How often will kids click on that mobile ad banner? will mothers? Are apps for your young audience a part of your mobile plan?
There isn't a lot of research done on mobile app usage patterns among Indian consumers and we at Pulp Strategy set out to seek answers. This research is a first in series of research studies of consumer behavior in relation to mobile applications and has focused on a very significant consumer segment who isn't the primary owner of a smart device but whose pester power is increasingly a powerful force for product adoption and sales.
Apps are the new frontier
Marketing to Kids and their Parents?
The appi cation of marketing
India is witnessing a revolution in mobile data and uptake of smart devices. Marketers in
India are yet to harness the power of apps to engage consumers and increase salience for
According to the latest report by IDC, India
witnessed the highest rate of growth over 186
per cent in smartphone sales in Asia Paci c
region during January-March 2014, outshining
countries like China. As a large chunk of Indian
users migrate to affordable smarter devices from
feature phones, smartphone sales in India
are expected to reach 80.57 million units by
the end of this year.
Add to the statistics
another report from
The Indian Council
for Research on
(ICRIER) that says
that the total worth
of Indian app economy is worth USD 150
million (about Rs 900 crore) currently and led
by a surge in smartphone sales, the app market in
the country is likely to grow by more than four times
to USD 626.23 million (around Rs 3,800 crore) by
2016. There are 3 lakh app developers in
the country with about 100 million app
downloads every month but they are building
apps for the global market and not necessarily for
You guessed it right. We are talking about kids.
A recent study called Children s Media Use in America revealed that among
families with children aged 8 and under, there has been a ve-fold increase in
ownership of tablet devices such as iPads, from 8% of all families in 2011 to 40%
in 2013. The percentage of children with access to some type of smart mobile
device at home (e.g., smartphone, tablet) has jumped from half (52%) to three-
quarters (75%) of all children in just two years. Seventy-two
percent of children aged 8 and under have used a mobile
device for some type of media activity such as playing
games, watching videos, or using apps, up from
38% in 2011.
Our experience with driving engagement with kids for brands and connected conversations led us to an attempt to
understand app usage patterns speci c to children in India, and this study* is the ndings of our independent research
on parents with kids under the age of 8 years in India to understand how app content was being consumed by this
secondary group of users of mobile devices and how did that translate into opportunities for marketers in the country
whose core TG was young kids.
There isn't a lot of research done on mobile app usage patterns among Indian
consumers and we at Pulp Strategy set out to seek answers. This research is a
rst in series of research studies of consumer behavior in relation to mobile
applications and has focused on a very signi cant consumer segment who isn't
the primary owner of a smart device but whose pester power is increasingly a
powerful force for product adoption and sales.
We are witnessing a new
technology revolution in
India led by smarter,
cheaper devices and high
availability of mobile data
plans and consumers are
spoilt for choice.
6 - 8 years old
3 - 5 years old
0 - 2 years old
8 years and above
U.S. food companies are
reaching children by embedding
their products in simple and
enticing games for touch-screen
phones and tablets. The new
medium is far cheaper than
Saturday morning TV commercials
and could prove as effective.
"SuperPretzel Factory," which
since mid-July has ranked as one
of the most popular free children's
games in the iPhone App Store
and "Icee Maker" that has been
downloaded more than eight
million times since its release last,
demonstrate how new technology
is changing U.S. commerce,
drawing tighter bonds between
marketers and kids.
How old is your child?
Apps are changing U.S.
Increasingly, younger children are embracing smart devices for entertainment and
educational purposes. This rapidly growing market provides bene ts for
application users of all ages and presents an unprecedented opportunity to
marketers to engage and build brand love in younger audience in India.
*For 0-5 year olds, downloads are initiated by parents.
*5-8 year old kids drive inuenced downloads.
Both (Mobile & Tablet)
No Smart Devices
Smartphone (Like an iPhone/Android phones)
Tablet (Like iPad/Kindle Fire/Galaxy Tab etc.)
