The 'Nag Factor' and Children's Product Categories

Eileen Bridges
Kent State University

Richard A. Briesch
Southern Methodist University


In the USA, although advertising for adult products is aimed directly at the decision maker/buyer, for children's products the path to purchase is less direct. Manufacturers and retailers of consumer packaged goods often design advertising and promotional activities that appeal to children. However, when children wish to influence a purchase, they tend to use the 'nag factor', which describes an indirect path beginning with promotional activities influencing children, who then request that their parent(s) buy the product, followed by the parent(s) making the decision and/or purchase. The effects of such nagging might be observed as an increase in apparent variety-seeking behaviour, if parents respond regularly to nagging for different brands. One of the goals of this research is to improve understanding of the conditions under which promotional activities lead to purchases of children's products.