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The Impact of Advertisement on Buying Behavior of the Children | OMICS International
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Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review
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The Impact of Advertisement on Buying Behavior of the Children

Malik Shahzad Shabbir*

International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Corresponding Author:
Malik Shahzad Shabbir
International Islamic University
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: 0343-6656850
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: December 16, 2015; Accepted Date: March 03, 2016; Published Date: March 10, 2016

Citation: Shabbir MS (2016) The Impact of Advertisement on Buying Behavior of the Children. Arabian J Bus Manag Review 6:220. 

Copyright: © 2016 Shabbir MS. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of media on buying behavior of children in Pakistan. However, comparatively we have analyzed how the parents and peers play their roles in making buying decision of their children. We have used primary data to find out consumer socialization and factors that affect children influencing and final decision making in doing any purchase. Our dependent variable was child buying behavior which is dependent upon media, parents and peers. In primary data we have conducted questionnaire from different schools of top level to low level to get diversified responses. Different variables have shown different results which effect the advertisement, parents and friends who act as socialization agent and evaluation source in making brand perception and final decision in making purchase of food product. We have made bar charts to make the responses from our respondents more explanatory and easy for analysis. To prove our hypothesis, we analysis correlations, frequency tables, cross-tabs and chi-square through SPSS software.


Advertisement; Consumer socialization; Buying behavior; Children evaluation


During the last two decades, it has been seen a growing awareness that children have enormous market potential in three different markets-spending their own pocket money to satisfy their own needs, an influential market attracting a substantial amount of parental expenditure and a future market that eventually will constitute all the customers for a firm’s services. Specifically, we have analyzed the purchasing pattern of children in buying noodles, chocolates and biscuits / snacks. Electronic media such as Television can be a powerful entertainment and education tool for children, which give the right programming. As well as the advertisement on the TV channels also give the awareness to the children so that children have their own division in the consumer segments. Children are coming into the consumerism at younger and younger ages and number of experiences and influences give shapes to their consumer habits and their behavior. There are many factors that interplay to affect their decision making and behavior pattern. According to Glast and White proposed cause and effect relationship and found strong correlation between TVs advertisement exposure of children and their purchase preferences as well as amount of purchase while shopping with their parents.

Parents have influence on their children while direct communication with them and play a vital role in modifying the effects of other socialization agents like mass media and peers group [1,2]. Parents are the important source in providing information about school related products whereas if we talk about personal care products than TV as well as parents are dominant in children guidance. In terms of relative importance of different information source, Television, Parents, Store visits and friends were ranked as most important source of information [3] Parents are perceived as most rational and trustworthy information source for the children.

While talking about the marketing mix now a days marketers main focus is on designing persuasive messages/commercials to attract the target customers. Impact of marketing activities (specially adverting) on children is very important and sensitive issue for the society and marketers. Previous Studies showed interesting findings that advertisement not just impact negatively to children memory and behavior but also positively. It enhances the knowledge of children and the advertisement targeted to children are not effective, for effective positioning of children related products marketers should target the parents and include ethical orientation along with environmental knowledge to influence the buying behavior of parents.

Some of studies highlights the role of social influence in consumer behavior and reveals the relationships between susceptibility to reference group influence and other variables. Many children buy products through inspiration and influence of their peers. Bourne suggested that reference groups influence a great deal of consumer decisions, nevertheless, the type and strength of this influential power might vary from product to product. According to him, reference groups consist of people that are concerned as a reference point by the individual when making a decision, to whom their want to be similar, and with whom he/she shares common values.

Result of two method study on snacks and sugar foods revealed the effectively design message in TV advertisement can generate action and effectively persuasion in children for purchase of the product. Children’s age is one of the major factors that depicts the effectiveness and persuasiveness of TV advertisement in children’s behavior. Younger children are less likely to differentiate among TV program and commercial so they pay more attention to TV ads as compared to older once [4]. The consumer in this era is in target of massive media attacks effectively planned and enlighten with glamour as per the emotions, needs, wants and demands of the consumers. Marketers and companies are spending billions of dollars on consumer research and to know the important factors involved in consumer decision making.

