Pester Power


– By Florea Nuthall

Pester Power, definition – ‘The power children have, by repeated nagging, of influencing their parents to buy advertised or fashionable items’
Working in media during the B.C. (before children) times I had used this term within many strategies and media recommendations to describe the influence that these miniature people have in the purchase of products i.e. food, snacks, toys.
But it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I realised how powerful Pester Power could be. As a parent, you have the urge to want to give your children everything they desire but within reason of course. Thought needs to be given to cost/usefulness/ amount of sugar of the ‘wanted’ object.  But all the thought and justification goes out the window when your child is screaming and crying at the supermarket checkout for the 70 cent Brand X confectionary bar they so desperately need or else they will die. ‘It’s only 70 cents’ you justify to yourself and ‘If it goes in his mouth, at least he will stop crying’. You win Brand X… this time.
There are laws in place to stop advertising of junk food and toys specifically to children but kids are not stupid. Their brains are young and sponge-like. They remember brands when they see them.  And more importantly, they will influence you towards that brand selection. At two years of age, one of the first brands my son recognised was McDonalds. In recent times he wasn’t feeling well and asked if I could get him some Nurofen. With only Panadol in the cupboard, he insisted I go out and get Nurofen. Why, because ‘it targets the pain’. How is that for brand awareness and key message take out!
Never underestimate the value of pester power. Kids are small but they have a big voice in determining what brands get inside the front door. Maybe from now on I will just leave the TV on ABC and do my grocery shopping online.