Jackie Anderson [Posted by Jackie Anderson]

My kids love the Disney Channel and, if you spend any time tuned into this channel, you’ve certainly seen or heard some piece of their Friends for Change campaign.  The campaign brings together all of the Disney Channel’s hot stars from the Jonas Brothers to Hannah Montana to educate kids about making small changes to help save the planet in a variety of ways. The multi-media campaign features highlights on TV, specials on the making of the campaign, and a dedicated website. An impressive collaboration, it got me thinking, do kids even connect companies with their philanthropic causes? For the answer I turned to our North American Technographics data and found:

  • Only 14% of young consumers[i]indicated that whether or not a company is green is an important factor when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. This number was almost equal among 12-14 year olds and 15-17 year olds.
  • Only 6% place importance on whether or not the company supports causes they believe in. Even if kids think supporting the environment is important, they don’t necessarily expect the companies they’re buying from to do the same
  • However, 41% think it’s important that the company has a good reputation. So, while charitable donations may not sway young consumers to take out their wallets, bad press around poor social moves could cause companies to lose young consumers’ dollars

So, while young consumers are more likely tuning into Disney to see Miley Cyrus rather than the company’s endeavors to help save the planet, it certainly can’t hurt. And what’s more, the campaign may be helping Disney earn points with parents. Thirty-seven percent of US online consumers over the age of 25 say that they prefer to buy products from companies that support causes they believe in. So, while Miley hasn’t convinced me (yet) to pay to offset my carbon footprint, I do feel a little better about my kids watching her on TV.

[i]We surveyed 4.692 online young consumers aged 12-17 in June, 2009. For more information on the survey click here (http://www.forrester.com/ER/Research/Survey/1,5449,734,00.html)