Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=1,260. Base: Australian children 6-9; Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=1,616. Base: Australian children 10-13
Christmas may be months off yet, but as parents of young children know, it’s wise not to leave the important task of gift-shopping til the last minute. And as any marketer or retailer knows, kids are a very influential consumer group, with strong views on what they like and don’t like. But, as both these groups also know, staying abreast of children’s favourite things is a challenge -- for the simple reason that their tastes can change from one day to the next. So what’s hot with Aussie kids right now? Just ask Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey!
Obviously, younger children don’t always have the same favourites as older kids, and girls frequently differ from boys, but there are some noteworthy crossovers: pop cultural figures that transcend age and gender.
Who would have thought, for example, that in 2016, the top ranking favourite cartoon character for Australian kids would be a nonchalant, carrot-munching rabbit who made his cinematic debut back in 1940? That’s right: Bugs Bunny has still got it, nominated by 8.0% of all children 6-13 as their favourite, and topping the list for girls and boys aged 6-9 and 10-13 years respectively.
This marks an unexpected comeback by Bugs, who was in third place behind more modern characters like Finn and Jake, and SpongeBob SquarePants in 2013. Peppa Pig, another recent hit with the 6-9 year-old bracket, now sits in 11th spot overall (or 7th among girls).
Fave raves of Aussie kids 6-9 years: boys vs girls
Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=1,260. Base: Australian children 6-9.
When it comes to superheroes, Batman is the only one who appears consistently among the top-ranking favourites for girls and boys of both age groups. In fact, the Caped Crusader is the top choice overall, named by 15.3% of Aussie kids 6-13 as their favourite. With a permanently high profile thanks to an endless succession of blockbuster films, his widespread popularity is no surprise.
Unlike Bugs, however, Batman’s popularity varies slightly with gender. He’s tops with boys 6-9 and 10-13, but is consistently out-performed by Wonder Woman among girls. Intriguingly, younger girls also love Catwoman but the feisty feline villainess slips to fifth among older girls, overtaken by those perennial alpha males, Superman and Spiderman.
The appearance of Dead Pool in third place among boys 10-13 is an example of how changeable kids’ fave raves can be: this time last year, the Marvel Comics character was only eighth-favourite among this group, but with the release of the Ryan Reynolds film in early 2016, his popularity has surged.
Fave raves of Aussie kids 10-13 years: boys vs girls
Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=1,616. Base: Australian children 10-13
There are a few common favourites in the computer/console games category, with Minecraft tops for girls and boys aged 6-9, and for girls 10-13. While the Call of Duty series has surpassed Minecraft over the last 12 months among older boys, the child-friendly Minecraft remains the favourite game overall, top-ranked by 14.3% of Aussie kids.
Games provide another example of how kids’ favourites can’t be taken for granted, with Skylander and Just Dance gaining favour among 6-9 year-old boys and girls respectively at the expense of Call of Duty and Wii.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Roy Morgan Research has been measuring the likes, dislikes, attitudes and habits of Australian children for years, and the data never ceases to surprise. Against the ever-changing backdrop of 21st-century popular culture, we find that kids’ tastes are at once influenced by mass-media and marketing trends (witness the rise of Deep Pool) and shaped by preceding generations of kids’ preferences (Bugs Bunny and Batman).
“Not surprisingly, it can be difficult for marketers (and sometimes even parents) to get it right. Should they opt for the flavour of the month or put their confidence in a timeless classic? No wonder so many parents and grandparents take the easy way out and give cash in lieu of a gift!
“But for marketers and retailers wishing to catch the attention of young Aussies, Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey can help. With its comprehensive, accurate data, it reveals not only what makes Australian kids tick but what’s falling out of favour – thereby allowing for relevant, targeted marketing at all times."
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