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© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Digital Marketing
to ‘Generation SpongeBob’
Whitepaper - update May 2014
Gerda Van Damme - Guido Janssens (Dreammachine Kids)
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
32
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Communications to kids through digital media
require a specific approach. Understanding of
usability requirements, legal and ethical concerns,
deep knowledge of kids’ interests, sensibilities,
ideals, fears and hopes... these are just a few of
the skills you should ask from your agency when
targeting kids.
Dreammachine Kids offers you this knowledge.
We help you find. the emotional touchpoints with
your brand through successful digital marketing
projects for kids and their mums.
Some of the clients include Le Chat, Persil, Danone,
Atoma, Woeffies, Grany, and many other A-brands.
Interested to know more about our services?
Mail us at kids@dreammachine.be.
Strategic services of Dreammachine Kids:
•	 Analysis of existing projects
•	 Usability checkup
•	 Usability testing with kids
•	 In company trainings
•	 Setup of agency briefs
•	 Audience analysis
Development services of Dreammachine Kids:
•	 Websites, contest sites, minisites, kids’ corners
•	 Games & contests
•	 Mobile sites, mobile apps
•	 Digital advertising campaigns
•	 Online communities
•	 Augmented reality
•	 Social Media
•	 E-mail marketing
•	 E-commerce, E-coupon or e-voucher actions
•	 Top topicals (back2school, halloween,...)
... Targeting kids, mums and families in an
appropriate way
Gerda Van Damme is Business Unit Manager of the
‘Dreammachine Kids’ department at Dreammachine.
She started her career in the children’s books
publishing world. Before working at Dreammachine
she was also Consumer Marketing Manager at MSN
(Microsoft) and Manager of The Web Factory. Her
deep knowledge of the online consumer is based
upon a large experience with digital and online
media since 1995.
Guido Janssens is Manager of Dreammachine. As a
multimedia expert since 1992, he started his career in
the early days of the CD-i at Philips Interactive Media
Center. In 1998 he joined The Web Factory, and he
has not left the internet sector ever since.
3
4
Digital
Marketing
to ‘Generation
SpongeBob’
Gerda Van Damme
& Guido Janssens
(Dreammachine Kids)
Whitepaper
Update May 2014
About the authors
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
54
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Table of contents
Introduction	6
The importance of kids marketing	 8
‘Generation Spongebob’	 10
A new generation of mums & dads	 22
Digital media consumption	 26
Kids & digital marketing	 28
Trends in digital kids marketing	 36
Usability	78
Legal & ethical considerations	 88
References / further reading	 96
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
76
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Introduction
Kids marketing: the new kid in town
“speaks Digital”.
According to a Nielsen study, the spendings in
digital marketing to kids for US and UK together
topped 1 billion dollar in 2013.
The infographic ‘Kids of the past vs internet
generation’ (Bhavesh Patel) was the single most
viewed infographic on Slideshare over the whole of
2013.
Kids marketing is hot, and the kids ‘speak digital’.
Generation Z, or ‘Generation Spongebob’ as we call
them, are the first generation of internet users who
are born at a time when the internet is completely
accepted as a mainstream element in our daily
lives, with internet access available in the vast
majority of households. The greater part of them are
raised by the generation (called generation Y) who
adopted the internet with a huge enthusiasm 10 to
15 years ago – when they were teens, using already
applications like IM on a daily basis. In this respect
their mothers are very different than all previous
generations of mothers.
Most popular
infographic in 2013
“The new kid in town”
This paper is mainly based upon desk research and
treats the following topics:
•	 The importance of kids marketing
•	 ‘Generation Spongebob’
•	 A new generation of mums & dads
•	 Digital media consumption
•	 Kids & digital marketing
•	 Trends in digital kids marketing
•	Usability
•	 Legal & ethical considerations
•	 References / further reading
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
98
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
The importance
of kids marketing
Most active and
lasting bindings
to a brand are
established before
the age of 16.
Indirect influence on many
adult purchases
Kids influence a lot of purchases:
•	 Kids related goods, such as toys or clothing
•	 Kidfluence: Marketing towards kids influences
about every buying decision a parent takes.
Parents take their kids opinion into account.
Dale Wyat (Suzuki Sales and Marketing Director
– 2012): “It is typically the whole family that
influences the decision for buying a family car.”
Some figures about influence of children in
purchases (source: ‘Candy-Coated marketing’ –
Sheena Horgan – 2012):
•	 Holidays (86%)
•	 Drinks (84%)
•	 Television (80%)
•	 Furniture (78%)
•	 Computers (25%)
•	 Cars (17%)
63% of kids put things in the shopping basket
when they go shopping with their parents (mainly:
candy, drinks, cereals, cosmetics, fruit, videogames
and clothing). And 64% of kids propose to buy
things while in the shop (source: OIVO).
When using the so called ‘pester power’, kids urge
the parents to buy things they’ve seen in ads.
Shaping future
brand opinions
Studies show that an active binding to a brand, that
lasts for a longer time, has to be established before
the age of 16. As brand awareness starts at about
6, the brand image should be established in this
period.
