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“Mom! I've seen that on a commercial!” US preschoolers' recognition of brand logos

Emily S. Kinsky (Assistant Professor in the Communication Division, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, USA)
Shannon Bichard (Associate Professor in the College of Mass Communications, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 14 June 2011




This research seeks to explore 3‐5‐year‐old children's relationships with US commercial logos.


The case study included a walk through a local store with ten preschool children and their mothers, interviews with the children, and a two‐week diary completed by their mothers.


Results indicate that, while preschoolers may not know brand names, they often know the product associated with a logo. When shopping, children often reached and pointed toward products at their level. As they recognized brands or products, children often commented on their associations or experiences with them. The diaries revealed a variety of television and film viewing choices for preschoolers and the daily occurrence of logo recognition throughout the environment.

Research limitations/implications

Because this is an in‐depth case study of ten children, the results cannot be generalized. Further study could focus on particular products or brands. The combination of examples set through shopping experiences and media viewing seems to point to social cognitive theory as support for how children are trained to become consumers.


This research effort fills several gaps in the literature. It is a qualitative examination of a question that has previously only been examined quantitatively and, unlike in previous research, logos were selected systematically by using the top ten products advertised in the USA in addition to others that surfaced during research. This study also combines methods that have only been used individually before (i.e. flashcards, in‐store observation and diary).



Kinsky, E.S. and Bichard, S. (2011), "“Mom! I've seen that on a commercial!” US preschoolers' recognition of brand logos", Young Consumers, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 145-158.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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