Effects of using Attractive peer models in Advertising for Children age 8- 12 years in USA

Effects of using Attractive peer models in Advertising for Children age 8- 12 years in USA.

Priya Sharma

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International University of Applied Sciences, Bad Honnef
Bachelor in International Management

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List of contents
1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3
2. Child Advertisement…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3
3. Advertisement on peer models……………………………………………………………………………………………4
4. Culture…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4
4.1 Definition of Culture………………………………………………………………………………………………………4
4.2 Culture aspects on Advertising effectiveness and consumer behaviour…………………………5
5. Advertising effectiveness……………………………………………………………………………………………………..6
6. Children’s cognitive Development………………………………………………………………………………………..7
7. Effects of using attractive peer models…………………………………………………………………………………8
8. Research Gap……………………..………………………………………………………………………………………………..9
9. References………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….11

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From an early age, youngsters broaden the knowledge, skills, and values they may use in making the acquisition decisions now and in future. Children depend on their parents and peers as well on advertising to learn how to act as a consumer. Commercial appeals to children have become a commonplace for the marketers due to the widespread endorsement of television. Majority of children in US have televisions in their bedrooms. Children Advertising associates with the television spots that feature toys and food products rich in fat and other essential nutrients for children. The new advertising techniques using attractive peer models has led to the marketing techniques which involve enclosing products in films, online and in video games. In this literature review, we will study about the influence of using attractive peer models in Advertising and the Advertising effectiveness for the children age 8-12 years. This literature review focuses on Child Advertisement, Advertisements on peer models, Advertising Effectiveness, the influence of Children’s cognitive development on advertising, effects of using attractive models in advertising. Does the moderately attractive (vs. less attractive) models increase attitudes and buying intentions for 8 years old and above? The topic also covers whether the physical attractiveness stereotype applies to children? Whether children’s self-perception towards an ad are influenced by attractiveness of an advertising model?
Children has been targeted for decades for two trends that have increased the marketer’s interest in child consumers. First, children’s influence their parents to purchase product for them has increased over time. Second, it has become easy for the marketers to focus on smaller audience from specific channels available on televisions for children creating media space just for children’s products. In short, we can say that children grow up in a highly practical marketing environment that influences their preferences and behaviours. Before starting it is important to know the definition of Advertising:
“Advertising is now part of the interstitial tissue of daily life on this planet. Yet, the effects of advertising are often anything but clear or easily detected. In fact, the effects of advertising run the gamut from obvious to perplexing and contradictory. On the one hand, most people, most of the time, don’t care much about ads.” (Waterson, 1984).

Child advertisement
Nowadays, marketers focus on children advertisement meaning advertising children’s products showing peer models of their age. This makes children aware about the products by seeing advertisements repeatedly and exerting pressure on their parents to buy the product. In short, we could say that Child advertisements refers to the act of advertising children’s products or services by using attractive peer models to directly reach child audience. Children’s products include the food products, sweets, clothes, shoes, and games. On average children in US spend 28 hours a week watching TV and are exposed to over 20,000 commercials per year. “Marketing firms and advertisers are looking to a younger demographic, increasingly targeting tweens and even younger children. And these kids have huge control over the flow of parents’; spending, statistics show—8- to 12-year-olds spend $30 billion of their own money each year and influence another $150 billion of their parents’; spending” (William M. O’Barr, 2008).
Children are influenced by what they see in the commercials and do not have enough knowledge of the commercials. Therefore, children do not understand the difference between the reality and the fantasy. They believe that the products advertised in the advertisements will be exactly same as they
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appear on screen. Children do not understand the message behind the advertisements but instead they pressurize their parents to buy the product. This is also called pester power meaning children pester their parents to buy the products for them which they want. “There is a popular assumption that the increased influence and exposure of television advertising to children ultimately undermines the authority of parents who eventually succumb to their children’s demands. It has been suggested that two-thirds of children’s pestering results in a purchase” (Procter and Richards, 2002). Marketers target kids by advertising through social media example, television, Facebook, YouTube etc. and Word of mouth.

Advertisement on peer models
Peer modelling refers to teach school aged children to help learn the social skills and help them to know products for them keeping them up to date with the new modern trends and demands. A peer model is a child who shows good social behaviours and is interested in teaching those skills to other children. “Celebrities frequently endorse products, brands, political candidates, or health campaigns. Celebrity endorsements are a well-established marketing strategy used since the late nineteenth century. Current estimates indicate every fourth to fifth advertisement incorporates this strategy, though this varies across countries.” (Knoll and Matthes, 2016). “Physical beauty has long been celebrated and appreciated by society. It is useful to note that most of the research on physical attractiveness has been concentrated on facial attractiveness.” (Attractive Models, 2013)
Children appraise others on number of aspects for example, physical countenance such as appearance and allure. Commercials with attractive models are positive and have power to influence people’s mind. This positivity is transferred to consumers’ attitudes toward the brand or product, and result in greater purchase intentions. Peer Advertising is considered as a strongest trait for most of the businesses or brands in this modern era. The job of every marketer is to create content that resonates with people and is worth sharing in like-minded networks.