Spending power
According to Kinder als Zielgruppe der Werbung’
- Julia Lutz, kids use their money mainly to buy
sweets, drinks & fastfood…
…BUT when asking the kids, they say they want to
put money aside:
•	 For buying toys and bikes (<=9 yrs)
•	 For buying mobile phones (>10 yrs)
In Belgium the amount of pocket money is growing
with the age, from 21 € a month at 10 to 28 € a
month at 12. 57% save it at home, and another 30%
in a bank account. The younger they are, the more
they save the money. They spend their money on
food & snacks (40%), clothing (38%), videogames
(27% - growing with the age), going out (11%),
cosmetics (9%),... (source: OIVO Onderzoeks- en
informatiecentrum van de Verbruikersorganisaties,
2011).
Indirect influence
Influence on purchases of kids-
related goods
Mainly older tweens have a big influence on the
purchase of kids-related goods, or they simply
decide themselves what they want.
Brands are extremely important in this context
amongst the older tweens: the brands a kid uses
(clothing, toys, phones) will play an important role
if he’s “in” our “out”. Starting from 8 years old, the
brands a kid consumes (or wears) are an important
factor determining if he/she will be accepted
between his peers.
Kids even
influence the
websites their
mother visits.
(IAB)
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
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© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Who are we
talking about?
This whitepaper is talking about
children from 2 to 13 – the age on
which they can officially make their
Facebook account. A great part
of this age group consists of “tweens”:
the children between 8 to 12 years old.
They are too big to be a child, too
young to be a teen; they are just ‘in
between’.
This group is a part of the so-called
‘generation Z’. The commonly used
definitions and delimitations of the
generations are not very precise:
•	 Baby Boomers: born between approximately 1946 (Post-War) and 1964
•	 Generation X: born between approximately 1965 and 1980
•	 Millennial Generation (Generation Y, NextGen, the Next Generation): born between approximately
1980 and 2000 (some sources say 1995)
•	 Generation Z: born between 2000 (or 1995 or 2005 according to the source) and now (at Dreammachine
Kids we like to ccall them ‘Generation SpongeBob’).
•	 Generation Alpha is said to be coming soon.
Generation
SpongeBob
“Kids grow old young.”
Ask for our
audience
analysis
service
for your project!
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
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© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Cognitive and emotional development
of the preschooler
To understand the way preschoolers use the
internet, let’s first have a look at their cognitive
and emotional development, which will influence
their browsing behaviour and their browsing
capabilities.
•	 Preschoolers are very curious, but they
have a have a short attention span.
•	 Once absorbed in an activity, they like to do
the same thing over and over.
•	 When they master something new, they
have a huge sense of accomplishment
There is a big difference between kids 3-4 years
old, and 5 years old.
Age 3-4:
•	 They like to laugh and try to tell themselves
simple jokes that make no sense.
•	 They are still very egocentric.
•	 They are concrete thinkers concentrating on
one feature at a time, they don’t understand the
concept of compensation. To explain this, the
easiest is to refer to the story you may know of
the tall and the wide glass filled with water.
Toddlers will always think that the tallest glass
has most water, and cannot compensate the
lower height with the larger width.
•	 They do categorizing based upon 1 attribute.
E.g. for a child an apple may not be recognized
as fruit, as you cannot squeeze the juice out.
Also they have no ability to see hierarchies yet.
This will have an impact on the way they can
understand subcategories in a website.
•	 They have no comprehension of time. If you say
that their friend will visit in a week, they will ask
every day if he’s coming today.
•	 They display very externalized emotions
(crying, laughing, fighting,…).
Age 5:
•	 Empathy starts to really develop and they start learning
socially acceptable behaviour.
•	 Start using and understanding symbols. E.g. ‘I am a witch’
(sitting on a broom, this is enough as a symbol to make the
statement acceptable for the child).
•	 Distinction between appearance and reality starts to develop,
but they love to ‘pretend’ that their fantasies are real. They still
sincerily believe that things can appear and disappear.
•	 They are questioning adults to understand the world.
•	 They still have no strategies for memory.
•	 They have a limited understanding of maps, but difficulties
with understanding e.g. that the red line on a map doesn’t
mean that the street is red.
•	 They learn from experiences (‘if I do this, this will happen’).
They see causality.
•	 In complex tasks they will only focus on the current subtask.
•	 They start to accept a delay in the fulfilment of their desires.
E.g. wait for their turn to play with a toy.
Kids can identify brands starting from about 5
years old.
(http://youtu.be/N4t3-__3MA0).
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
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© Dreammachine Kids 2014
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+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Development of the children’s brain
Development: 6-8
At 6 to 8 years old the evolution of the
imaginative, more visual right hemisphere slows
down in favor of the more logic left hemisphere.
It moves from a fantasy world into the real world
and its preferences follow accordingly.
Extending possibilities
As this children start reading and writing, they
have much more impact and understanding of
their surrounding world.
The child gets an aversion of everything that
could be ‘childish’. They want to be taken
seriously. Also the difference between boys
and girls gets more and more evident and both
sexes have a very clear preference for the ‘right’
toys.
Kids grow old young
At this age we also that kids start to imitate the
adult world, the so called ‘Kids Grow Old Young’
– tendency. Due to its social and emotional
development, the child cannot afford to be
associated with products or games that might
label it as ‘childish’.
And of course, this intensifies the boy-girl
contrast. In the following years of the child’s
development, this trend will get more intense.
Development: 8-12
From 8 years on, children are getting really
savvy consumers. Brands are getting important
and brand loyalty starts to develop. Also many
other decisions that a child makes at this age
will remain unchanged for the rest of its life. But
if a brand doesn’t correspond to his values, it
will be dropped – probably for the rest of the
child’s lifetime.
