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European Journal of Scientific Research

ISSN 1450-216X Vol.21 No.4 (2008), pp.693-699
© EuroJournals Publishing, Inc. 2008

Children Attitude Towards TV Advertisements in Pakistan

Muhammad Shahbaz Shabbir
Business Department, International Islamic University Islamabad Pakistan

Shabana Kirmani
International Islamic University Islamabad Pakistan

Hafiz Faiz-Ul-Hassan
Quaid-I-Azam University, Pakistan


The purpose of this study was to explore Pakistani children’s attitude toward TV
advertisement, their awareness about add and influence of add on their purchase behaviour.
In Pakistan, most advertising agencies now target children through advertisement
especially when advertising consumer products like children’s toys, chocolates, candy bars,
tooth paste etc. Study shows that Pakistani children are very much aware about TV
commercial’s features like: truthfulness, annoyingness, taste and influencing characteristics
of the ad. Their behaviour Is also different about advertised and non-advertised brands.

Keywords: Children attitude, Advertising, Consumer Product.

1. Introduction
‘Advertising, in all its forms, plays an important role in informing people’s choices of products and
services. We welcome the industry’s efforts, channeled through Media Smart to help children
understand and interpret advertising.’(Sachiko, 2004)
Children are a key target for advertisers, as brand preferences often remain unchanged
throughout life. Increasingly considered as potential consumers, children have ever-larger allowances
and have a significant influence on their parents’ spending habits. French advertisers have spent as
much as 150 million a year on advertising to children under the age of 12 and this figure is rising,
particularly for food advertising.
Children’s segment is now being target by many consumers’ product companies, because
children are important potential customers as they not only decide about their own buying as they can
influence the buying decisions of their parents. A greater percentage of parent’s income is spent on
purchase of products only because of children’s influence.
In Pakistan, advertising agencies understand the role of children in buying process of parents
and their own. Most advertising agencies now target children through advertisement. If consumer
products especially when advertising children’s toys, chocolates, candy bars like milk (Nestle, Haleeb),
tooth paste (Colgate, Aqua Fresh)
Children Attitude Towards TV Advertisements in Pakistan 694

1.1. When are kids watching?
To a large extent, kids are watching when they want. Most kids talked about watching TV:
In the morning before school;
As soon as they get home from school;
 During dinner;
 While doing their homework;
 Weekend morning;
 Early evening weekdays;
 Early and late evening weekends.
Although some parents try to control the amount of TV their kids watch, in reality there seems
to be very little ‘policing ’. Most kids said that they are allowed to watch whatever they want and this
seems to be the case up until the watershed.
The interaction of Advertising and consumption beyond advertisements, children gain
marketplace information from the products they encounter, advice from friends and relatives, and heir
own consumption experiences. Through consumption, children learn what products are good and bad,
whether advertising claims are truthful, what brands they prefer. For example, until they are
functionally literate, children do not access the written information available through print advertising,
packaging, and labels. Children often lack information about price, a primary consideration in adult

1.2. Benefits of Children’s Exposure to the Media
Children’s exposure to media and advertising has raised a number of legitimate societal concerns.
Television at its ‘worst ’can expose young children to sex, violence and bad language; it can promote
gender stereotypes and communicate commercial messages that can be interpreted as challenging
parental authority. With Internet access, children may come into contact with racial hatred,
pornography and the risks of unsupervised and anonymous communication with strangers through the
use of chat rooms.

2. Objectives
The objectives of this study are as follows:
 To study children’s attention towards television commercials
 To compare children’s response to different types of television commercials;
 To compare children’s response to their favorite commercials and their most disliked
 To compare children’s perception of advertised and non-advertised brands.

3. Literature Review
Attractive Advertisement makes a deep influence on children’s attitudes and behavior, which
especially leads to purchase behavior as well as purchase request. Children can be categorized into
positive and negative attitudes, while children who have positive attitudes toward advertisement, their
behavior remain consistent with their attitudes and they tend to make purchasing of that particular
product whose advertisement they have seen. Vice versa, children who have negative attitude toward
advertisement they do not take any step to purchase that particular advertised product. Older children’s
negative attitudes is not seen in their purchase behavior, they usually pay less attention to the ad, which
leads to less awareness about the products, not better feeling about ad, therefore due to their negative
attitudes towards the product, sales deteriorates. (Evra, 1990).
695 Muhammad Shahbaz Shabbir, Shabana Kirmani and Hafiz Faiz-Ul-Hassan

