Worrying signs in the kids’ TV marketplace

Published on: 10th March 2017

Latest BARB data reveals there has been a drop in the number of toy-related campaigns and less impacts.

tv480Data from the BARB Toys & Games category for the first two full months of 2017 shows that there were 12 fewer campaigns listed this year compared with January and February 2016. Perhaps more concerning, impacts for the campaigns that did run were on average nearly 25% lighter than last year.

Although the first two months of the year are not necessarily the highest-profile months for TV advertising, the potential trend for fewer advertisers and less ratings – if it continues – will raise a number of questions. Why are less companies advertising on TV this year? Have those companies diverted the money into other forms of marketing, or is the money being saved to protect margin and profitability?

From a retailer’s perspective, less TV ads and less viewers essentially means less consumer demand will be created, so they will no doubt be watching developments over the coming months with interest.

A toy media stalwart had this to say: “The significant reduction in viewers suggests that the quality of the programming simply isn’t up to scratch. Kids vote with their feet, so if what is on offer isn’t what they want, they will divert quickly to other sources of content. “

Toy World understands that a number of children’s broadcasters are planning to mount their own campaigns aimed at promoting the medium to kids; the interesting question is, where will the campaign run? On TV? Or on channels such as YouTube?

While TV remains a crucial medium for toy advertisers, there are ongoing concerns over the quality and funding of programming in the kids’ space. As the toy media observer remarked: “It’s important for the broadcasters to claw kids back, but they can only do that with quality programming. The best ratings in the kids’ arena tend to come from home-grown shows, but for financial reasons, much of the current programming in the schedules is American-made.”


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