Survey shows: advertising to families needs specialised agencies

PR-Bild Familie spielt Triominos Gesellschaftsspiel

Lifestyle image from the toy industry: a Family playing Triominos by Goliath

Many industries are struggling to find a suitable approach to the family target goup. The advertising trade journal Horizont commissioned a survey which found out that families hardly see themselves reflected in the advertising of banks, insurances and other financial services with only 12.6 per cent of affirmatives to the question whether families feel that the advertising resonates with them.  “This is not surprising when most communication directed at families is created by agencies who don’t have a good grasp of the target group”, says Ulrica Griffiths, founder of Munich agency Griffiths Consulting which is specialises in the target groups family and youth.

Not even those companies who deal with families internally hit the right chord: Only 16.9 per cent of all participants say that they like the advertising for family services such as child care. The food sector, in contrast, is more successful with over half of all participants answering positively, especially with the 18- to 29-year-olds, where 66.9 per cent agreed. In contrast only 40 per cent of the over 50-year-olds were in favour and the car industry came out average with 29.3 per cent.

Particularly the image of families in marketing communications did not meet the approval of the consumers: Only 6.3 per cent agree that the pictures largely match reality. Advertising should not just depict the traditional family model, but also patchwork families, single parents or same-sex parents – this demand had the most support with 52.5 per cent of all those surveyed agreeing to it.

The desire for realism however is confronted with a contradictory need for dreams: After all, 44.3 per cent think that it is ok that marketers stage the illusion of a perfect world. This desire is strongest among the 18- to 29-year-olds: 53.8 per cent of them agree. It is interesting to compare the answers of men and women: Across all dimensions, there is a slight preference by women for a more realistic image of families. Ulrica Griffiths: “Two Groups emerge who prefer a world where all is sweetness and light: yound adults, who don’t have a family yet of their own, and men – and aren’t those the ones in agencies and companies who determine the image of families in advertising?”

The survey was conducted by the Frankfurt market Researchers Link Institut für Markt- und Sozialforschung on behalf of Horizont during May 2013 among 500 people aged 18 years and older.


Text in: German


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