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Advertising to Kids on Social Media

72% of kids aged 12 to 15 are on some form of social media. And in a society of blurred lines, businesses need to be aware of the limitations when advertising to kids online.

Each platform has their own rules when it comes to brands advertising to youths, however the regulations vary greatly. Despite YouTube only allowing people 18 and over onto the site, it’s easy for a kid to create an account – it’s literally just a click of a button.

Because of these age regulations, YouTube won’t allow businesses to target their ads towards under eighteens, so if that’s your key demographic, that means no Youtube ads for you. 

Things are a little different on Instagram and Facebook – ads can be targeted towards anyone thirteen and over unless the product being advertised has a legal age restriction on it, like alcohol. 

Interestingly though, compared to kids TV advertising, the regulations surrounding social media are more relaxed. However, and this is a big ‘however’, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) still closely regulates the ads shown to kids on social.

Advertising to Kids on Social Media

So does that mean companies with an under 18 audiences have to stick to Facebook and Instagram for advertising? Not necessarily. Getting around age restrictions on social media is very similar to dodging the sex toy regulations; the answer lies in the influencers.

With thousands of child influencers to choose from, businesses can work with the kids to create collaborated content that’s published directly to the influencer’s channel. Many child influencers have worked with McDonalds and ‘role played’ restaurant scenarios using the McDonalds range. The kids are having a great time playing make believe with their siblings and parents, and McDonalds is slyly getting their kids burger range promoted.

Ryan’s World, an enigmatic eight year old with over 22.4 million subscribers, publishes collaborated content that regularly pulls in over fifty million views.

Though there are many cries for social media ads directed at children to have more restrictions, as it stands there are ways to target an underage audience online, it just has to be done above board or companies face the wrath of the ASA. And the numbers show a staggering success rate when working with child influencers to get the job done. 

73% of kids consuming digital content ask their parents to buy them something because an influencer has used it, and 81% of parents will buy a product if an influencer has promoted it. As long as you’re complying with the ASA and platform regulations, working with bite sized influencers can mean big things for your company.


Quality always over quantity

But it’s not all about influencers and ads; a successful online presence initially comes from the quality of content produced.

Mattel’s Barbie has an impressive 1.5 million Instagram followers to her name thanks to her engaging and entertaining content. Her animated Barbie ‘vlogs’ jump on board with hot-topic trends ranging from Youtube Challenges to discussing important topics such as bullying and equality.

They’ve made Barbie more than just a toy, she now represents kids reaching for their dreams and leading a more positive, wholesome life. Creating content kids and parents love is a hard line to walk, but it’s one Mattel have done excellently. 

If you don’t want to get a slap on the wrist and are struggling to promote your brand to the youth market then we’d be happy to help!

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