SURVEY FINDS: HUMOR THEM

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"To sell sell sell and make the product sing like a song in your head."

That's the purpose of advertising, as explained by a 7-year-old boy in research conducted exclusively for Advertising Age by NeoPets, a youth-oriented dot-com. Results of the wide-ranging study-covering young people's attitudes about current events, media, marketing and consumer products-are featured in this Special Report and more in depth on AdAge.com. QwikFIND aan11v

The NeoPets.com gaming site has about 11 million registered members. It conducted the online research from Jan. 4-9. A total of 12,512 U.S. NeoPets members, ages 18 and younger, responded to four separate surveys in the random sampling (19-to-23-year-olds also responded); maximum margin of error on the overall results was 2.3 percentage points.

Some highlights:

* As they get older, an increasing number of young people feel advertising can affect the opinions of children more easily than it can adults; 72% of teens responding believe this to be the case.

* Respondents weren't impressed with how realistically ads portray children. One a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being "very realistically"), the score descends as respondents grow up, with teens rating TV ads at a 3.2.

* Humor in ads appears to be far more popular with young people than ads featuring movie, music or sports celebrities.

* Teens get an average $28 a week in pocket money; tweens and younger kids said they get $15.

* Favorite food: 34% named pizza, and hamburgers came in fifth at 11%. But favorite fast-food restaurant: McDonald's, cited by 27%; Pizza Hut was fourth at 12%.

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