'Cheryl Cole' effect is too hard to resist
CHILDREN are still influenced by celebrities being used to sell products, despite being wise to advertisers' tactics by the time they reach the age of 12.
New research carried out at Keele University has shown that young people are subconsciously affected by the lure of big names like Cheryl Cole, who are used to market brands.
Keele masters student Hayley Gilman, and her supervisor Martin Rowley, have now presented their findings to a British Psychological Society conference in London.
The study involved quizzing 70 children, aged between nine and 15-years-old, about images of celebrities and non-celebrities.
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One week later, the same youngsters were then presented with eight fictitious brands that they had previously rated neutrally, which were randomly paired with famous and non-famous people.
Children were then asked to say how much they liked each brand.
Hayley said: "Our data suggests that, regardless of their conscious brand judgements, children tended to have a more positive emotional response to the brands that had been paired with a celebrity."
The university's findings mark a departure from the traditional view of advertising and its influence, which has long been seen as operating on an engaged and conscious level.
Martin added: "As children get older, it may be that they are better able to resist the emotional impact of advertising because they have more advanced conscious processing powers."