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Children’s bonding with popular YouTube vloggers and their attitudes toward brand and product endorsements in vlogs: an explorative study

Frans Folkvord (Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands, and Open Evidence Research, Barcelona, Spain)
Kirsten Elizabeth Bevelander (Behavioral Science Institute, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Esther Rozendaal (Behavioral Science Institute, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Roel Hermans (Faculty of Social Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and the Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 12 June 2019

Issue publication date: 25 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study has three primary aims. The first is to examine the amount of time children spend per week on viewing vlogs. Second, the authors explored children’s awareness and understanding of the brand or product placement in vlogs. Finally, the authors explored children’s self-perceived susceptibility to the potential persuasive effects of these vlogs.

Design/methodology/approach

Self-reported measurements were assessed among children (N = 127, 10-13 years of age).

Findings

Results indicate that the majority of children frequently view vlogs and that their degree of bonding with the vlogger predicted the time spend on viewing vlogs. Children recalled products and brands that were shown in vlogs, which were mostly food and beverages and considered themselves and others affected by endorsements in vlogs.

Research limitations/implications

Only cross-sectional data were collected; these data cannot be used to analyze behavior over a period of time or draw causal inferences.

Practical implications

Considering the popularity of vlogs among young people, it is important to acquire more insight into the frequency and amount of time children spend on viewing vlogs and children’s processing of persuasive messages in vlogs. This may lead to a better understanding of underlying processes and prediction of the outcomes of advertising through this form of media content. Current findings raise further questions about the persuasive content of vlogs.

Originality/value

Because of the popularity of online (social media) channels among youth, companies dedicate a significant proportion of their marketing budget on online influencer marketing. Therefore, it is important to acquire insight into children’s processing of online persuasive messages. To the authors’ knowledge, there is no empirical research on children’s potential bonding with popular vloggers and their awareness and understanding of the brand or product placement in vlogs.

Keywords

Citation

Folkvord, F., Bevelander, K.E., Rozendaal, E. and Hermans, R. (2019), "Children’s bonding with popular YouTube vloggers and their attitudes toward brand and product endorsements in vlogs: an explorative study", Young Consumers, Vol. 20 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-12-2018-0896

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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