Wednesday, June 18, 2014


     Good morning.  I am here to present our original research for Children’s Television to you the newly formed Broadcasting Advertising Council. This research was carried out in the late 1940's just before televisions were mass marketed. This was baseline research on consumer use of the technology. These are the fundamental science-based building blocks for the huge, successful growth in children's television programming and brand development.
     The very first phase of our fundamental research sought to understand the relationship between children and the new technology of television.
     May I have the first slide, please?
     Here you see home-style living room with a mixed group of children age 3, 4, 5 and 6 and a large Philco television. Look closely - what do you see? You see the children PLAYING -- playing with blocks, model cars, the cat, tossing the bean bag – ANYTHING but watching the television. At the very beginning of our research, this was the fundamental relationship between children and the technology of television – children simply weren’t interested! The world was too attractive and they were too curious. These were children whose normal response to life is to play! (Cute aren't they?)
     Next slide, please.

     Here you see another typical living-room set with a mixed group of children age 3, 4, 5 and 6 staring raptly at a large Philco television. Why? Why aren't they playing? We have captured their attention.
     How did we do this? Through behavioral research we discovered various visual and audio techniques which are more powerful than reality and could be used to make the children focus their attention on the screen: brightly colored characters – particularly those that are distorted in some way – either bizarrely large for the small screen, with feathers or fur, brightly colored; or with fantastically large heads, or big mouths, and so forth. And, sounds are, of course strong - distorted voices, sound effects or associated noises are most effective.
     We tested each of these techniques across the U.S. and included “DISTRACTION TESTING” to make sure that we could hold the attention of a child for up to 30 minutes at a time.  Distraction testing is, of course, where the children are sitting in front of the television and, at the precise moment a character or action we wish to test appears, we create a disturbance in the room – say spilled a bag of candy.  If any child goes for the candy, we revise the character and re-test until we have total child attention on the screen at all times. (Attentive, aren't they?)
     Next slide, please.


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