No. My child usually borrows my
mobile device(s) to access applications
Yes my child has his/her own tablet/smart
“Of course I let my
children use my phone and
tablet. Kids today are very
technology savvy and I
wouldn’t want them to be
97% of the parents reported having at least one smart device
and 35% had more than one. 88% of parents let their kids use
their smart devices and 12% said their kids had their own.
Companies had not created smart phones and tablets for kids
but the access to instant play, learning opportunity and
potentially quiet time for the parent, all contributed towards
creating this secondary user- children who have seeded an app-
revolution of sorts and brands who don t capitalize this may be
losing out on the opportunity to nd place in the device that they
access and in their minds.
Does your child have a personal smart device?
What smart devices do you have?
What kind of applications does your child usually
like to play with on a mobile device?
“ At the doctor’s, on a road trip, at home, my
tablet comes to my rescue by keeping my 4
year old daughter busy for a few hours. I
don’t mind even if she is playing games
because research says even video games
make a child's brain sharper”
93% of parents were aware that applications could be
downloaded on their smart devices and gaming apps had a
77% adoption versus 23% for learning apps.
With audience awareness and engagement both on the rise, a
lot of application content that is being consumed by kids is not
from Indian brands. Indian brands who rely on pester power
for higher adoptions can stand to bene t immensely by taking
the lead with immersive content delivery via applications
thereby putting their brand literally in the palms of their target
Apps for learning
(Math/ colors/shapes etc.)
(eg. Angry birds/Temple Run etc.)
Do you know that apps can be downloaded
on your smart devices?
An app could be so much more than a game. It could be a support.
Amaral Carvalho Hospital is a top cancer treatment centre in Latin America. For
children undergoing treatment, isolation can hurt more than any physical pain.
They are pulled from their normal routine and away from friends and family. To help
shorten this distance, they developed a special line of bears that receive and play
audio notes from WhatsApp, sent from family and friends every time
children press the teddy s hand. They were named ELO (means
LINK ) for linking hospitalized children with the love they miss
The ELOs made a huge impact on the kids and their families,
and when the project s video was posted on the hospital s fan
page it became one of the most shared videos in Brazil and a
medical benchmark for hospitals throughout the country and
abroad. Aside from bringing enormous happiness and relief
to both the children and
their families, the ELOs
became an international
ELO Teddy Bear (Brazil)
Winner of the Gold Mobile
Lion Cannes 2014
The project delivered unforeseen visibility for the hospital worth
U$7 million in earned media nationally and internationally. It
impacted over 60 million people on social networks alone and
became a medical benchmark for hospitals throughout the
country and abroad, being written about in medical and health
publications in different countries.
Average weekly usage of smart devices by kids was highest in the age group of
0-5 years old and ranged between a whopping 18-20 hours a week while
downloading the maximum number of applications/week.
Young children can master the largely intuitive touch screens well before they read
and that explains how easily they are hooked to smart devices. If marketers were to
tell a roomful of kids and say, 'OK. All of you who want to watch a commercial go
on the left side, and all of you who want to play a game go on the right side,'
where do you think everyone would go? And, in that answer lies the power of an
always-on brand commercial, in the attire of a great app for kids. Given the
number of app downloads and sheer number of hours spent on smart devices apps
pave way for meaningful brand experiences.
How many apps have you downloaded for your kid(s) in
the previous month?
8 years and
10-20 6-10 More than 20 Under 5
Avg. weekly device usage by kids (Hours)
8 years and
Avg. weekly device usage by kids (Hours)
“ It’s sweltering hot and kids really have no place to go and play.
Between watching cartoons on TV and potentially learning
something while playing with an app on my phone, I’d choose the
latter any day”
Children with asthma, and their parents, would bene t if
the kids would do more breathing exercises. Existing
devices are scary, or boring, or both.
Alvio saw an opportunity to create a breathing trainer that
acts like a game controller. But instead of using your
thumb, you control the game with your breath.
