Preteen children are spending a lot of time on YouTube watching videos. The popularity of unboxing videos and gaming videos is amazing. Advertisers are using this opportunity to reach children through channels such as FUNnelvision, EthanGamerTV and HobbyKidsTV. These channels offer kids the chance to see other kids like them having fun engaged in various activities that they might like to do themselves such as playing video games, opening presents and trying delicious treats. They also provide brands an opportunity for getting right in front of their target audience by placing their products in the videos or running ads before or during the video play. Kids enjoy choosing what video to watch and being able to watch one they like over and over.
As a mom of two boys, I see firsthand the influence videos like these have over my children. They are entranced by their screens. We set limits on what and how much they can watch. But, I still get requests for the toys they’ve seen “on ad” and their food preferences are being shaped by what they see (and not for the better). I don’t think these videos are the best for kids’ development, but I can see how they work to get products in view of children and sometimes not appropriate products. I was surprised to see ads for Henry’s Hard Soda running on one of these kids’ channels. So, parents keep an eye on what your kids are watching and make sure they spend the most time away from the screen and playing old-school style.
Below are some sample videos from popular kids’ YouTube channels: