It all began with Mr. Potato Head. In 1952, he became the first toy advertised on television aimed directly at children which marked the beginning of kids “pester power”.   Fast forward to this holiday season and you’ll find a wide variety of advertisements both online, on TV and in print aimed at kids.  And their Millennial parents are proving to be much more persuadable than Boomers ever were.

Millennials make up 10.8 million households with children and 80% of babies born this year will call a millennial “mom” or “dad.”  And millennial parents purchase more child-specific products than their parents did.  In fact, parents around the globe say their kids have more of an impact on their purchases than they did as kids (2016 Facebook Study).

Combine this with American youth, who are fast learners when it comes to influencing parental purchases, and you have the ideal marketing opportunity.  According to the latest 2015 YouGov Omnibus Parents Survey sent to parents of children ages 6-17, most parents (57%) think of their children as successful persuaders, and young children can be just as persuasive as teens.   Half of children ages 6-17 research products and services before they purchase – more so as they get older (64%).  Kids are using both online and in-store coupons, with both numbers far higher for teens (about 50% for each).

In addition, 69% of parents say their child influences their decision to purchase snacks providing an opportunity for produce marketers.  Wonderful Citrus’ television advertising campaigns “Good Choice Kids” celebrates kids who make good and healthy choices with Halos and resist giving into naughty temptations.

Target rolled out their 2017 holiday campaign, “Together’s the Joy,”  and the entire broadcast campaign focuses on two kids and their dog, Bullseye.  Todd Waterbury, Target’s chief creative officer described the campaign, “They discover a house with the potential to be the perfect home for their family’s holiday celebrations. They rally their friends—toys and humans—to work together to get the house ready for their holiday celebrations.”

The target advertising campaign highlights the fun and joy of the holidays for kids filled with lots of “toy characters” available for purchase. But for their Millennial parents, the holidays are typically a more stressful time especially because they are being nagged by their kids to buy these toys.

Parenting expert Rebecca Chicott suggests that if moms and dads don’t want their kids to nag about Christmas presents, then they should teach them there’s more to the holidays than gifts.

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