Social influence from peers gets more and
more important. The child starts to recognize,
consider and question another person’s
viewpoint. The child takes the behavior and
appreciation of his friends into account. He
wants to be ‘cool’ and hip.
At 10 their neurological growth increases, and at
12 they enter the early adolescent stage, which
will change their way of thinking, their values
and their behavior completely.
But attention, at this age their attention curve
is still much shorter than the curve of an adult.
We even see that in the following stages (12-18)
their attention curve is still significantly shorter
than the one of an adult.
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
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© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Technological/social context they live in
Today’s young people are completely comfortable
with the rapid technological evolution. The rate of
innovations, as reflected in patent applications, has
more than doubled during their lifetime.
For this generation, toys conceived as a mix of
‘analog’ and interactive technology are normal.
For example: Monopoly Zapped, combining a
classical monopoly with extensions on the Ipad.
The bank is on the IPad, which also contains extra
modules, for example to get you out of jail.
Always attached to technology
According to the study ‘Zero to Eight’ from the
EU Kids Online Network (August 2013), “Over the
last five to six years there has been a substantial
increase in internet usage by children under nine
years old. Children under nine years old enjoy
a variety of online activities, including watching
videos, playing games, searching for information,
doing their homework and socialising within
children’s virtual worlds. The range of activities
increases with age.”
Starting from 8-12 years children start to be
continuously connected, using several devices
multiple times per day.
Many values of the previous age group remain
important: the safety and love of its caring family.
Identity and peer influence
Kids are searching for their identity and
benchmarking this with the characteristics of their
peers.
They are searching for the boundaries of what is
allowed for them. They look for their role in school
and at home, and long for acceptance by friends
and family.
The influence of their peers is enormous,
acceptance of their social neighborhood is
essential in every decision they make. But the
biggest influencers are the children that are a bit
older than themselves (“Kids grow old young”).
Values of a new
generation
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
1918
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
Self-esteem & success
“Fame” has become more inspirational: “Dreams
are just a YouTube Video away”: 77% desire fame
and believe they will actually achieve it (source:
Youth Product and Program Developer’s Handbook
– Daniel Acuff – 2013)
They seek for independence and expression of their
individuality. Therefore they search constantly for
new things – brands that do not reinvent themselves
are forgotten – and personalization is important!
Happiness as their normal
state
According to ‘The Marketing Store’, Jan 2013, kids
of generation z are basically happy kids.
Most cited sources of happiness are family, friends,
play, and toys. The family is the very most important
source of happiness, cited twice as much as the
second source, which are the friends.
Family and friends first
This makes it no surprise to hear that the most
desirable values for kids aged 6 to 12 are: being a
happy family, having lots of friends and being a nice
person. Also being smart and being rich score high.
An important learning for any marketeer targeting
kids is that those who focus on unhappy, rebellious
or frustrated kids in their messaging will have a hard
time to connect to the majority of kids and their
parents.
Engaged kids
Again according to ‘The Marketing Store’, Jan
2013, at very early age children of generation z are
quite engaged towards global issues, society and
environment.
An example tapping into this: the EL MONSTRUO
website from ING Direct and Unicef: a monster
that prohibits the children to go to school can be
countered by sending an sms with your desired
ending of the story. See http://elmonstruo.org/
For each SMS ING gave 1,20 € to Unicef, in total
197.000 €.
Boys vs Girls:
is the gender gap
closing?
The difference between boys & girls gets enormous
at the tween age: they form separate groups at the
schoolyard, they dress differently, and they play
with different toys.
While there is a lot of debate going on about the
gender gap and gender stereotyping in advertising
and in toys design, the reality shows that traditional
toys are still strongly gendered.
Boys and girls play in a different way. Hasbro
research shows that boys expect power and control
in their play, while girls are endless explorers and
identity seekers when playing.
According to Viacom research, parents encourage
gender neutral play for girls, but not for boys,
while the play preferences of the kids... reflect
stereotypes.
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
2120
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing
What products are
important to them?
•	 Classical toys like Frisbees, skateboards,
building sets,…
•	 Electronic products that imitate the adults world,
like cell phones, cameras,…
•	 Videogames (70% male)
•	 Everything they can collect
(source: Youth Product and Program Developer’s
Handbook – Daniel Acuff – 2013)
For classical toys: starting from 6 the use of
classical toys shrinks (some time ago, this was
still 9 years). Starting from 3, children already start
playing (simple) video games.
For the older children in this age group, ‘real’
mobile phones, computer games and clothing
get more important. Following the ‘kids grow old
young’ principle, they get more and more attracted
by adult media and brands. When they’re 12, 83%
of the US residents owns a mobile phone. In UK,
44% of the 8-11 year old use a tablet PC.
The actual spending of this group is different: they
spend most of their money to sweets, ice cream,
drinks and fast-food, followed by comics and
magazines, mobile phones and toys.
What are their
favourite
activities?
The global research from The Marketing Store
(Jan 2013) concluded that these are the favourite
activities of kids aged 6 to 12:
1.	 Play video/computer game (27%)
2.	 Watch TV (24%)
3.	 Explore Internet (21%)
4.	 Go to movies (15%)
5.	 Playing outdoors (15%)
6.	 Riding bikes (15%)
7.	 Play with toys (14%)
8.	 Play a sport (14%)
9.	 Outdoor activities (e.g. hiking) (11%)
10.	 Reading (11%)
on subgroups and cliques, as well as on the
product category (for example backpacks are more
commonly black).
