Why It's Harder For Parents To Accurately Confirm Every Brand Their Kids Know

By Philippe Guinaudeau, Marinette Dalbard and Julien Guillot


Another way to look at the impact of the diversity of video-content on brand awareness

In our BrandTrends Entertainment survey, we track a very large number of brands; and recently, we saw some important changes in the awareness levels of some of these brands.

Keep in mind that the goal of this tracker is to provide information on the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the most well-known entertainment brands, including brand awareness, likeability, popularity, ownership, history, and purchase intentions, up to the product category.


As market researchers, we cannot do anything else than first question the data. The methodology is known to us (we developed it!), we are familiar with how it has been used, and so little has really changed between data collection cycles. To assure the accuracy of the data, our first instinct is to revalidate the technique and the data collection it was associated with.


There we go! We start by assessing the level of the question: How many of the brands would be affected by a significant change in awareness between two periods?

As a result, we build a subset sample of all brands within each sub-sample (the crossover of country x age x gender) that were monitored over the course of the last three major periods (April'21, October'21, & April'22).


As shown in the chart below, 83 percent of same-brand awareness are still within +/-12 points of change; and 26 percent of the remaining percent are low awareness brands (so potentially high changes explained by a low number of observations).


Our preliminary conclusions are that there aren't any actual conclusions to be made! Evidently, none of the variables we investigate would clearly explain a shift in awareness. Some may make a small contribution, and we made the appropriate changes to improve these, but none account for the majority of the change. The mystery still remains.


So, we carry on with our investigation. In the lower age groups, where parents react on behalf of their kids, we find that brand awareness is more varied. In a nutshell, parents responding on behalf of their children aged 0 to 6 and even 7-8 account for the vast majority of the substantial changes.


Parents become less familiar with all the entertainment brands their children know


The implication is that, particularly when they place their kids in front of a streaming source – or a source of continuously playing video content, like YouTube - and let them binge watch, parents might not be as familiar with every new entertainment brand their kids are exposed to.


From our ‘BrandTrends Entertainment’ research, we know that more than 83 percent of the top 30 best known entertainment brands and characters are video based.


And according to our ‘Kid Consumer’ research, we know for a fact that watching streaming content on platforms like Netflix and other similar ones is becoming increasingly the main source of the awareness of entertainment brands. These platforms are now the primary way to view and discover new movies, TV shows, and cartoons now.


Additionally, we could consider that, outside the brands they are familiar with from personal experience or from widespread knowledge, parents have little chances to become familiar with the less widely known but nevertheless new brands (and so recording a mid-level awareness).


Due to the awareness gaps that are more likely to affect data for infant and child samples (0–6 years old), it stands to reason that parents of children who have a wide variety of streaming subscriptions – or a source of continuously playing video content, like YouTube - may not be aware of everything their children are watching, especially the new shows.

The hypothesis under test is that as adults consume more streaming content, they become more familiar with a wide range of entertainment brands; while as infants and toddlers consume more streaming content, parents become less able to accurately confirm that their children are familiar with the brands.

We decided to first test this theory in a country that consumes a lot of entertainment content. We attempt to provide a more thorough explanation for the reasons for the changes in awareness we have noticed since 2019.


Streaming source consumption and knowledge of the Entertainment world


The analysis was made using data of American individuals aged 0 to 65-year-old through three different time periods: April 2021, October 2021 and April 2022.


A variable representing the number of distinct streaming sources used as well as the knowledge rate, or the proportion of brands a respondent knows based on the total number of tested brands for that respondent, were determined for each respondent of the three periods. [Knowledge Rate = proportion of brands a respondent knows based on the total number of tested brands]


Three significant key truths emerge from this analysis:


  • According to the number of different streaming sources used by men and women, it appears that there is no difference in the knowledge rate trend between genders.

  • However, when comparing the age groups, the patterns between those aged 0 to 6 and those aged 7 and higher appear to be different. The average amount of knowledge varies, which is clear given that brand knowledge increases with age.

