Kidfluencer exposure, materialism, and U.S. tweens’ purchase of sponsored products

Eric E. Rasmussen, Rachel E. Riggs, Willow S. Sauermilch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Kidfluencers comprise a relatively new form of advertising to which young adolescents are exposed. Therefore, this study explored the relation between exposure to kidfluencers and the purchase of products found in kidfluencer content among a sample of 300 U.S. young adolescents. Results of a survey revealed that tweens’ exposure to kidfluencers is associated with their purchase of kidfluencer-related products through a desire to emulate kidfluencers, and that materialism moderates this relationship. Findings suggest that kidfluencers may propagate a lifestyle to which tweens aspire that may manifest itself in changes to consumer behavior. Impact Summary Prior State of Knowledge Exposure to advertising, including sponsored content promoted by social media influencers on social networking sites, has the potential to alter youths‘ consumer behaviors and aspirations of fame, especially for youth high in materialism. Novel Contributions Tweenagers‘ exposure to social media influencers who are themselves kids (kidfluencers) is related to their desire to emulate kidfluencers, which is ultimately related to tweenagers‘ purchase of kidfluencer-sponsored products, but only for those at relatively higher levels of materialism. Practical Implications Parents should be aware of and monitor children‘s kidfluencer exposure. Educators should provide media literacy training that incorporates content related to social media influencers. As new media platforms are created/monetized, policymakers should adapt policies related to marketing to children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Children and Media
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Social media
  • advertising
  • influencer
  • kidfluencer
  • materialism

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