Design:
•	 Preferences for special effects
•	 Preferences for symbols (hearts, stars…)
•	 Extensive use of sound and animation
•	 Everything has to go on quickly, kids have no
patience.
Content:
•	 Be concrete,
•	 Use a present day style,
•	 Use both visual and verbal elements.
•	 Especially under 8 verbal information is less
important than the visual.
•	 Take care of the mums: the communication has
to be attractive for the mums (and dads) also!
•	 Be sure to have an emotional impact
According to ‘Candy-Coated marketing’ – Sheena
Horgan – 2012, content for kids should be all about:
•	 More sophisticated storylines and content
•	 Scary, dangerous in combination with conflict
•	 Boy/girl relationships and family issues
•	 Humor (the tweens start to understand more
complex humor like sarcasm and allusive
remarks).
Mainly 6+ males love shocking and taboo,
scatological and disgusting content.
More specifically about the
storylines:
•	 Older tweens get interested in past and future,
but more in the future.
•	 Combination of past & future is very exciting (this
is an old trick: see Tintin or Bob & Bobette)
•	 Racecars, vehicles, sports, adventure, pop stars,
music, magic (for the younger ones), outer
space, monsters, dinos, the beach & the ocean,
parties (the older ones),
•	 theme parks,
•	 arcades,
•	 fashion (female) and celebrities.
•	 Pirates always work.
•	 Ideally you have to find a scene and an historical
setting that fits the product.
What design is interesting
for this age group?
Color:
This depends on the age. At 7 they still prefer
primary colors, at 12 they have a preference for a
much wider range.
It also depends on the gender. however blue is
common to both genders. Moreover it depends
What content and
design works?
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
2322
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
A new
generation
of mums  dads
“Love, hope  fear”
Love, hope  fear
Fear
Parents of this generation have fear that their
children are not eating right, not sleeping right  not
developing right. They think they are bad parents.
Professor Sheila Green (Dublin): “Parent’s anxiety
is often irrational. […] This is a ‘risk society’.
[….] Parents think they can control all aspects of
children’s lives.”
Love
Authoritarian parenting is disappearing. Parents
re-position themselves as their children’s friend.
Parents think they do not have enough time for their
kids.
Pursuit of Happiness
Parents have an obsession with academic
education. We see that children are put under
pressure to learn to read and count earlier and
outperform other kids in the group.
This parent’s attitude results in:
•	 Children having the power over the free time 
many purchases of the family.
•	 Children buying and playing games that are
meant for a higher age (50% of 13+ in the UK)
with agreement of the parents.
•	 Exponential rise in demand for private schools,
tutoring and extra-curricular academic lessons.
This makes for example the success of sites like
www.brainchild.com.
Parents in control
According to the Ofcom research ‘Children
and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes
Report, 2013’, the majority of parents use a
combination of mediation strategies to help
keep their children safe online, and over four
in ten parents have parental controls installed.
Nine in ten feel that their children are safer as
a result.
The majority of 5-7s and 8-11s say they spend
most of the time using the internet with an adult
in the room (85% and 69% respectively).
Different
generations of
mums
There are two ways of categorizing mums into
‘generations’: by their own age, or by the age
of their kids.
We first start with the mums categorized by
their own age. Mums have all been a child
once. Their perceptions are influenced by key
moments of their own youth: Tsjernobil, the fall
of the Berlin wall, 9/11,...
Babyboomer mums (born
before 1965)
The want money for value. They often try to
imitate the majority of the younger moms.
They are certainly the most nostalgic of them
all, wanting to recreate childhood memories for
their own children, as they are nostalgic about
their own childhood.
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
2524
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
Another way to categorize mums is through the age
of their children.
Preschooler mums
In general there is a strong distinction between
mum at home and working mom. The working mom
REALLY has no time. She is vulnerable for pester
power.
Food is very important to her. Food must be healthy,
but the working moms have no time to prepare and
so they often eat out. The preschooler mum wants
to be contemporary, and she wants to camouflage
weight gain (the first years after birth). This is also
why she loves physical exercise for herself.
For the children the focus is on entertainment 
education (this will stay like that in the next years).
The internet is used mainly to keep up with peers
and to search for information.
Elementary schoolchildren’s
mums
Children are away during daytime, so this mum
has no control over what they eat. For this reason
dinner at home is important.
Children start buying their own sweets  candy.
Sports become more part of the family lifestyle.
Education and school are central in their life.
For this mum, the internet is a lifeline between
the child and the mother. It’s also a way of
communication to peers for the children.
This mum wants to look contemporary 
professional, and the kids should look presentable
at school.
Generation X mums (born
1965 - 1980)
In their own youth, they were part of the so-
called ‘latch key generation’. Their mothers were
the first generation working out, and not many
tools were available yet for their mothers to
organize the family life on top of this.
Some of them want to forget their own unstable
childhood. In this group we find many divorced
and single mums. Above all they want a stable
life for their kids and for themselves, with or
without a man. They try to be like a friend with
their own mum and with their kids.
Not all generation X mums are equal, they
cherish their individuality: there are many kind of
mums (e.g. yoga mum, eco mum,...).
They expect marketing to appeal to their
multisensory communication behavior. They are
willing to spend money for enriching experiences
that will create family memories, like unique or
adventurous travel.