Definition of Culture
“Culture is derived from a Latin word “Cultura” meaning “cultivation” and was first used by
Romans; but Germans practiced sociological meanings of culture two hundred years ago
under the title of “kulturges-chichte” (Burke, 2008).
“Culture determines what is acceptable or unacceptable, important or unimportant, right or wrong, workable or unworkable. It encompasses all learned and shared, explicit or tacit, assumptions, beliefs, knowledge, norms, and values, as well as attitudes, behaviour, dress, and language.” (BusinessDictionary.com, 2018).
“Latorre defines “Culture” as the “teaching of unusual, false or trivial aspects of lifestyle chosen mainly because they appear different from North American ways and are thereby assumed, often mistakenly, to be more interesting to the foreign language learner” (673). Another form of Culture is what we associate with famous writers from a country, when they address the values of their society. Finally, the third type of Culture to which Latorre refers is that dimension of the target language that even
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native speakers of that target language don’t necessarily know or do.” (Latorre, 1985).

Culture aspects on advertisement effectiveness and consumer behaviour
When we talk about the culture, we connect it to the behaviour of the people, their moral values and human relations which is denoted by the action and attitudes of the society or certain groups. Society isn’t simply made toward the public arena that makes us trust people’s behaviour, do assignments alternately, perform rituals in the same path. It is conquered by the thought that collective human minds created culture. One can distinguish the cultures from each other based on beliefs and values. Different cultures have different morals which affects the marketing behaviour and impulse the business organisations to promote their products and services according to the culture. De Mooij defines the process involved in consumer behaviour as “the study of process involved when people select, purchase, use, dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires” (DeMooij2010: P 93). The below diagram shows the steps involved in the consumer behaviour process:

Figure 1 Cross Cultural Consumer Behaviour Model
Source: (De Mooij ; Hofstede 2010, p 86)

Everyone in the society holds the concept of “Self”, which gives us a complete picture about our current personality and the personality we want to be. Culture plays a vital role in the outset of consumer self. Individualistic cultures distinguish the concept of self as “autonomous entity” and each person holds individual set of qualities, attributes or processes and behaviours, developed on basis of the composition of these attributes. For example, youngsters in individualistic cultures developed their identity to function independently in the society apart from their families, whereas in collectivist cultures the identity is developed by reassuring dependency and the complex relationships in the society.
“In collectivist culture the concept of self is considered as “interdependent entity” developed and encompassed by social relations, so in collectivist cultures there are more “familial self”, “we” self. In masculine culture the concept of self is enhanced as “self-esteem” whereas in feminine culture the Priya Sharma 5
concept of self is modesty” (De Mooij: 2010). People behave in the society differently and they are unique in their own way like autonomy and sociability. In individualistic cultures people behave independently with the internal attributes (motives, abilities, values, and traits) which let them behave in a certain way. The social process routing the consumer behaviours contains motivation and emotions bounded by cultures and variation which helps in development of advertisement appeals across cultures. Psychologists claim that Emotions (anger, fear, sadness, joy) are universal, however the use of emotions, meanings and power of the emotions vary according to precise culture. Mental process has also tremendous impact on branding and communication, how human beings think, learn, or speak are mental/cognitive techniques. Abstract versus concrete thinking, categorization and information processing are the three processes that are involved in cross cultural studies. Member of individualistic culture are more motivated towards abstract brand features, whereas the collectivist culture is motivated towards concrete features of the product. The second step in the process i.e. categorization is about the classification of the people and the objects based on cultures. Individualistic cultures are characterised based on rules and regulations whereas collectivistic cultures are characterised based on relations among objects. In high power distant and collectivist cultures people generally tend to gain information through implicit communication and prefer to buy product on basis of trust on company and feelings whereas people in low power distant and individualistic culture tend to gain information via friends and media for purchasing. “Information flow automatically and frequently caused by social interaction and knowledge is acquired unconsciously “well informed” is co related with low context, individualism and low power distant culture” (Hofstede, De Mooij: 2010)