Television Advertisement is the important tool of diffusing the communication. It plays an
important role in the development of young people’s consumer behavior. (Peter & Olson, 1994)
Children use the ad for the sake of getting acquaintance with the new brands and products, how
that particular brand can be used. Children also keep the realities and belief about the products and
show their priorities accordingly. These realities and belief further help them to make purchase or they
ask from their parents what is to purchase.(Mcneal & Ji, 1999).
It is also examined that older children are less doubtful to make choices, which are not matched
with their attitudes. Children who are 11 or older see the advertisement in order to form an attitude
toward the advertised product. They also have strength to make comparison with various alternatives,
which is considered important for forming consistent attitude.(Kobasigawa 1977; Wartella et al.1979)
Another Study by Austen, Ruble, and Trabasso (1977)describes younger children are more tend
to form an attitude toward the advertised product because message being diffused is not complex in
nature and decision follows the exposure to the message in ad.
Children age 10 or younger feel difficulty to recall previous stored information and in making
comparative decision (Kobasigawa, 1977). Therefore rather than comparing alternatives and choosing
from its, young children usually prefer to make attitude toward the advertised product and make
decision about purchase based on this. (Wartella et al., 1979)
In 1999, John Power conducted the survey for Nickelodeon and found that almost 70% of
children are involved in the automobile shopping process and 75% influence the actual automobile
purchase decision. Children give their views on family purchases and parents encourage them to
participate and give ideas about purchase. So the marketers are very much conscious about this
tendency and measuring its impact on their business and making compatible strategies for this new
factor. (Sabino, 2002)
As the change in media taking palace, children are also expecting the marketing communication
should also change. For example, more then half of the twins interviewed indicated they want to get
message about product through various mediums such as television, magazines and online and it also
helps them to memorize the product in more better and effective way. (National Twine Study, 2002).
Young children are more inclined towards funny and song –oriented ads, and while older
children like and pay attention on funny, meaningful ads and ads based on public service
announcements. Younger children are more confident about the advertised product as compared to the
older children. Older children do not rely on the quality of the advertised product. (Chan & McNeal,
From the experimental study of Wartella and Ettema (1974) and in-home observation Ward and
Wackman (1973) it has been found that younger the child, more the impact of perceptual characteristic
of add on the child and able to grab his attention in the effective way. Older children are most
influenced by the content of the advertisement rather then perception.
Reiken and Yavas(1990) states that children do not believe many ads claims and they do not
always keep positive attitude towards these ads ,they are aware ,how is to deal with ads clutter, they
remain skeptic about the truthfulness of these ads. They always keep a room about the credibility of
advertised products.

4. Research Methodology
4.1. Sampling Procedure
This survey involved 5 Pakistani high schools from different vicinities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad,
The capital. A total of 150 Pakistani children aged 10–15 years were selected on the basis of
(Kobasigawa, 1977) study. The Convenience sampling method was used according to the convenience
of getting data from the schools of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The questionnaire was also translated
into the Urdu language (domestic language) to bring out better understanding from the children.. All
the questionnaires distributed were collected with 98.5% response rate.
Children Attitude Towards TV Advertisements in Pakistan 696

4.2. Preparation for measurement
Nine items were used to measure children’s television advertising responses. Seven questions were
formed and adapted from (Rossiter, 1977) scale. Two new questions were included. A 5-point Likert
scale (Likert, 1932), strongly agree to strongly disagree, was used, and factor-analyzed to determine
single dimensions of children’s advertising responses were realized: children’s awareness of TV
A study conducted by Noor and Osman (2004) about the children’s awareness of the TV
advertising. Currently researchers tried to find out that Pakistani children have considerable know how
of TV advertisements or not.

4.3. Measuring Children’s Awareness of TV Commercials
9- Questions scale was used to measure the degree of awareness of Children’s Awareness of TV
Commercials. The selected scale focuses on the range of cognitive and affective reactions towards
television advertising in terms of watching of TV, perceived truthfulness of commercials, potential
annoying qualities, and objectivity in describing advertised products, overall liking, and perceived
persuasive power, believability of characters, and trustworthiness as guidance to product purchases and
wants to buy the product after watching TV commercials.

Table 1:

1. Watch: Do you watch TV?
2. Truth: Television commercials tell the truth.
3. Annoy: Most TV commercials are in poor taste and very annoying
4. Good only: Television commercials tell only the good things about a product.
5. Like: I like most television commercials
6. Persuasive: Television commercials try to make people buy things they don’t really need.
7. Believe: You can always believe what the people in commercials say or do.
8. Best: The products advertised the most on TV are always the best products to buy.
9. Want: After watching TV commercial I want to buy the product advertised.