  • The quadratical trend of knowledge rates between children aged 0 to 6 and those aged 7 to 65 appears to be different as well (see chart below). The number of various streaming sources appears to be a convex function for children aged 0 to 6, but a concave function for those aged 7 and older.


And the results are quite astounding:


  • Brand awareness among adults aged 7 and older (up to 65) reaches its peak when they access two different streaming sources, and it remains at the same level even when they access up to seven sources. ==> Among the 7 years and older, accessing 2+ sources of streaming will likely not impact the awareness of the brands.

  • It's a different narrative for toddlers and preschoolers. When accessing more than four sources, the influence increases exponentially; otherwise, it is flat. This represents a tremendous increase of +300 percent in the number of brands known from accessing 4 to 7 sources. ==> Among the 0-6 years old, accessing 4+ sources of streaming will significantly not impact the awareness of the brands.

  • We even estimated that, in average, accessing an additional streaming source implies to be aware of 2 to 3 more brands; and so on (see below).

  • The direct consequence of these: If the household's streaming source count changes, the range of the entertainment brands known by the infants and toddlers will adjust up or down in line with that. Even though this is a market fact, we must take it into account when developing our methodology.


The first two findings have been validated using a multiple linear regression. Additionally, we added to the model explanatory variables including household size, income, and respondent age for the overall model (0-65 years old).


Using a new streaming source raises the knowledge rate by 3,5 percent points on average among people ages 0-65 (this is the 3rd observation). Age-related differences in the effect mean that children aged 0 to 6 are more affected than children aged 7 to 14 and those aged 26 to 65. The quadratical form of the number of various streaming sources utilized, Nb streaming2, which has a large and beneficial effect, presented the concavity in global terms: among people aged 0-65, the more streaming sources we use, the less of an impact those sources have.


We can affirm with 95% confidence that the effect is convex for children 0–6 years old and concave for children 15–65 years old using this model and this representation. For children aged 7-9, it is linear, whereas for those aged 10 to 14 it is only somewhat so.


The number of persons living in a household does not have an overall impact.


However, in terms of household income, we examined variations between the highest and lowest incomes. The knowledge rates are lower for people making over $80,000 than for those making the least money. The wide range of activities available to the wealthiest households, such as sports, vacations, and family activities, may help to explain this phenomenon.


The age-group-specific rise in knowledge rate over time for a family with almost no streaming source is shown in the following table:


Levels of brand awareness by age group


The summary table that follows describes the typical impact of adding an extra streaming source in a household on the knowledge rate of the tested brands; and we detail the effects based on different knowledge rates (knowledge rate of all the brands tested on the respondent, knowledge rate on all brands of awareness > 75% tested on the respondent, knowledge rate on all brands of awareness between 45% and 75% tested on the respondent, etc.).


For instance, in the US, adding an extra streaming source to a family boosts a child's likelihood of knowing a brand that is well-known among children aged 7-9 (Awareness > 75 percent) by 1.18 points on average.


The higher effects are concentrated on the middle-known brands (awareness between 45% and 75% of the demographic group). Indeed, their awareness evolve than the very known brands (which already evolved to their highest point of awareness) or the lesser-known brands (awareness < 45% - too weak to face the competition).


So, the portion of our initial assumption, ‘parents become less able to accurately confirm that their children are familiar with the brands’, is fully validated at that stage.


Before we go


This demonstrates how the younger generation's awareness of brands is directly impacted by their access to a variety of content sources. The main difficulty for us is not the awareness itself, but rather understand the transmission of this awareness to the parents.


For our tracker service, this ultimately has little bearing on our main goal. Again, that is to correlate consumers' purchase intentions with the popularity of the brands. Since the objective is to increase the brand’s wallet share, then reporting the ‘real’ understanding of the purchase intentions origins is not only necessary; it is the only best way to operate and make sense to the levels of purchases.


However, it is equally crucial for market participants to pay close attention to the flow and content of information from kids to parents. The objective would be to clearly understand the pertinent touchpoints i