Generation Y mums: ‘Get on
the floor and play.’ (born after
1980)
These are the preschooler mums. They usually
had a prosperous youth.
They want to make the world a better place
to live and save the world from the damage
done by previous generations. They are more
world-centric than family-centric. They move
and operate in groups. Their style of parenting
is: ‘get on the floor and play’. They embrace an
ephemeral lifestyle.
When it comes to advertising, they have a strong
capacity to filter and select what fits their lifestyle.
Digital mums
The ‘Digital Mums’ Report, from IAB Europe
Mediascope series, Feb 2013, demonstrates the
importance of digital media for the media, brand
and shopping choices of European mums.
This report highlights that:
•	 69% (92 million) European mums access the
internet on a weekly basis (EU 65%).
•	 55% (50.6 million) digital mums media multi-task
the internet whilst they are watching TV (EU 48%)
•	 21% (19.3 million) mums use mobile internet
(=EU) and 8% (7.3 million) browse using a tablet
(=EU).
Top websites visited monthly
by Digital Mums
The research also confirms earlier researches
stating that digital mums habits vary accordingly to
the age of their children.
Mums who use the internet
and have babies and very young children (0-4
years old), are far more likely to visit family and kids
websites and personal care sites, whereas women
with children aged 16-18 take time out to focus on
movie websites and clothing  fashion websites.
Media Multi-Tasking
77% access the internet between 5.30pm-9pm,
typically after the kids are in bed, enjoying their ‘me-
time’ or tackling tasks they didn’t get done during
the more busy day-time.
55% use the internet whilst watching TV (EU
48%).
Mums have grasped and managed digital
media and technology to underpin their multi-
tasking lifestyle.
Keeping in touch

Mums are also using the internet to be social.
Instant messaging is used by 53% of digital mums
at least once a month (26% daily) and the number
of digital mums who have ever made a telephone
calls via the internet is 63%.
•	 They regularly access social networking sites –
72% weekly (EU 59%) and 58% daily (EU 44%),
•	 30% upload photos/videos weekly (EU 24%) and
7% daily (EU 6%)
•	 22% enjoy contributing to online ratings and
reviews weekly (EU 17%) and 11% daily (EU 6%)
•	 21% get involved in blogging weekly (EU 20%)
and 8% daily (EU 8%)
All are evidence of digital mums’ desire for
personalisation and participation.
Online shopping

Digital mums are even more frequent online
shoppers than the average European Internet user
(IAB Mediascope).
How to reach the
digital mum
Most research about how to reach digital mums has
been done in the US, a.o. by targeted media such
as ‘CafeMom’.
According to Punchtab (2013), the best way to
influence mums, are social media:
•	 91% of them use social media. Mainly Facebook,
but also other channels (Twitter, Pinterest,
Instagram) are rising quickly.
•	 Over 50% relies on recommendations of other
moms on social media. Recommandations work
2x better than ads. 91% of the moms don’t like
brands to post on their Facebook wall.
•	 81% of the moms say that they will buy more if
rewarded by a loyalty program of the brand or
the parent company that owns the brand.
•	 If offered rewards, 81% of all moms are willing to
interact with brands socially.
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Digital media
consumption
In 2013 the main device for visiting the
web at 5-15 is still the PC/laptop.
Some statistics
(source: ‘Children  Parents: media
use and attitudes report’, UK, 2013)
How much?
•	 The 5-7 group spends 6,7 hours/week on internet
(13,9 hours TV)
•	 The 8-11 group spends 9,2 hours on internet
(15,2 hours TV)
•	 Starting from 12 the internet usage is much
higher (12-15: 17 hours/week, TV 16,6)
What do they do?
Starting from 6, kids start doing everything that
adults do on the web:
•	 searching information (homework!). Google
is for the Flemish children the 2nd source of
information (DS, 16/10/2013)
•	 playing games
•	 contacting friends and family (mail, chat, social
networking)
•	 listening music and watching videos
•	 shopping (!)
•	 reading on-line magazines
Their old offline toys from when they were 5 or 6 are
for a big part replaced by online activity.
They visit sites with games and communities, often
related to their traditional toys or movies.
That way there is a real boost of communities for
6+, mostly owned by brands, aimed at emotional
involvement by the children:
•	 Mattel: Barbie
•	 Disney: Club Penguin
•	 Kellogg’s Kids Club
•	 National Geographic
•	 Everloop, Woozworld
How do they visit the web?
Kids’ online activities occur at home and very
frequently ‘out of sight’. From 5 years on they
start using mobile devices to go on the internet
unattended.
•	 Use of computers in bedrooms 5-7 without adult:
11%
•	 Use of computers in bedrooms 8-11 without
adult: 24%
•	 Use of computers 5- 7 attended by adult: 85%
•	 Use of computers 8-11 attended by adult: 69%
In 2013 in UK the main device for visiting the web
is still the PC/laptop. The importance of tablets to
visit the web is rising quickly within 8-11. For 11+,
mobile phones get more important.
“One in five UK parents of 5-7 year old
feel their child knows more about the
internet than they do.”
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Kids  digital
marketing
Kids expect digital media to entertain
them.
Kids  marketing
What kind of marketing do
these children accept and
what do they accept from
marketing?
Until 8-9 years, children interpret the advertising
very literally. No difference between the publicity
and the ‘real’ product will be accepted (size,
color…).
