Audience Watch: Children's thoughts on Christmas, Santa and gift-giving

In an exclusive column for ToyNews, each month John Conlon, VP Director of Research at Nickelodeon UK, will present the latest research on kids and their families. Don’t miss this essential guide for anyone in the toy business
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It feels as though we’ve only just fired up the BBQs to mark the timid beginnings of summer, but for many retailers, advertisers and planners, Christmas is already on the agenda with seasonal line and catalogue launches on the horizon for this month.

In our latest piece of Nickelodeon research, the festive fervour seems to be well worth it. Christmas reigns as the most important annual event in the kid calendar – beating out birthdays, summer holidays and Halloween. Kids get excited and prepared for Christmas early with 40 per cent planning what they want two to three months before December 25th. In fact, 15 per cent of kids have already begun planning six months in advance.

In terms of what kids want to find in their stocking, technology ranks high, with boys and girls citing games consoles, tablets and phones as top gift choices. For younger kids, toys including LEGO, football kits as well as posters and apparel featuring the pop band One Direction are seen as desirable Christmas items. Two out of three UK kids make a Christmas wish list, but only a third feel they get what they ask for.

As for the man in the red suit, just over half of kids aged four to nine (only 51 per cent) named Santa as the giver of Christmas gifts. For the non-believers, mum is unsurprisingly viewed as the most likely to buy them their Christmas gifts, while Dad comes a close second.

The gift giver matters too – 30 per cent of kids said that part of what makes a present a good one is that the gift comes from someone special.

Also, with almost half of all kids aged ten to 15 saving up pocket money to buy friends and family gifts, and over a third of kids the same age helping their parents with Christmas dinner, it seems that, among our children, the spirit of giving is certainly present (pun intended) at Christmas time.

About the author

John Conlon is Viacom International Media Networks VP Director of Research, UK Cluster. Overseeing all of VIMN’s research activity within the UK, Australia and Eastern Europe, John’s focus is to guide and support the development of VIMN’s business units through the provision of audience intelligence, analysis and insight.

John has overseen numerous research initiatives including brand positioning and consumer product studies, as well as audience investigations.

For research and advertising enquiries please contact partnerships@nickelodeon.co.uk

For licensing and retail opportunities please contact consumerproducts@nickelodeon.co.uk

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