4.4. Designing the Questionnaires
Every question was given five answers strongly disagree agree neutral disagree strongly
disagree. Children were given self assistance in filling the questionnaire. Entire study was self-

5. Limitations of the Study
The limitations of this study can be summarized under two main headings.
The first is related to the cost involved in undertaking the research and the time constraint. The
study focuses exclusively on high school children in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Hence the study
represents only part of Pakistan population. We had very limited span of time to conduct a vast
Second, although a convenience sample method was used since then researcher was allowed to
involve few classes from each school or academy and no probability was assigned to any class or
student for being selected in the sample it was based on only researcher’s choice.
697 Muhammad Shahbaz Shabbir, Shabana Kirmani and Hafiz Faiz-Ul-Hassan
Table 2:

Description Frequency Percent
Gender N %
Male 86 55.48
Female 69 44.52
Total 155 100

6. Research Results
The sample characteristics for the 155 respondents are summarized in table-2.
Table 4 shows that children know that all TV adds do not tell the truth as greater percentage of
respondent children were disagreeing to the claim that TV add tells the truth indicated by the Mean
value of 3.31. This means that children understand the language of advertisement. Similarly Mean
results 2.85 shows in table that children feel the annoying qualities of advertisements and are agreeing
that most TV commercials are of poor taste and very annoying.
As it is a fact that TV advertisement’s purpose is to increase the sale of the product advertised,
that’s why it tells only good aspects of the product. Pakistani children are aware of this fact and Mean
results 2.29 are showing the same. About the likeliness of TV advertisements in Pakistan, most of the
children dislike ads. And response about the claim that TV adds influence people to buy the product
they don’t need, Mean 3.04 shows that they are neither agree nor disagree with the said statement.
Mean value for believability and always advertised products are best are respectively 3.24 and
3.24 which shows children are neither agree nor disagree with said statements. TV Advertisings do
create purchase desire as indicated by mean value which is 2.57.
Reliability analysis was used that is inter-item correlation among the items listed in the Table-1.
Results and findings are summarized in Table-3. According to Guilford (1973) guidelines, for a well-
constructed test, item inter-correlations should be between 0.10 and 0.60 (Rossiter, 1977). The present
findings shows that Rossiter’s (1977) scale can be applied usually among the Pakistani children while
measuring their understanding of TV commercials as inter-item correlation among (truth, annoy),
(truth, persuadable), (annoy, want), (good-only, persuadable), (good-only, best), (good-only, want) are
not significant i.e. all inter-correlations are negative, it means that these items are negatively correlated
with each other. On the other hand (annoy, like), (annoy, believe), (annoy, best), also don’t have
significant inter-Correlation they are not in the range of 0.10 to 0.60 although it is not negative.
Remaining items have significant inter-correlation.

Table 3: Reliability Analysis - Scale (Inter-item Correlation Matrix)

Good Purchase
Truth Annoy Like Persuasive Believe Best
Only Desire
TRUTH 1.0000
ANNOY -0.521 1.0000
GOOD ONLY 0.1335 0.2810 1.0000
LIKE 0.4084 0.0040 0.1515 1.0000
PERSUADABLE -0.1501 0.1054 - 0.056 0.0368 1.0000
BELIEVE 0.3592 0.0780 0.0953 0.3330 0.1049 1.0000
BEST 0.1956 0.0968 -0.006 0.1775 0.0759 0.2190 1.0000
WANT 0.1722 0.0044 -.0742 0.1354 0.0902 0.2616 0.2951 1.0000
N of Cases= 148.0
Reliability coefficient 8 items
Alpha= 0.6567 Standardized item alpha = 0.6703
Children Attitude Towards TV Advertisements in Pakistan 698
Table 4: Results

Watch Truth Annoy Good Only Like Persuasive Believe Best Purchase Desire
Valid 155 153 153 153 155 154 155 154 155
Missing 0 2 2 2 0 1 0 1 0
Mean 1.00 3.31 2.85 2.29 3.22 3.04 3.24 3.24 2.57
St. eviation 0 1.13 1.40 1.26 1.37 1.28 1.28 1.25 1.23

7. Conclusion
Data shows that Children are very much aware of TV advertisements in Pakistan and advertising has a
impact on their purchase behaviors. We also got that they evaluate and compare the different product’s
TV Advertisements. TV advertisements influence children’s behavior about brand advertised. As
children’s behavior change it also changes their buying pattern and this is the purpose behind the
advertisements. As children are very much aware of TV advertisements and they know good and bad
aspects of them. Marketer should understand the children’s psychic before launching any
advertisement. Children also know the degree of truthfulness in add. So for the advertisers it’s very
important to realize that children are not ignorant from the content of their campaigns, and while
developing their campaigns they must address the issues with a professional approach. It is also clear
that advertisement can be a good effective media to convey the required message in child segments if
they are created professionally. Lastly advertisers can not rely only on comic and colors in children
related advertisements, they do need to focus on the content of the advertisements, they must avoid
over promising in their advertisement campaigns.
699 Muhammad Shahbaz Shabbir, Shabana Kirmani and Hafiz Faiz-Ul-Hassan

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