GIRLS MONTH: Girl Talk

What are 5-14 year old girls really into? We ask Carrick James Research.
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As part of our girls’ month on Licensing.biz we asked children’s market research specialist Carrick James what girls aged from five up to 14 were into. The answers reveal what TV programmes, websites, characters and personalities hit the mark for this most transient of age groups...

Favourite TV programmes among girls ages 5-14

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
X-Factor
Hannah Montana
Eastenders
High School Musical
Coronation Street
Spongebob Squarepants
Britain's Got Talent
Friends
Hollyoaks
Tracy Beaker

From the jaw-droppingly deluded wannabes of the initial rounds to the finalists themselves, girls get their pop-music fix from the X-Factor. It’s as vital in that regard as Top Of the Pops once was. But without the variety. Hannah Montana, soon to hang up her microphone, but sure to be repeated in perpetuity is also a huge attraction for the younger end of the age group. And Friends. Still enduring, despite ending six years ago. Maybe Channel 4 might want to rethink that decision to stop running the repeats.

Top Favourite TV programmes among girls ages 5-6

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Hannah Montana
High School Musical
CBeebies
Spongebob Squarepants
Dora the Explorer
Peppa Pig
Scooby Doo
The Simpsons
Tom & Jerry
Horrid Henry

American imports still rule the roost among those just starting school and there’s still room for one or two hardy perennials such as Tom and Jerry and Scooby Doo. Who will replace Hannah Montana when she’s gone though?

Top Heroes among girls ages 5-14

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus
Zac Efron/ Troy
Vanessa Budgens/ Gabrielle
Cheryl Cole
Lady Gaga
Destiny’s Child/Beyonce
Simon Cowell
Spongebob Squarepants
Ashley Tisdale/ Sharpay
Wayne Rooney
Michael Jackson
JLS

Okay. We get it. Girls love Hannah Montana. Simon Cowell is something more of a mystery, but I guess they’re really saying they love X-Factor/Britain’s Got Talent by proxy. You would hope. Great to see Lady Gaga in there. Pop stars are supposed to be certifiably eye-spinningly mental.

Top Heroes among girls ages 5-6

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus
Vanessa Budgens/Gabrielle
Zac Efron/Troy
Spongebob Squarepants
Barbie
Scooby Doo
Simon Cowell
Lady Gaga
Ashley Tisdale/Sharpay
Cheryl Cole
Steven Gerrard
Girls Aloud
High School Musical Cast
Abbs/Abs

No real surprises on this list, with the possible exception of keen amateur nightclub bouncer Steven Gerrard. The rest you would expect. Although, we have no idea which Abs they are referring to here. It can’t be the bloke out Five can it? He’s more Flabs than Abs these days, surely? Readers?

Top Cartoon and Puppet Characters among girls aged 5-14

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Hannah Montana
... Any Simpson
High School Musical cast
Spongebob Square pants
Gabriella (High School Musical)
The Simpsons (unspecified)
Tom & Jerry
Scooby Doo
Bart Simpson
Tracy Beaker

It seems that Hannah Montana can become the answer to any and all questions even when it’s irrelevant. She’s no cartoon character and neither are the cast of High School Musical, which makes The Simpsons numero uno here. Kids. Tcha!

Top Singers/Musicians/Groups among girls ages 5-14

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Hannah Montana
Girls Aloud
Lady Gaga
High School Musical
Beyonce
Leona Lewis
Michael Jackson
JLS
Alesha Dixon
Lily Allen

Now here’s a shock. Hannah Montana again. But it is interesting to see her ahead of more ‘genuine’ pop stars. Just shows the power of the TV/film branding. No Abs here.

Top Sports Personalities among girls ages 5-14

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
David Beckham
Ronaldo (Christiano)
Wayne Rooney
Fernando Torres
Frank Lampard
Steve Gerrard
Lewis Hamilton
Ashley Cole
Michael Owen
John Terry
Joe Cole

Footballers outside of the big four do not exist. Official. Except for Becks, and he doesn’t really count. Only Stevenage motor racing legend Lewis Hamilton can break the cartel. Used to live in my street you know. Fact.

Characters on which Licensed Products are Based Bought for Child in Past Three Months - among girls aged 5-14

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
High School Musical
Hannah Montana
Bratz
Spongebob Squarepants
Barbie

It may have ultimately been usurped by the slightly older-skewed Glee now, but High School Musical still resonates with girls. Surprised to see Bratz ahead of Barbie mind, given the strength of Mattel’s marketing recently.

Top Types of Licensed Products Bought Child in Past Three Months - among girls aged 5-14

(Unprompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Clothes (Esp T-Shirts, Sleepwear)
Books/Stationery/Publishing (Esp Books, Pencil Cases)
Household (Esp Bedding)
Toys & Games
Home Entertainment (Esp DVDs)
Accessories (Esp Bags)
Food

The power of licensing in the apparel market is evidenced here with t-shirts and nightwear figuring particularly highly. Books, bags and pencil cases also figure highly. Girls like to accessorise.

Top five Collectables Acquired in the Last Year among girls ages 5-14

(Prompted) Aug-Sept 2009
McDonalds Happy Meals
Any Stickers/Cards
Any Cards
KFC Kids Meals Toys
Barbie

Girls are traditionally less obsessive than boys when it comes to collecting things it seems, but not for nothing is McDonalds the world’s biggest distributor of toys.

Top Comics/Magazines - Last Issue Readership by girls aged 5-14

(Prompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Hannah Montana
High School Musical
Top Of The Pops
Sugar
Bliss

Licensed mags edge out Sugar and Bliss. Tops of the Pops survives as a brand despite the death of the TV show but it’s again Hannah and High School that girls want most.

Favourite Websites among girls aged 5-14

(Prompted) Aug-Sept 2009
Any Social Network
Facebook
MSN
Any BBC
YouTube
Google
CBeebies
Disney
Hotmail
High School Musical

For the digital natives who have never known a world without the internet, tweets, status updates and instant messaging are merely part of a new world of online social interaction. Facebook and MSN are de rigeur for any self-respecting teenager.

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