‘Making Wishlists’: Warner Media and RED C


Today’s children are spoiled for choice when it comes to entertainment, with near infinite libraries of content at their fingertips and many owning their own smartphones by age 9. With viewing behaviour changing, Warner Media was keen to explore the role that TV and digital video play for children, and what this means for advertisers.


Warner Media worked with RED C to investigate the role of media in the lives of children aged 4-11, exploring

  • How they use TV and YouTube
  • Their roles in the path to purchase for children
  • Campaign effectiveness across media
  • And how the advertising industry see TV and YouTube

This expansive brief was a tough one to meet. Designing this type of research for children can be tricky, and we wrestled with an approach to ad testing that could work across a variety of ages and comprehension levels. The study needed to be able to distinguish uplift in those who recall adverts, without using scales, and when speaking about big, well-known brands that appeal to all children. After all, how many children in this age group wouldn’t want a Nintendo Switch?


We used a mixed-method approach to get a holistic overview of the kids’ media landscape. This combined in-home qualitative interviews with both children and parents, a quantitative survey to both children and parents, and interviews with industry experts.

To uncover System 1 attitudes, our approach employed IRT (implicit quantitative survey response testing) to examine the effects of advertising exposure. To ensure children could answer easily we had to be extremely careful with the words we used, and we ensured a clean visual look and feel to keep it fun and engaging.’

For the parent component of the study we asked them to retrace their steps on a recent purchase for their child, employing the MaxDiff trade-off technique to get to bottom of why parents felt their child really wanted the product they bought.


The research, which has now been presented at the Media Research Group, found that…

  • TV and YouTube fulfil different needs for kids
  • TV and YouTube work better together for advertisers
  • TV and YouTube are highly influential on toy and game purchases
  • Purchase journeys that begin on TV and YouTube lead to higher spend
  • Advertising around premium branded kids content increases effectiveness
  • Pay TV households are more receptive to ads

Warner Media has been able to empower advertising partners with insights that will increase the effectiveness of their campaigns.

To find out more, contact richard.barton@redcresearch.com at RED C