Literature Review

Despite an increase the spending power and actual purchases of children over the past few decades [3] they have proven to be an elusive market for advertisers and marketers. They are the segment whose liking and disliking are most dynamic (Public Broadcasting Service). McNeal, [3] proposed in his research that as children finds security in attaching themselves with objects like pillow, blanket, brand, celebrity their curiosity has not yet been suppressed, so they do turn their attention to other objects, like other brands. A brand serves to add dimensions to a product to differentiate it in some way or other products designed to satisfy the same need. The strengths of the brand is measured by the price differential consumers are willing to pay over other products in the same category. Their research suggests that as early as six months of age, babies are forming mental images of corporate logos and mascots [3].

Children Socialization

The most widely used definition of consumer socialization is the one given by Ward [5]:

“It is the process by which young people acquire skills, knowledge and attitude relevant to their functioning in the marketplace”. (Kaur and Singh) children in family purchase decision.

Integrating Piaget’s stage theory of intellectual development and Selman’s stage theory of social development, John proposes a model of consumer socialization in which children learning consumers are theorized to undergo a developmental process in three stages. Its start from perceptual stage to analytical stage and followed by reflective stage. Parent role is considered to be most instrumental in teaching their children consumer behavior [1,6].

Peers also have great effect on children socialization like parents. For the learning of the expressive elements of consumption in children peers play vital role as a socialization agent. Influence of the peers socialization increase with the age as the parental influence wanes [5]. Children plays different role in the purchasing decision as it is stated in; children constitute three different markets: the primary, influencer, and the future market. Such products are simply children products for these product children play the primary role. For other products such as one used by entire family unit they may influence purchases made by the parents. For other products parents buying pattern are affected by the prior knowledge of the tastes and preferences of their children. It is also observed that children are socialize by their parents to act as rational consumers [7]. Influence of children varies by product, product subdecision, stage of the decision-making process, nature of socializing of the children, families, gender role, orientation, and demographic features such as age and gender and also by respondent selected for investigation of relative influence [8]. After the parents, the resource that is considered to be the most effective socialization agent for the children is mass media [1].

Children Influence in Family Decision Making

Examining the family decision making process, Szybillo and Sosanie [9], suggested that in all three decision stages (problem recognition, search for information and final selection) all members of family (husband, wife, and children) are greatly involved. Some other researcher purposed a research that children exert considerable influence while problem recognition and search stages and least influence while final decision making [8,10] for family activities such as choice of vacations and restaurants and consumer durables.

However, we find controversy through some researchers, Holdert and Antonides [11] reported that children have more influence in the later stages of decision making: that is, at the time of evaluation of alternative, choice, and purchase for four purchases (holidays, adult and child clothing, and sandwich filling). Recently, Belch et al., [8] proposed that as teenagers more frequent users of the Internet, they have greater access and easy approach to market information and product information which could impact their influence in family decision making. They found that teens who perceive themselves to be ‘Internet mavens’ (individuals who are relied upon more for providing information from the virtual marketplace), as well as their parents, believed that teens were more influential in all stages-initiation and information search, and alternative evaluation and final decision stages. However, their influence was higher in the initiation and information search stages as compared to alternative evaluation and final decision stages.

Advertisers target at children because of their high pocket monies, their early recognition and loyalty to certain brands and a conventional wisdom that young adults buy products on impulse [12]. Many parents and critics fear that children are easily deceptive by the commercials because the thing they lack is necessary cognitive skills to process highly persuasive message and consequently, they are not able to make appropriate judgments about them [13]. There are educators and researchers who are have tried and keen to design programs that will make children able to about the intent of advertisements and also help children to construct defenses and arguments from commercial messages [14].

Print Media Influence on Children

Some Spin-offs from popular adult titles such as Sports Illustrated for Kids have proved highly successful in the USA and the number of magazines for sale that target younger children is also high and increasing in Australia. For example, K-Zone is published by Pacific magazines and was launched in 2000. Aimed at children aged 6–13 years, predominantly boys, it claims to provide ‘the latest in toys, gaming, anime, sport and entertainment’ [15]. K-Zone’s sister magazine is Total Girl, aimed primarily at 8 to 11 year old girls. Data from the UK Youth Target Group Index media usage surveys show a change in age distribution and magazine readership over time: for example, in 1994, 50% of the readership of The Beano (the leading UK boys’ title) was aged 7–10 years, while in 2001 this had increased to 75%. Commentaries on younger children and print materials, reading ability; for example, encouraging, for preschooler’s, the use of magazines that employ familiar television characters, Others elaborate on their benefits as valuable classroom learning tools that are visually appealing and written at a wide range of reading levels. Importantly, UK findings indicate that parents see children’s magazines as trustworthy and educational.