Advertising effectiveness
The term effectiveness involves demonstrating that some effect has occurred. It shifts emphasis from descriptive approaches to casual ones (whatever casual means) (Wells, 2014).
If viewers believe a model in an ad possesses a physical characteristic (e.g., muscularity) that indicates the model has improved the appearance because of product use (e.g., exercise equipment), viewers may believe the associated product is responsible for the model’s appearance (Lynch and Schuler 1994). Kamins and Gupta (1994) also show that congruence between the spokesperson and the product advertised enhances product evaluations. Ads are trying to influence the way you believe you studied or alternate your thoughts approximately something. And advertisers usually goal to make their products appearance precise, possibly even better than they surely are.
“The television programs generate physiological arousal and that programming induced arousal can be used as a mediating variable to explain the impact of programming on the ensuing commercials. It systematically explores how television programming induced arousal can influence the learning of, and attitudes and behaviour toward, the commercials embedded in the programs” (Singh and Churchill,1987).
The reason of advertising lies in telling consumers the information of the target services or products,
and repeatedly broadcasting of advertising is for strengthening the audience to have an effect of
the advertisement. The reason of repeatedly broadcasting of advertising consists of reminding the
audience not to forget about the preceding information, strengthening the preceding information, and breaking out the target markets to the facts in their coronary heart.
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Advertisers consequently use exclusive processes and routes to influence clients and go beyond the traditional channels to transfer the information to consumers and make consumers have high-quality judgment to the information.
As advertising and media have a long-lasting impression and are considered as a strong socializing agent, it might not affect children when they watch such advertisements, but it might affect them in the future. Thus, it is very important for the parents to teach their children the main motive of the advertisements they see on daily basis and make them understand the value of the money. As money is the need of every human being despite the age, children should know how to save the money for better use in future. This would not only help them to develop their mind but will also help them to develop the skills to utilize and save something we need.

Influence of Children’s cognitive development on processing advertisement
The ability to create knowledge about brands, become ad literate, understand the selling intention of advertising, and so forth increases with age. Although young children are frequently targeted by advertisers, children’s knowledge about advertising and their capabilities of critically evaluating advertising content is not completely developed. Children’s attraction towards television increases with age. Children react to advertisement in different manners. It can be influenced by many factors, such as grownups, intervention of parents, media literacy and experiences. Such determinants play a key role in understanding television advertisement and process its content. In the cognitive development children are passing through the stages helping them to distinguish advertising from program content, recalling and awareness of advertising, recognizing, and understanding persuasive intent of advertising.
“Executive functions develop from young childhood through adolescence and are necessary for successful social and cognitive functioning. Several aspects of executive functions develop in the preschool years, such as planning, error evaluation, attention, and goal setting. However, one area that has not been thoroughly investigated in young children is the development of cognitive flexibility” (Dibbets and Jolles, 2006).
Children go through a series of developmental stages and by doing so, they learn how to react to advertising and learn skills to be able to grasp the selling and persuasive intent of commercials. How kids react to advertising can depend on several matters, consisting of their age, what they know or have skilled, and how much possibility they’ve had to query and speak about what they see in the media. Very young children are restrained processors and are unable to correctly differentiate between media content material and advertising, nor they understand the persuasive motive of marketing. The age of seven to eight years is a tipping factor for children’s cognitive improvement. At this age, they normally start to exhibit increasingly more cognitive rather than perceptual alternatives. that is intently associated with their defences to advertising. From this age on, Children usually begin to have knowledge about the persuasive and selling motive of advertising. However, seven- to eight-year olds are nonetheless in the beginning phase of turning into sceptical toward advertisements and expertise that advertising is every now and then biased and not telling the whole reality.

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Figure 2

Different Stages of the Child Development

Effects of using attractive models in advertising
As discussed before, attractive people are positive and generate more compliance. Marketers use this technique to generate goodwill for their goods. The impact of appealing models on advertising effectiveness appears to retain better when there is a fit among the attractiveness of the model and the product being advertised for. When attractive models are used as an advertising argument, the marketed product ought to have a few relations to beauty or must be a product used to beautify one’s attractiveness before the use of an attractive model generates advertising effectiveness. “The term self-concept is a general term used to refer to how someone thinks about, evaluates, or perceives themselves. To be aware of oneself is to have a concept of oneself” (Simplypsychology.org, 2018).
Four factors influence self-perception i.e., Reaction of others, Comparison with others, Social roles, and Identification. For children, research indicates inconsistent results. When children are asked to evaluate themselves with comparison with the model in the ad, disastrous effects of looking at attractive models are observed for children of 8 years or older. Marketers use attractive models for the advertisement of their products which in turn has a negative effect on how children think after seeing the ad. Children then think they have look like those attractive models to receive acceptance in the society. From chocolates to clothing, children’s perception is negatively changes through ads. This not only affects young children but also affects teenagers. Young girls have major body issues because of the images they see in TV’s, magazines etc. They think if they are not lean or beautiful or fair, they are unpopular and will not make any friends. The fact is no matter where one looks, there are always pretty females or good-looking males with perfect bodies and faces marketing the products. The desire to look beautiful has directed children to eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia etc. These are dangerous to children and can even cause death in some cases. This creates the wrong influence on young minds that they may no longer be able to stay a lifestyle that doesn’t include certain material things. Both the genders start comparing themselves with the models in the ads, as a result both the genders feels lack of confidence and insure. This comparison results Priya Sharma 8
In unhealthy lifestyle which is the most common problem being faced now-a-days. A young child who is as young as three years comprehend the endorsing cause of the advertiser, it isn’t till eight years of age that youngsters start to apprehend the selling reason of an advertisement, prior to that it is just part of their entertainment. “Children’s pestering their parents for a product they have just seen advertised on TV is often taken as evidence of immediate effects. The previous studies deny any such connection, arguing that playmates are the principal influence on children’s wants and desires” (Bergler, 1999). Parents sometimes are unable to say no to the increasing demands of their children which results in children getting used to that kind of lifestyle that is shown on television or other social media. Many advertisements also include some dangerous stunts which can only be performed by experts. Even though the advertisements broadcast the statutory warnings with the ad, kids often try and imitate the stunts at home, with deadly results to be like the models shown in the ads. Younger kids trust that the ads always display the truth as they have a constrained knowledge of commercial markets, and are unaware of the fact that these commercials are just for profits. The effect of advertising relies upon various factors like for how long children watch the TV, the age, behaviour, the experience, and their conversations about those advertisements with their parents. Since Children lack in understanding the persuasive intent of ads and with lack of knowledge they are more susceptible and show higher trust in advertisements.