Starting from 8-9 years, the child’s vision upon
marketing changes: marketing should be
entertaining. Slogans should be ‘cool’, image
building is important and the message isn’t
analyzed in a critical way anymore.
Limited ad awareness
Ad awareness has several aspects: first of all
there is the recognition of a communication as
advertising. And secondly there is the question
whether the child can interpret the suggestive
language of advertising, whether the kid takes the
message literally or not.
Kids develop ad awareness only over years (and as
a ‘final’ step they develop ‘banner blindness’).
Children may click on banners by mistake, as they
haven’t developed an effective ‘ad avoidance’ yet.
Banners are - as opposed to television advertising
- mixed with real content. Some internet advertising
is ‘disguised’ as a game or a dedicated zone on an
adult website, a club or a branded environment. All
this makes it difficult for kids to understand where
they are entering a ‘commercial’ environment.
Studies show that especially the youngest children
are often not aware of the commercial intent of
advergames.
This means that for young kids ‘Advertising
should be recognizable as such’ gets a new
meaning. Some people would rather love to ban
all advertising to kids for this reason. BUT: an
advertising-free world doesn’t exist. So some
people seek the solution in education of kids about
advertising.
What do kids themselves think about this? There
seems to be an evolution towards a somewhat more
positive attitude of chidren towards advertising.
E.g. half of internet users aged 12-15 are aware of
personalised advertising – and are less likely than in
2012 to think it is a bad thing (UK study 2013).
Nielsen did some research about ad awareness,
and he came to the conclusion that ad unawareness
also creates some usability problems on websites,
with young kids leaving the website because they
unintendedly click on advertisements which they
don’t recognize as such.
Five years is the age at which children deveolop
the facility for making the advertising/editorial
distinction; at 7 to 8 children understand why the
advertising is being used; at 8-10: children begin to
recognize, consider and question another persons
viewpoint.
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How to engage
First of all: Children at most any age beyond 4 will
immediately make a ‘for me’ or ‘not for me’ decision
when first perceiving a product or a program.
Therefore it is important to communicate to them in
the right tone of voice.
Some ways of communicating are very successful
with children. Here are some guidelines that may
help you to make the connection:
Set the right tone
•	 Use emotions
•	 Magic. Must be more sophisticated for 8+
audiences.
•	 Exaggeration (for example huge muscles of
super heroes)
•	 “Cool” additions. For example, give sunglasses
to your hero.
Leverage the power of play.
Play is timeless
Communicating with kids, you should be aware
that playing is their favorite activity (in the top 10,
according to “The Marketing Store’, playing video
games comes in the first place, and further in the list
we find ‘playing outdoor games’ and ‘playing with
toys’).
Play has not been revolutionized by digital media.
Play is timeless, and ‘good play’ (recognized as
such by the child) will always follow or build upon
classical play patterns.
Parents feel that the following purposes of play
are lacking the most (and here is an opportunity
for marketeers!): problem-solving, active/
physical (outdoor?), learn something, imaginative,
collaborative. At the left we see an online campaign
for Joyvalle leveraging this.
Gaming is often used as a marketing tool. Think of
the numerous advergames we see appearing on
websites and in the App store. Games guarantee
interaction with your brand and a positive and
repeated exposure of your brand. (see also p. 33)
Think like a child
For a child, a stick is a toy. Try to think like a child
when talking to children. Test your communication
with them, do research (as we are no children).
Make sure to adopt the thinking of a child of the
right age (att.: a child of 4 is not the same as a child
of 4,5!).
Create a story
Storytelling is key when addressing children. Story
telling helps to get your message our there, and it
helps even more when you are in an educating role.
Don’t count on bells and
whistles
For kids it’s all about the content, not the bells and
the whistles. For instance in the toys arena, ‘watch
me’-toys will be rejected.
Tear down the walls
Adopt a transmedia approach. The content is the
fill rouge to their experience with your brand. Kids
expect continuity and consistency through all
media.
Example below: this is the key to success for Lego,
who is taking intellectual property across devices
and formats, ranging from toys over video games to
movies in a very consistent way.
Let there be fun
Kids have busy lifes nowadays. Humour gives
them a break in their busy schedule. Humour
has become the kids’ language. Kids appreciate
shareable jokes.
Lego and Minecraft: both built on the same classical play patterns
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Also music gives them a moment of well
appreciated entertainment, whether it be peers’
music or music from bands they like.
Engage with whom they look
up to
Kids look up to older kids. In digital marketing it’s a
good idea to target kids of 2 to 3 years older than
your real audience.
They love to imitate the adult world. BUT: younger
kids do NOT want to be older.  While they may
desire to have some things that older kids have,
and to ‘play older”, they are very happy being their
age. “Brands should celebrate childhood rather
than pushing them to “grow up”.  Give kids the
opportunity to stay younger longer by encouraging
activities that allow them to be (and act) their age.”
(The Marketing Store).
You can engage with kids through ‘early adopter-
marketing’, but this is a difficult process. Early
adopter kids (about 15%) are more connected, and
they keep informed by watching TV and through
social media. They share with their peers... mostly
on the playground. If you want to engage with the,
make sure to ‘speak their language’ and to offer
them creative content they can share.
Empower them, they’re the
‘maker generation’
Kids want to be empowered. Many of them are
used to empowering games, such as Toontastic
(allowing them to create movies) and Scratch
(allowing them to code games). They are ‘the maker
generation’.