The website for (Australian Consolidated Press), producers of ( Disney Adventures), a magazine with a primary target audience of boys and girls aged between 9 and 13 years, states that: ‘Disney Adventures is a magazine. Parents trusty Readers have proven to be responsive to advertising campaigns that have been specifically designed to fit in with the editorial content i.e., competitions, giveaways. We have seen record numbers of responses for these promotions-this is the essence of our magazine’.

Children Respond to Commercials / Advertising

Piaget in gave a theory of cognitive development that studies about children and due to the consistent age differences in the way children understand and respond to commercials) [16,17]. In Piaget’s theory, children pass through four stages of cognitive development: (1) sensor motor thought from ages 0 to 2; (2) preoperational thought from ages 2 to 7; (3) concrete operational thought from ages 7 to 12; and (4) formal operational thought after age 12. During sensorimotor thought, children represent information with their bodies. During preoperational thought, children begin to use symbols and representational thinking. Because of the cognitive limitations that are age-related, children have difficulty in distinguishing fantasy from reality and understanding commercial intent [18]. During concrete operational thought, children begin to think logically, but concrete experiences continue to set boundaries on their thinking Shahzad and Rehman [7]. At this stage, children are able to understand the difference between commercials and programs and between imaginary and real experience. Finally, children at formal operational thought exhibit abstract thinking and are able to differentiate between image portrayed in advertising and reality.

Previous study findings indicate that comprehension of commercial intent is related to age. Children younger than 7 or 8 years old show little awareness of what a commercial is and its persuasive intent and appear unable to deal with commercials appropriately [19,20]. As mentioned earlier that understanding of purpose of advertising improves with age, belief in the credibility of advertising tends to decline over age. With comprehension of persuasive intent comes skepticism and disbelieve about the advertised product [5]. Distrust begins to emerge by the second grade and is evident for most sixth graders. Ward, Wackman and Wartella reported that the percentage of kindergartners, third graders, and sixth graders believing that advertising never or only sometimes tells the truth increased from 50 percent to 88 percent to 97 percent, respectively. Children also get useful of analyzing ads and distinguish between truthful and untruthful ads. For example, kindergartners could not state the reason for why commercials lie while older children connected lying to persuasive.

A survey was done at Honk Kong indicated that majority television advertising are having adverse effect on television which results in leading children towards pestering their parents [21]. Despite their skepticism, children had favorable attitudes towards certain type of commercials. A survey on children aged 9 to 10 in Belfast, Northern Ireland found that two-thirds believed that advertisers only sometimes tell the truth. Despite the presence of doubt toward commercials, most of the children said they enjoyed particular commercials, especially the ones featuring humor.

Role of Communication in Socialization and Decision Making

Children influence in family decision making can also reveal the fact that how good communication is there between children and other family members. McLeod and Chaffee developed a typology that characterizes parent-child communication structure. The typology, which has been used for more than two decades, classifies families as having socio-oriented communication (emphasizing parental control) or concept-oriented communication (in which children are encouraged and open to develop their own views and ideas and express their views more openly). Keeping in view the presence or absence of these two communication patterns, they classify families into four types: laissezfaire, protective, pluralistic, and consensual families. Laissez-faire families emphasize neither of the two dimensions and there is little or no communication between parents and children. Protective families emphasize the socio-orientation dimension, stressing obedience and social harmony, and are not concerned with conceptual matters and no concept of sharing ideas and views by the children. Conversely, pluralistic families tend to stress the concept-orientation dimension, with an emphasis being placed on mutuality of respect and interests and children are open to say their opinion and defend their views. Finally, consensual families stress both the socio and concept orientation dimensions, with the result that children are encouraged to explore the world about them, but to do so the thing they must kept in mind that they do not without disrupt the family’s established social harmony.

