What is popular right now among kids and their parents … and what’s not?

To find out, Nickelodeon International recently conducted a study to learn more about what celebrities are trending among both groups. Fielded in February 2014, the project consisted of a 10-minute survey of kids and parents recruited from the Viacom online community across 10 countries/regions (UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and Southeast Asia). Here are some key findings:

Parents vs. Kids

When it comes to TV, movie, and music celebrities, kids and parents share similar perceptions of who’s on top – although when you get past the highest-ranking favorites, kids and parents do have divergent feelings for some stars.

For sports heroes, however, kids’ idols are different from their parents’. Parents are also more likely than kids to be aware of and follow famous athletes.

Local vs. Global

International stars dominate the film and music industries, causing local movie actors and singers to lag behind global names in their popularity among parents and kids.

TV content, on the other hand, is more shaped by each country’s language and programs. As a result, regional TV actors perform well against international stars.

Similarly, sports celebrities generally have the highest profiles in their home countries because people like to support local athletes.


For kids, Real Madrid soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is the top global sports superstar. Their parents, however, favor Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova.

The TV star who rates as most likeable among both parents and children is Victoria Justice from Nickelodeon show Victorious.

Johnny Depp is the most well-liked international movie star among both parents and kids. Selena Gomez also has high appeal, though she’s more admired by parents than kids.

Kids’ taste in music is similar to their parents—and among both groups, Beyoncé is the hottest singer of the moment. Generational differences set in for stars like Justin Timberlake, who parents tend to favor, and One Direction, who’s more popular among kids.

SpongeBob is the most loved children’s TV character, inspiring high levels of commitment, passion, and intimacy from parents and kids alike.