A qualitative approach to unravel young children's advertising literacy for YouTube advertising: in-depth interviews with children and their parents

Femke Loose*, Liselot Hudders, Steffi De Jans, Ini Vanwesenbeeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose This study aims to examine young children's (ages 4 to 7) knowledge and skills (i.e. their advertising literacy) for television (TV) commercials, YouTube pre-roll ads and influencer marketing. Furthermore, this study explores how parental perceptions and practices and children's social abilities influence the development of their advertising literacy. Design/methodology/approach Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with parents (N = 35) and their child(ren) (ages 4 to 7, N = 40). Findings Results revealed preschool children have advertising literacy skills for TV commercials and YouTube pre-roll ads, but not for influencer marketing. These skills are limited to advertising recognition based on perceptual cues and a simple understanding of selling intent. Children's advertising skills evolved according to age but did not relate to social development. Furthermore, advertising literacy was related to parental media mediation: the more restrictive parents were regarding media use, the less advertising literacy their children appeared to have. No moral reflections regarding advertising were found among the preschool children. Originality/value This study fills significant gaps in the literature on young children and advertising. It conducts a qualitative investigation into young children's knowledge of digital advertising formats (pre-roll ads and influencer marketing) and how they differ from traditional advertising (TV commercials). Furthermore, it takes both parental influences and social developmental variables into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-94
Number of pages21
JournalYoung Consumers
Volume24
Issue number1
Early online date28 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Young children
  • Advertising processing
  • Advertising literacy
  • Kidfluencers
  • Parental strategies
  • Preschoolers
  • CONSUMER SOCIALIZATION
  • PERSUASION KNOWLEDGE
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • RECOGNITION
  • MEDIATION
  • MESSAGES
  • MODEL
  • FOOD
  • COPE

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