The study by Moschis et al., [1] revealed that “pluralistic” adolescents show negative attitude towards the marketplace, have strong preferences for brands, more likely to have greater purchasing independence, and hold egalitarian sex-role perceptions with syncratic family role structures. This shows that they are quite competent consumers for that age. “Protective” adolescents were considered similar to their “pluralistic” opposed and varied only under conditions of a husbanddominant role structure. Foxman, Tansuhaj, and Ekstrom investigated the perception of adolescents’ decision influence, in general, and for specific products.

Demographic Effects in Children Decision Making

According to a research, influence of children is more in larger and higher income families, as children get older, their influence and convincing power increases. Moschis and Mitchell investigated the ability to understand and comprehend the contents of advertising and pass through a cognitive process increase with age. Moschis and Moore [1] found that a significant positive relationship exists between adolescents’ socioeconomic background and the extent of brand preferences for various products. Age was related to the number of information sources preferred, and tendency to rely on friends as a source of information also increases with age. Similarly, the tendency to rely on parents for information and advice decreased with age. Moschis and Churchill [2] found positive relationships between the consumption ability of adolescents and social class and age.

In general, we can say that female children have more influential power in family purchase decisions [1] and they use different strategies to influence their parents such as resoning, asking, and persuading more frequently do boys. Mangleburg et al., proposed that children are treated equally as parents in decision making whereas in others they are considered as subsidiary or secondary against the authority of parents. In general, we can say that family type affects these dimensions of family authority i.e., single parent, step-parent, or intact families. According to a research, teenagers in single-parent families have more influential power than in step and intact families and that may be due to differences in socialization with respect to family authority relations.

Sundberg et al., reported that according to Indian girls’ perceptions, Indian families are significantly more cohesive and Indian boys perceived them as less cohesive; however, the absolute difference was not great. Sex differences in decision making were also found to be stronger in India than in America.

Theoretical Framework

Media is the major socialization agent among the children that provide information about the product, its attributes, brand recognition and arise need to purchase any product. Another two influencers who play major role in children buying behavior are interpersonal influencers and environment influencers like store visit and celebrity (from advertisement). Media provides information product attributes, and combine with that friends, parents and celebrity endorsement ultimately leads to children food buying decision. Children use different pestering strategies to influence their parents to buy any product they like. Sometimes, they give reference of friends and sometimes they use media to show their desires (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Time spend on TV.


The purpose of this study was to find out the effect of advertisement on children buying behavior, comparatively, we have taken other two variables as well (parent and peer influence) to make our study precise and able to analyze. In this research, we have gathered the basic information about the children’s behavior about the buying, and then compared the impact of parents influence along the peer pressure. We have explored the information and analyzed it and then concluded our findings, and made recommendations for the marketers who have children as their target market, this shows that we have done an exploratory research. Since our objective is to find out the effect of advertisement on children buying behavior on daily basis, so our dependent variable is buying behavior of children in Pakistan. We have measured the buying behavior of children by keeping the following independent variables such as, Influence of Advertisement, Influence of parents, Influence of Peer.

Our primary data source was questionnaire. We have divided our questionnaires in three age ranges, for example 6-9, 10-12, and 13-16. We have visited different schools in Lahore to fill these questionnaires. However, we take children from different schools of Lahore such as, DPS (Divisional Public School), Resource Academia and Crescent Model Higher School and other private and government schools and parents living in different localities of Lahore. We have taken the responses from 150 boys and girls of age range from 6 to 16 from different schools in Lahore. We have taken 120 responses from children while the rest of 30 questionnaires were filled by parents. The reason for choosing this sample size is that children of these ages are quite mature enough to sense and respond.

They shop independently; have ability to pass through cognitive process while shopping and knowledge and awareness about brands as well. The reason to take response from parents is that they can also explain their child behavior and independent factors affect their purchases. Our questionnaire consisted of 24 questions. It was divided in three parts or can say in three variables effecting children buying behavior. First part was behavior based on advertisement consisted of 17 questions, second was behavior based on parents influence consisted of four questions and finally third part was behavior based on friend’s influence in which there were three questions.

