How kids prefer cartoon characters to look

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If you're planning on rolling out a kids' campaign with an animated character this year, you might be interested in Kidscreen's three-part series on children's TV viewing habits. The series covers recent research by Dr. Maya Götz of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television in Germany. Part one is boring and expected, pointing out that male leads overwhelmingly outnumber female leads in kids' TV shows around the world, and that most female characters are overly sexualized with unrealistic body proportions. But part two may surprise you. When Dr. Götz gave over 1,000 children between 3 and 12 years old a choice of three different versions of the same female cartoon character, 70 percent of girls and boys chose the naturally proportioned character above the ones with a thin waist and a chubby waist. Turns out boys and girls also both prefer to see characters who are kids themselves (as opposed to adults). Part three of the series focuses on the character genre preferences of boys, noting that less is more when it comes to dialogue for little boys. So, choose a monosyllabic, average-looking 8-year-old, and you'll have it in the bag.

—Posted by Rebecca Cullers