Nickelodeon revealed results from its first South African research into what makes South African kids and families tick at a seminar held in Johannesburg on 19 May 2014.
The research was conducted in Aug/Sept 2013. In South Africa, the researchers questioned 1000 South African kids aged 4-14 years old and 1500 moms.
Nickelodeon Africa brand head, Tasania Parsadh and Julie LeFevre, senior research director for Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) South, presented a range of findings about kids' TV viewing habits, media consumption and their attitudes to the future, success, national pride and happiness; comparing and contrasting these results to research conducted in 31 other countries.
Comparing South African kids to their global cousins, the research found that South African kids are happier than their peers in other countries, with 79% of kids claiming to be happy. In addition, 84% of kids stated they were proud to be South African (vs 79% for the other countries).
The confidence of South African kids is high, with 98% of them agreeing that, "I can accomplish anything if I work hard enough." Ambition and financial success is a key driver for this age group as 93% of the respondents stated that they expected to earn more money than their parents did.
For 52% of Mzanzi kids, television viewing was seen as a key way of attaining happiness; 50% of respondents said that it was their number one stress reliever.
From a digital media perspective, 74% of South African kids own or use a mobile phone, compared with the global average of 57%. The age of first ownership is also very young in South Africa, with most kids owning their own mobile phone by the time they are 9 years old.
When it comes to Nickelodeon in particular, 65% agreed that it was a good way to keep busy. Co-viewing by parents and kids is significantly high in SA: 59% of parents watch Nickelodeon with their kids; 52% of parents watch 2-4 hours of TV with their kids during the week, and 46% of parents watch more than 4 hours of TV with their kids on weekends and holiday. The highest co-viewing times for kids and parents occurs after 5pm.
In terms of who owns the remote, when kids watch with their dad, he controls what is being watched 64% of the time; when kids watch with their mom, she is more lenient - only controlling the remote 49% of the time.
Growth of digital media
Nickelodeon TV characters SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also made an appearance at the seminar, hosted by Nickelodeon and attended by key brands, marketing agencies and broadcasters.
Parsadh says, "We are thrilled to be presenting international and local research into South African kids and families. It is clear that TV is still the main medium for kids and families and brands but the growth of digital media amongst kids needs to also be considered as well. We hope that these insights will ignite further conversation and debate about this fascinating segment."