Findings and Discussions

Time Spend on TV

Table 1 and Figure 2 given below depicts the percentage of the children watching hours of Television; it reveals that male children are more interested to spend their time in front of television. If we look at frequency table then the male who spend their time watching television is 91 out of 150 respondents and female children spend time in front of television are 59 on the same respondent scale. If we look at frequency of hours then children who watch television less than 1 hour is 55 out of 150 respondents altogether. Those who watch television 1-2 hour is 53 and 2-3 hours are 29 and more than 3 hours are 13. We can analyze that more children in Pakistan spend time more than 1 hour in front of television. So, television can be a great source of creating awareness among the children about brands and its attribute.

  Gender Total  
 Time spend on TV Male female   percentage
    <1 Hr 25 30 55   36.67
  1-2 Hr 34 19 53 35.33
  2-3 Hr   5 29 19.33
  >3 Hr 8 5 13 8.7
  Total 91 59 150   100

Table 1: Time spend on TV.


Figure 2: Time spend on TV.

Attention for advertisement

Table 2 and Figure 3 reveals that more children give attention to the advertisement they watch while watching television. Furthermore, if we talk about the percentage of male and female then male children are keener to show their interest in advertisement than female. 52 out of 150 male respondents have showed that they pay attention to the television advertisement. It means that television advertisement can be a positive source for marketers to attract male children. Whereas, 29 out of 150 female have said they give attention to the advertisement while watching television. If we see the respondents who do not pay attention to television advertisement, then 46% (69 out of 150) responded do not pay attention to television advertisement. We can analyze that more number of children are attracted towards television advertisement and think it as a source of helping them in making purchasing decision.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Attention for advertisement YES 52 29 81
NO 39 30 69
Total 91 59 150

Table 2: Attention for advertisement.


Figure 3: Attention for advertisement.

Bought any product after watching advertisment

Table 3 and Figure 4 shows that 101 respondents which are 67.33% have responded that they have purchased products after watching that television. It means if more respondent pay attention to television advertisement then number of respondents who have bought products by insisting from advertisement is also more than those who have not bought any product from convincing through advertisement which is 32.67%. We can analyzed that advertisement can be a source of molding children behavior towards any product and can easily convinced by that.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Bought Any Product after watching Ad Yes 64 37 101
No 27 22 49
Total 91 59 150

Table 3: Bought any product after watching advertisment.


Figure 4: Bought any product after watching advertisment.

Which product

We have taken three products categories for our analysis. Our research shows that 92 (61.33%) of children respondents have bought chocolates after convincing from advertisement and 44 (29.33%) out of 150 have purchased noodles after watching it on television. The children who have bought biscuits are 14 with percentage ratio (9.3%) (Table 4 and Figure 5). It shows that chocolates advertisement are more convincing for the children and then advertisements of noodles play vital role in convincing children to make purchase of it.

Products Gender Total
  Male Female  
  Biscuits 7 7 14
  Chocolates 56 36 92
  Noodles 28 16 44
Total 91 59 150

Table 4: Which product.


Figure 5: Which product.

Base on which determines of brand perception

Our research shows that more children make the perception regarding the product by judging its quality (Table 5 and Figure 6). They are more quality conscious instead of high price and they don’t make brand perception on the basis of advertisement only. They do get inspired from advertisement to purchase any product but its liking or disliking depends upon the quality of product.

Base Which Determines Brand Perception Gender Total
  Male Female  
  Advertisement 4 7 11
  Celebrity Endorsement 6 2 8
  Packaging 7 11 18
  Quality 63 38 101
  High price 11 1 12
Total 91 59 150

Table 5: Base on which determines of brand perception.


Figure 6: Base which determines of brand perception.

Media role in decision making

If we talk about role of media in decision making of children regarding their purchases then 89.33% (134) of respondent have said that the role of media is influencing or somewhat influencing in their decision making whereas, the rest of 10.67% said that it is not influencing for them (Table 6 and Figure 7). It simply means that advertisement has played pivotal role in children decision making.

Media Role in Decision Making Gender Total
  Male Female  
  Not Influencing 11 5 16
  Minor Influencing 39 26 65
  Influencing 31 20 51
  Highly Influencing 10 8 18
Total 91 59 150

Table 6: Media role in decision making.


Figure 7: Media role in decision making.