Alvio Breathing Trainer
Gold Mobile Lion
Bronze Mobile Lion
Alvio tracks your progress while you play. And because its fun,
kids will keep playing while they get healthier. Alvio s games were
designed around the ways people need to improve their lung health. Inhaling
and exhaling moves the character up and down to hit targets. Other games
measure how hard you can exhale a very important indicator of the
seriousness of your condition. Alvio is being tested in Monte ore Medical
Center in New York City in their pediatric department. It will be used in-
hospital for 6 weeks and then at home with the patients for 6 months. Alvio is
partnering with some of the top hospitals in the US, to make its games even
An App could be helping kids spend the hours meaningfully
Parents ranked their kids asking for a speci c app and the
source being a trusted provider, their top two consideration
criteria's when downloading new apps.
As brands struggle to speak to kid audiences in a highly
cluttered space, an app which can deliver fun, immersive
content for a child can easily help them cut through the
advertising clutter and nd permanent space on their
devices and then minds through the trust quotient the brand
has in the gatekeeper i.e. the parent s mind. With play-
schools and schools adopting technology, the advocacy for
an app from a brand can only add more credibility. Add
to it, an intelligent inclusion of the app in the larger
marketing mix and marketers have for themselves a winner.
“ My son is 5 and he knows how to
access the play store and download the
games that he wants. Mostly these are
discussed with friends at school and all
I really do is monitor what he is
playing and for how long.”
How do you decide which applications to download for the child (ren)?
I download apps that deliver
educational content for learning
I download apps that are free
I download apps that deliver fun
content (games etc.) and keeps the
I download apps that have good
reviews by other parents/users
I look for a trusted provider so that
the content is safe for my children
Usually download the ones that the child
specifcally asks for
Has the school/play-school that the child attends ever recommended an
app to you for learning?
Consumer insight meets great app content
To win new consumers for Nivea Sun Kids, Nivea wanted to reinforce the product s main attribute: protection and
the insight of many cases of kids getting lost on the beach became a natural extension of their series of ads into an
app that helped protect kids.
An ad that turned into a bracelet for children to wear so that parents could monitor them on their smartphones. All
that was needed was to download the app, pair the bracelet, identify the child and choose the distance where the
child could go. If distance was exceeded, an alert was sent by the app. With radar, it was possible to see if the
parents were getting nearer or further from the children.
The campaign was featured in 10 press articles and 40 digital ones. For the rst time, Nivea Sun Kids had the top
sales in its segment, with a 62 percent increase in Rio de Janeiro. Nivea was present as an innovative brand in
places where its consumers are: the beach, parks and clubs. 8 in every 10 people impacted by the ad, downloaded
the app. The bracelet even became an object of desire Nivea still receives several requests for it everyday.
Nivea Protection Ad
Grand Prix Mobile Lion
Gold Mobile Lion
Gold Media Lion
2x Silver Media Lions
Bronze Mobile Lion
Bronze Promo Lion
There is no denying the fact, that the opportunity to tap the young, enthusiastic market of kids is enticing and technology
can help create tighter bonds between brands and kids. These are times for great transition as kids move from laptops and
xed devices to mobile for staying entertained. The potential to engage with these young consumers early has never been
bigger. The more we think of mobile apps and children as audience, the more we feel marketers are sitting on an amazing
untapped opportunity for building brand engagement.
For example a health beverage for a kids brand could connect at a deeper level with its core TG via a game they could
play on a smart device. The bottles could carry a QR code that helps them unlock a new level, with every bottle they
consume and the brand s key USPs could be integrated into the game(more power, more protein, as a magic potion to kill
the enemy and soon) and you have for you a connected strategy that leads to content, increased product consumption and
However, it is important to remember that an app is a commitment to a long term vision and not a tactical campaign
element and development partners who understand content, technology and consumer are in the best position to help you
actualize that long term vision. Think about it and if you need to chat up with an expert.
Drop us a line at email@example.com
* Pan India research and focus group study on parents of kids in the age group 0-8 years. www.instappy.com