Characters are their best
friends
It is important to study very well the character
before starting:
•	 He/she has to care for /educate the child (or the
other way around: f.e. dolls)
•	 The child has to be able to identify himself or
exactly take a distance of the role (Joker of
Batman)
•	 The child has to be able to look up to the
character (for example super heroes)
•	 The character has to be entertaining
•	 The character has to be based on a known
archetype (hero, mother, troll, prince,…)
Up to 6 years old, children prefer basic and safe
animals as main characters. From then on they
prefer more “exotic” ones. Gradually their interest
shifts towards ‘human’ characters. Dinos are
interesting for each age, but mainly for boys.
Be aware of your
real audience
•	 Who buys? Parents? Grandparents? The child
itself?
•	 Who will play with it, use it and participate?
•	 Get a very clear picture of the child: age –gender
– and the other data that you would need for an
‘adult’ action
Adapting the tone of voice
•	 Keep in mind their psychological and cerebral
evolution
•	 Keep in mind their values
•	 Keep in mind what products and design they like
•	 Their attention curve is still very short, so the
messages (and mainly the call to action) should
be very clear and compact.
Some ways to
reach out to kids
Games
Kids are not simply looking for information
(except maybe the older ones when making their
homework). They want to be entertained. Therefore
games are extremely important.
Why games? They guarantee:
•	 Interaction with your brand
•	 Give fun  a positive exposure in relation to your
brand
•	 Repetition of this exposure (by trying to get to a
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higher level)
•	 They capture the youngsters attention for a long
time (longer than on ‘normal’ websites)
•	 The participant must leave some of his data (with
their parents consent), so you can follow him up
afterwards
•	 Children identify themselves with the main
character, which may be a brand embassador
•	 Children may collect loads of (branded) things
How to address the child in a game?
•	 put the participant in the centre
•	 reward him as often as you can
•	 let him start with (and win) an easy level and
climb up to more difficult ones
•	 let him compete with his peers
Sidenote: what starts as a one media brand, ends
up as a complete lifestyle brand, throughout all the
media. E.g. a game on the Lego website is a ‘real’
Lego product and at the same time a promotion
for the Lego pack. The same brand, the same toy,
the same game exists in various media, and the
child can engage with the brand in a consistent way
through all those media.
Social Media
Following 2013 UK research, the interest in social
networking sites with kids is diminishing in favor
of instant messaging. While the total number of
profiles is declining, the number of social networks
is increasing. 18% of the 8-12 years should have at
least one profile.
Kids social media
There are many social networks for children.
Nickelodeon, Disney,… Most of them also offer
advertising possibilities. Their growth has been
enormous since 2007. Already in 2011 the number
of subscribed kids, tweens and teens nearly
reached 250 million.
In general, parents think that dedicated social
networks have a positive impact on their child.
Teachers disagree. Figures from 2008 (source:
‘Candy-Coated marketing’ – Sheena Horgan –
2012) say:
•	 SN could help reading and writing skills: 76%
parents, 29% teachers
•	 SN could help self-expression: 75% parents, 28%
teachers
•	 SN could help students learn to work together:
72% parents, 36% teachers
On these sites, the communication towards parents
is as important as the communication towards the
children.
•	 Parents have to approve the registration of their
child
•	 Parents want to be reassured about the safety of
the platform. In many cases they have a parental
panel in which they can activate/deactivate
various functionalities (e.g. chat).
•	 Parents are reassured that they will have ‘peace
of mind’ (sic - Everloop) while the kids have a
place of their own.
•	 Parents are invited to subscribe themselves to
newsletters.
Adult social media
Starting from about 9 years old, many children
start using Facebook (that officially only allows kids
starting from 13). They exaggerate their age in order
to be allowed.
•	 In the EU 17% of the 9-16 years old exaggerate
their age on internet.
•	 Kids-oriented groups on Facebook have an
enormous success: Spongebob 44 Mio Fans,
Silly Bands (animal shaped rubber wrist bands):
1,7 mio fans (October 2013).
In 2012 the following percentages of 8-12
participated in ‘adult’ social media in the US +UK:
•	 Facebook: 46%
•	 Twitter: 15%
•	 Myspace: 14%
•	 Google+: 11%
•	 “I don’t belong to any”: 37%
In 2011 36% of their parents are aware of it. And
they trust their kids on social media although they
control them (8-12 US+UK):
•	 I trust my child to be responsible when using
social networking sites: 90%
•	 Social networking sites are a good way for my
child to connect with friends: 96%
•	 Social networking sites pose a danger to my
child: 71%
•	 I need to supervise my child when he/she uses
social networks: 82%
(source: ‘Children  Parents: media use and
attitudes report’, UK, 2013)
Getting data
Getting children’s data is important for later
marketing use. FEDNA (European Code of Practice
for the Use of Personal Data in Direct Marketing)
guidelines impose to ask for children only the really
necessary information. Many social media for kids
ask 2x data, so that afterwards they have 2 ways to
reach the child:
•	 By asking ‘minimal’ data of the child itself (name,
e-mail, age, gender)
•	 By asking the data to the parents, when they
have to give their permission to the child to
subscribe itself to the social media. Here you
can ask all the information you want, and their
account is linked to the child’s account.
More about the restrictions can be found in the
chapter about legal and ethical considerations.
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Trends in digital
kids marketing
The digital life of the
kids is as such a major
trend of this decade.