Awareness with the help of advertisement

We have used likert scale to analyze what children think that either advertisement assists them in creating awareness about the products they purchase daily. It shows that 40 out of 150 respondent that they don’t agree with this point that they are more aware about the products because of advertisement. Whereas, 67 respondents agree with the point that advertisement do create awareness (Table 7). It means more children are inspired from television advertisement and take it as evaluation source while making any purchase.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Strongly disagree 15 3 18
Disagree 10 12 22
Neutral 29 13 42
Agree 27 24 51
Strongly Agree 10 7 17

Table 7: Awareness with the help of Advertisement.

Insist your parents to buy products

Children also play major role as influencer in making any purchase. They have influencing power to convince their parents and fulfill their demand. According to our research 72 out of 150 respondents said that they do insist their parent to make a purchase of the product that they see in television advertisement. Whereas, only 18 respondents don’t insist their parent whatever the factor behind it is (Table 8 and Figure 8). Consequently, we can say that advertisements are good enough to make children convince their parents.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Insist your parents to buy products Yes 43 29 72
No 8 10 18
Sometime 40 20 60
Total 91 59 150

Table 8: Insist your parents to buy products.


Figure 8: Insist your parents to buy products.

Parents vs your choice

If we compare the impact of advertisement and parents in children buying behavior, we can analyze from our research that involvement of parents is more prominent in children buying behavior (Table 9 and Figure 9). 112 out of 150 respondents said that they prefer parent choice while making purchase whereas 38 respondents make purchases on their own choice by inspiring through advertisement.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Parents Vs. Your Choice Parents’ Choice 69 43 112
Your Choice 22 16 38
Total 91 59 150

Table 9: Parents vs your choice.


Figure 9: Parents vs your choice.

Strategies to convince parents

When respondents were asked to tell about the strategies they use to persuade their parents regarding any purchase, 59 children responded that they are more likely to give reference of advertisement to convince their parents among them 33 were boys and 26 were girls (Table 10 and Figure 10). Furthermore, 58 children which include 35 boys and 23 girls used to convince their parents by giving reference of their friends. Lastly, 33 respondents use in store pestering strategy to convince their parents.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Strategies to Convince Parents Give Reference of friends 35 23 58
Convince through advertisements 33 26 59
In-store Convince 23 10 33
Total 91 59 150

Table 10: Strategies to convince parents.


Figure 10: Strategies to convince parents..

Behavior based on peers/ friends or buy products for friend’s appraisal

While answering to this question 22% respondents said that they, while buying any products, take care of their friend’s appraisal and almost 49% children said that they somehow take care about their friend’s choices while buying (Table 11 and Figure 11). Only 28% children refused that they consider their friend’s appraisal while buying products of their needs. This number shows that most of children of this age do not consider their friend’s opinion while making a buying decision.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Buy products for Friend's Appraisal Yes 18 15 33
No 29 15 44
Sometimes 44 29 73
Total 91 59 150

Table 11: Buy products for friend's appraisal.


Figure 11: Buy products for friend’s appraisal.

Who plays major role in buying decision (chocolates)

Taking information about the buying behavior of our respondents about the chocolates, we have found that 50 children out of 150 said that their parent’s opinion in making buying decision about the chocolates plays major role. 55 children out of 150 said that advertisement helped them get knowledge about the products and they were helpful enough to set a buying behavior towards different brands of chocolates (Table 12 and Figure 12). Only 45 children out of 150 said that they were influenced by their friend’s in making decision about buying the chocolates items. This shows that mostly the children of our target age are influenced by the advertisement while making purchase of chocolates whereas next influential factor is parent’s opinion and least one is friend’s opinion.

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Who plays Major role in buying decision (Chocolates) Parents 30 20 50
Advertisements 34 21 55
Friends 27 18 45
Total 91 59 150

Table 12: Who plays major role in buying decision (Chocolates).


Figure 12: Who plays major role in buying decision (Chocolates).

Who plays major role in buying decision (snacks/biscuits)

For this question majority of children (67) were influenced by parent’s suggestion while buying the snacks and biscuits. Second most popular influential factor was advertisement which played significant role in their decision making process and least dominant aspect was friends influence with 32 respondents (Table 13 and Figure 13).

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Who plays Major role in buying decision (Snacks/biscuits) Parents 45 22 67
Advertisements 29 22 51
Friends 17 15 32
Total 91 59 150

Table 13: Who plays major role in buying decision (Snacks/biscuits).