Research Gap
To conclude the recent literature review, the advertising effectiveness, and the effects of advertising on both the genders in US will be compared. Since the question “The effects of using attractive peer models in advertising on children and the advertising effectiveness” cannot be answered about the reviews done before, a gap in the research can be identified.
As discussed earlier in the literature review, attractive models in advertising in children and advertising effectiveness exists. According to the literature, children’s cognitive development in advertising to children in US, the effects of using attractive peer models, and the advertising effectiveness is anticipated. About the information forecasted, there are positive along with the negative effects on children of 8-12 years, when it comes to advertise using attractive peer models and marketers should be very careful and think before advertising considering culture aspects.
It is not clearly stated in the existing reviews if it affects that using attractive models affects the children’s self-value. According to the review, the detrimental effect of attractive models on self-perception and self-esteem of females are more than the males. “The guidelines developed by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureau state that presentations or claims of a product must not delude children about performance of the product, spoil a child’s imagination or create absurd expectations, that safe situations should be used to show products and the ads must not encourage inappropriate behaviour for children. The guidelines also lead the marketers to avoid ads that motivate the children to pressurize their parents to buy the product or mislead children that ownership of the product will make peers accept them.” (Sood A, 2018). Clearly, advertising represents “large business” within the US and might have a tremendous impact on youngsters. Everything in this world has positive and negative sides and so does advertising with attractive models have as well. According to the study, there are more negative effects than positive which affect children in person which in turn changes their self- perception to see the world.

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It is truly said that the beauty is in fact in the eye of the beholder. However, attractive models are undoubtedly one of the beneficial advertising approach, but it is probably difficult to assess what precisely is attractiveness for kids. Concerning advertising to children, there is an agreement that even if promotional messages are understood by children, marketers must take special attention in advertising to them as they spend a lot of time viewing TV and online.
However, Advertising to children will remain a controversial topic. Recognizing that advertising may play an essential part in teaching a child, information must be communicated in a sincere, correct, and true way with full acknowledgement by means of the advertiser that the child may analyse practices from advertising that can influence his or her health and well-being. The factors that determine the process of perception about the product are mass media, including television advertising. The age and other stimuli, as family members or peers also effects human perceptions. Children build their identification with products in very equivalent way to adults. The detrimental effect of attractive models on self-perceptions and self-esteem of females has been found in some samples researching children of nine and older but another sample found a positive relationship between the presence of moderately attractive models and 8- to 9-year-old girls’ satisfaction with their own physical appearance, and a negative relationship between the presence of moderately attractive models and 8- to 9-year-old boys’ general self-worth. Since, neither a descriptive analysis, nor a comparison analysis is done on the children of different ages, we cannot really distinguish between the positive and negative effects of advertisements to children.
Future studies need to be done on this topic to answer following questions:
1. To consider manipulating attractiveness by exposing children to a series of models, instead of using only one attractive model and one unattractive model and to consider different products, as product preferences and previous product knowledge did have effects on the effectiveness of using attractive advertising models about purchase intention?
2. Does attractive models and advertising have different positive and negative effects for the teenagers (13-19 years)? What are the sources which motivates the children to ask for that product?
3. As the need of children’s products have become an ongoing demand, does this affects the parents? What are the parent’s response towards child’s influence and their effect?
4. How does advertising affect the children in Europe as compared to US?

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