform. Some of these benefits are:

  • Today’s kids are digital natives, having grown up with internet as a routine part of their life
  • High shareability of content on digital means that ads have great potential to go viral
  • Companies can create interactive and engaging experiences for children thereby establishing brand association at such a young age
  • Most importantly, digital is the only channel which allows companies to draw children through personalized advertising

What kind of reach are we looking at?

Source: Facebook Business

If we go by Facebook’s data, there are 4.3 Crore kids online.

Considering Facebook can only be accessed by kids above the age group of 13, this 4.3 Crores should easily become more than 6–7 Crores if we add kids below the 13 Years or more age group who are accessing YouTube or Google with/without their parents.

Digital Media Consumption Behaviour of Kids

Mobile, Tablet or Computer?

According to Nielsen, younger kids in the age group of 3–8 Years go online either through tablets or though their parent’s mobile devices.

As they grow older and enter the double digit age bracket, they get their own smart phones and use that primarily for digital media consumption.

Content Consumed

The media consumption for kids starts with playing games and watching cartoon and funny videos.

However, as they grow up, they start becoming independent, mature and tech-savvy kids, who move on from passive content consumption to active participation. Further, they undergo behavioural changes and start seeking social gratification for their actions.

This is reflected in their media usage:

  • Video content consumption changes from Cartoons and Funny Videos to Music and Informational Videos
  • Majority start building a Social Media profile (Exploring all platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat)
  • Active web browsing to find content relevant to their interest levels

A key part which remains consistent across all age groups is Playing Games — Preferred by all age groups.

Just a thought: It would be interesting to analyse the types of games liked by children in different age groups. (Soon to be covered in another post)


While above 3 are the most considered options when it comes to children advertisement, there are other options too which can be considered:

  • Product Placement: It is increasing in popularity and becoming more acceptable as a marketing channel. Those who don’t know what product placement is, it is a backdrop ‘prop” or a brand integration in the movie.

You can find some examples of product placement here

  • Magazines: Given the popularity, these are another great source of advertising. There are some popular kids magazines like Champak and Billoo which have amassed lakhs of reach across India.

You can check the exact circulation and readership status of all magazines from here

  • Toys and Products with Brand Logos — This has been a recent trend followed by brands to develop an early relationship with the child. If you were a Pokemon fan, you would remember the tazoos that came in Uncle Chips — That was a classic example of this technique. Another example of this would be toys coming along with Kinder Joy.


Kids, as an audience, account for great opportunity, both as indirect buyers as well as influencers. With different platforms having different set of advantages and reach, marketers need to develop an integrated reach plan which can engage with these kids both on entertainment (TV, Internet and Movies) as well as captive channels (In-school, Magazines).

Finally, once the channel is decided, brands need to think thoroughly about the experience they want to create for these kids rather than only about the message they want to communicate.

Have I missed any channel? What channels do you prefer to reach out to kids?

Please add your thoughts by commenting below or messaging me on LinkedIn