Figure 13: Who plays major role in buying decision (Snacks/biscuits).

Who plays Major role in buying decision (Noodles)

Data collected from the questionnaire reveals that here also parents are more influencer as compared to other independent variables (Advertisements, Friends). But there is minor difference between the impact of advertisements and friends in buying decision of children regarding noodles (Table 14 and Figure 14).

  Gender Total
Male Female  
Who plays Major role in buying decision (Noodles) Parents 56 21 77
Advertisements 23 14 37
Friends 12 24 36
Total 91 59 150

Table 14: Who plays Major role in buying decision (Noodles).


Figure 14: Who plays major role in buying decision (Noodles).

Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis 1: Children were influenced by the advertisement in their daily purchasing behavior.

Testing: Frequency Table 15 is based on 150 responses out of which 101 responses shows that children buy products after watching the advertisement while only 49 responses were giving contrary results. So the hypothesis is proved that children get influenced by the advertisement in their daily purchase behavior due to majority of favorable result. The chi square test in Tables 16 and 17 shows that there is significant difference between the two responses (p value is less than 0.05).

  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Yes 101 67.3 67.3 67.3
  No 49 32.7 32.7 100.0
  Total 150 100.0 100.0  

Table 15: Bought any product after watching advertisement.

Statistics: Bought Any Product after watching Advertisement: N-valid is 150 and Missing is 0.

Chi-Square Test

The chi square test in Table 16 shows that there is significant difference between the two responses (p value is less than 0.05).

  Observed N Expected N Residual
Yes 101 75.0 26.0
No 49 75.0 -26.0
Total 150    

Table 16: Bought any product after watching advertisement.

Test statistics

The Statistics in Table 17 shows that there is significant difference between the two responses.

  Bought Any Product after watching Ad
Chi-Square(a) 18.027
Degree freedom 1
Assumption Sign 0.000

Table 17: Test statistics.

Hypothesis 2: Parents play a major role in buying decision of children.

Table 18 shows that more children are influenced by the parent’s opinion in making their buying decisions. There were 38 respondents who claimed that they prefer their own choice while doing any purchase whereas 112 respondents obey their parent’s suggestions in doing any purchase. This shows that our hypothesis have proved from this question that parents play vital role in making purchase decision of children on daily basis. Table 19 of chi-square being below 0.05 depicts that there is a statistical significance between the respondents that how they respond to parents’ choice and their own choice.

  Observed N Expected N Residual
Parents’ Choice 112 75.0 37.0
Your Choice 38 75.0 -37.0
Total 150    

Table 18: Parents vs your choice.

  Parents Vs. Your Choice
Chi-Square(a) 36.507
Degree freedom 1
Assumption Sign 0.000

Table 19: Test statistics.

Hypothesis 3: Children get influenced by the friends in their daily purchasing behavior.

Hypothesis testing: When Question was asked from the respondents, do they buy product for friend’s appraisal? The findings that have come illustrates that most of the respondents are unlikely with the percentage of 29.3% and 48.7% to some extent. Therefore, it proves that respondents were not buying products for friend’s appraisal only (Table 20). On the other hand, only 22% respondents were come up with the favorable answers. Hence, from our findings it is proved that most of the children don’t make purchases to get their friend appraisal. So, hypothesis is rejected. Alternatively, we can say that the other variables that are advertisement and parents have more impact on children buying behavior.

  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Yes 33 22.0 22.0 22.0
  No 44 29.3 29.3 51.3
  Sometimes 73 48.7 48.7 100.0
  Total 150 100.0 100.0  

Table 20: Buy products for friend's appraisal.

Hypothesis 4: Impact of parent’s opinion is more than advertisement on the buying behavior of children.

Keeping in view the major roles in buying decision regarding the chocolates, Snacks/biscuits and Noodles the percentages for Parent’s influence are 33.3%, 44.7% and 51.3% respectively as per shown in Tables 21, 22 and 23. Comparing these trends with the findings about the impact of advertisement in these tables, which are 36.7%, 34% and 24.7%, in chocolate’s case the impact of advertisement is a bit higher than the parent’s influence, while impact of parent’s opinion is greater than the impact of advertisement in cases of Snacks/biscuits and Noodles and the results of the correlation (Table 24) is 0.19 (keeping the sig. as 1-tailed) shows that our hypothesis is valid as the frequency tables are showing the parent’s influences more than impact of advertisement, and the correlation shows the children getting more influenced by parent’s opinion, which simply proves our hypothesis number 4.

