YouTube is driving higher toy purchases than broadcast TV, new Giraffe Insights study reveals

Children have better recollection of adverts they have seen on YouTube than on broadcast TV, with higher purchase numbers being driven by online advertising, a new study from Precise TV and Giraffe Insights has revealed.

The children, youth, and family research agency has found that twice as many children (70 per cent) aged between two and 12 years old can better recall ads they have seen on YouTube, compared to the 35 per cent who recall seeing them on television.

Last week, the insights agency, Insights Family, detailed its own findings that suggested children’s Christmas and holiday wishlists this year would be driven by online advertising across social platforms such as YouTube, rather than via traditional broadcast television.

The findings of Precise TV and Giraffe Insights’ research do not suggest, however, that families are not watching video on televisions, but rather that they have shifted their viewing habits to internet-enabled viewing across screens. The pandemic has accelerated the trend of households embracing free ad-supported television (FAST) options such as VIZIO WatchFree, Roku, and YouTube.

In fact, YouTube is now the single biggest source of supply in US connected TV (CTV) advertising, with approximately 40 per cent of US ad impressions on YouTube now occurring on TV screens, up from 12 per cent just two years ago, according to eMarketer.

“The convergent TV revolution is upon us,” said Christian Dankl, Precise TV co-founder and chairman. “As the traditional TV, streaming and online premium video worlds coalesce, YouTube is the dominant catch all for advertisers coveting audiences online and via connected TVs.”

YouTube is the most popular way US kids consume content (85 per cent), followed by Video On Demand (71 per cent), and Gaming (60 per cent). In contrast, kids are least interested in esports (13 per cent), magazines or catalogs (16 per cent) and trips to the cinema (17 per cent).

The study goes further, to also investigate how advertisements across platforms impact purchasing decisions.

A staggering 70 per cent of kids saw ads on YouTube vs just 35 per cent on Broadcast TV, and respondents suggest a direct correlation between this heightened YouTube ad recall and purchasing decisions.

When kids were subsequently asked to recall where they saw advertised items that they asked their parents to buy them, YouTube was the overwhelming answer (34 per cent) followed by Broadcast TV (15 per cent) and In-store (9 per cent).

According to the researchers, this was largely backed up by parents, who, when asked where they had seen ads that led to purchased items for their children, said YouTube (25 per cent) followed by Broadcast TV (12 per cent) and Online Websites (10 per cent).

“This study, which we run biannually with Giraffe Insights, is key in helping us track trends in viewing behavior over time,” said Holly Paxman Gibb, VP of Kids Media Program Sales US at Precise TV.

“We’re able to identify new platforms and behaviors as they emerge to inform digital marketing strategies that cut through and deliver ROI. We’ve known for years that kids are watching YouTube above all other online video platforms, but with this study we can now link those viewing habits to purchasing decisions.

“By plugging this data into a contextual targeting platform, it allows brands to ensure they’re reaching a convertible audience before even launching a campaign.”

Maxine Fox, managing director at Giraffe Insights, said: “This exciting piece of research comes at a time where brands need to understand and respond to the changing environment and the impact this is having on kids viewing.

“Our study revealed 35 per cent of kids only access content via YouTube, online sites, social media, gaming, and video on demand platforms. That means, if brands and advertisers are not focusing on a digital-first strategy they’re missing at least a third of their desired audience from the outset.

“But this is not all, with a wealth of other data that sits behind this study, brands can access the full research to provide their business with strategic kids insights not currently available anywhere else.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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