  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Parents 50 33.3 33.3 33.3
  Advertisements 55 36.7 36.7 70.0
  Friends 45 30.0 30.0 100.0
  Total 150 100.0 100.0  

Table 21: Who plays major role in buying decision (Chocolates).

  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Parents 67 44.7 44.7 44.7
  Advertisements 51 34.0 34.0 78.7
  Friends 32 21.3 21.3 100.0
  Total 150 100.0 100.0  

Table 22: Who plays Major role in buying decision (Snacks/biscuits).

  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Parents 77 51.3 51.3 51.3
  Advertisements 37 24.7 24.7 76.0
  Friends 36 24.0 24.0 100.0
  Total 150 100.0 100.0  

Table 23: Who plays major role in buying decision (Noodles).

    Parents’ Choice Bought Any Product after watching Ad
Parents’ Choice Pearson Correlation 1 0.019
Sig. (1-tailed)   0.816
N 150 150
Bought Any Product after watching Ad Pearson Correlation 0.019 1
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.816  
N 150 150

Table 24: Correlations.

Hypothesis 5: Children get more influenced by the advertisement than friends in their daily purchasing.

Considering the results we got from the findings as in cases of the Chocolates, Snacks/biscuits and Noodles the percentages of children who are influenced by their friends are 30%, 21% and 24% respectively, comparing it with the results for the impact of Advertisement which are 36.7%, 34% and 24.7% respectively (Tables 21, 23 and 24) shows significant lead of the percentages for the children who are more influenced by the advertisement than of the children who have friend’s influence on their buying decisions. As per shown in the Table 25 the percentage of the children who buy keeping in view their friend’s appraisal is 22% only, adding half of the percentage of the children who have answered for the Sometime behavior, still makes a total count of 44.35%, comparing it with the findings from Table 26 which shows a result that 67.3% children often buy products after watching their advertisement, the significant difference in the results show that the impact of advertisement is somewhat more than the friend’s influence on the buying behavior of the children. Hence it proves our Hypothesis 5.

  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Yes 33 22.0 22.0 22.0
  No 44 29.3 29.3 51.3
  Sometimes 73 48.7 48.7 100.0
  Total 150 100.0 100.0  

Table 25: Buy products for friend's appraisal.

  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Yes 101 67.3 67.3 67.3
No 49 32.7 32.7 100.0
Total 150 100.0 100.0  

Table 26: Bought any product after watching advertisement.


This exploratory research shows three major dependent variables influencing their impact in the pattern of children buying behavior; parents, advertisement and peers. Our study was to understand the purchasing behavior of children in Pakistani market. In that prospective we can say that all the three variables have different impact influencing and assisting children in different ways while making their purchasing decision. Purchasing pattern of children and their dependency while making decision also vary with the age. Those who belong to age 6-9 are more dependent on their Parents because of immaturity and inability to have cognitive power enough to make good decisions. Children belong to age group 10-12 shown their response towards advertisement while making decision or they think it as an important evaluation source. Those who belong to age 13-16 have partial kind of behavior towards advertisement and friend’s appraisal. They are less dependent towards their parents and more interested in getting their friends appraisal. Our findings show that children use different kind of strategies to persuade their parents to purchase any thing and giving reference of advertisement is at the top.

This shows that how much they put their attention to television advertisement and they think it reliable enough to use it as a reference to pester their parents. Pakistani children think that advertisements they see in television are quite influencing but simultaneously they perceive the brand as good or bad one by using and analyzing its quality. So, marketers must be consistent in what they show and actually provide to customers. We have seen balanced responses from children regarding advertisement and parents as influencing factor but being Pakistani market, since parents are major decision maker and sponsor, the impact of parents in decision making is somewhat more than advertisement and peers (friends). Especially, when we talk about the products like biscuits and noodles, children seek their parent’s opinion in finalizing their purchase while in some other products like chocolates; they don’t think it’s important to include parent’s willingness in such purchase.


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