Introduction to the
trends
Kids are the trend
The trend of trends is really the new attention
that is paid to kids, by organizations, government
institutions and companies. Kids are more than
before considered as little consumers, with their
own right to fashion, their own electronic devices,
their own tv stations, etc.
Think of – just to name a few – Stella McCartney
and Lord Willy’s (‘the ridiculously posh gentlemen’s
clothing line based in New York City’) starting a
clothing line for kids (‘Little Willy’s’).
Little Willy’s, exclusive clothing line for boys, from
the posh gentlemen’s suit company, Lord Willy.
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The digital revolution
Digital kids are the trend
Ban digital advertising!
Ban digital!
Revolutionizing brands
The content
Storytelling
Humor please!
Video is king
Characters and Santa Claus
Boys  girls
Real is beautiful
Mini rules
Happiness and well-being
Sophistication
Everything connected
The cross-channel approach
Immersive experiences
The mobile kid
The internet of things
Digital at the point of sales
Augmented reality
The wired kid
Virtual reality
Code-mania
Wearables
The interaction
Co-creation
Starification
Points, degrees, badges
A vocal generation
Helpful brands
The second screen
Advergames as goodies
Social media
The ephemeral social
Protected social networks
The rising power of Twitter
Digital mums
Nothing less than perfection
Educate kids and sell to parents
Inform the parents
Celebrating heroic mums
Imperfect mums
Nostalgic mums
The inclusive experience
The business perspective
Big data
Growth hacking
Crowdsourcing
Struggling with business models
Opportunities for innovation
the trends
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the digital revolution
Digital kids are the trend
Ban digital advertising!
Ban digital!
Revolutionizing brands
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Revolutionizing brands
To survive in this revolution, brands are rejuvenating
and digitizing their brand at all costs. In some cases,
even if this has to happen at the expense of the
carefully built core brand characteristics.
We see the same tendency to be open to complete
brand ‘resets’ with adult products. An example of
this is Moet Chandon producing Champaign in
India.
An extreme example of such a move in the toys
industry is Lionel Trains. Below you see an old
advertisement of this company, and the new image
of the brand as reflected in their game app.
Old
New
Ban digital advertising!
While parents, educators and governments are
getting more aware of the possible undesirability
of some types of digital advertising to kids (fearing
obesity, pester power, ad unawareness, a.o.), the
industry has understood the appeal of advertising-
free environments for kids.
•	 On the one hand there are many devices
appearing, offering advertising free content
through walled garden.
•	 On the other hand we see ad-blocking devices,
such as the AdTrap hardware device, appearing
and similar solutions offered by software
packages, such as the Disconnect App.
Digital is bad!
Another topic worrying many parents, is the
discussion about the negative effects for children
spending too much time behind screens. Digital
media consumption is under moral pressure, and
brands are leveraging these feelings by offering
non-digital, ‘real life’ entertainment activities for
parents to do with their children.
The Canadian traditional toy company Kol Kid took
this as the theme of their campaign with the series
of ‘The Joy of Simple Play’-commercials (picture
below).
The Joy of Simple Play - campaign from Kol Kid
In the same philosophy we see that ‘real life aids’
are starting to learn kids, ‘alienated from real life
skills’ by their digital addiction, how to behave in
society. An example of this is the below ‘Beep 
Boop’ app from the creators of JibJab.
The ‘Beep  Boop’ app learning kids to behave well
in real life.
Digital kids are the trend
With most successful toys having moved into the
digital arena, kids are living a digital lifestyle that
goes a lot further than being a lot on digital devices
as we are used to think of them: smarktphones,
tablets, computers...
There is an explosion of digital objects, and the
kids’ space is one of the most important areas
where the so called ‘internet of things’ becomes a
reality. For kids it’s a totally normal and a prerequisit
that their toys are interconnected (e.g. Furby doll
with the Furby app), artificially intelligent (e.g. the
electronic Tangram from Tangible Play) and allowing
social interaction (e.g. Minecraft allowing to connect
to play together through their multiplayer servers).
Creative companies go further in their kids’
communication than just delivering digital
content through web or app interfaces. They see
opportunities to connect in the real world, and
grasp those to truly interact with the kids in a way
that appeals to them.
Below an exmple of YES-bank in the Kidzania
theme park in Mumbai: they installed ATM-like
interfaces, allowing kids to learn about banking in a
realistic setting.
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the content
Storytelling
Humor please!
Video is king
Characters and Santa Claus
Boys  girls
Real is beautiful
Mini rules
Happiness and well-being
Sophistication
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Characters and Santa Claus
The ‘old fashioned’ traditional ‘characters’ such
as Santa Claus, Sinterklaas, ... are still doing their
annual good job. An interesting case is the ‘NORAD
tracks Santa’ one. Here’s the story: back in 1955
a Sears ad, inviting to call Santa Claus, had a
typo, and calls arrived at a top-secret military crisis
number of the NORAD. They answered the calls
pretending to be Santa Claus, and a new tradition
was born. This is now an annual online event, with
70,000 calls being answered and many videos
being posted.
The 2013 edition of ‘NORAD tracks Santa’,
sponsored that year by Internet Explorer
Besides the ‘good old’ characters, the characters
from movies/tv shows (e.g. SpongeBob
Squarepants) and games (e.g. Angry Birds) are
now the fuel of a lot of kids-targeting marketing
campaigns. Characters are kids’ best friends.
Business models are built on the exploitation of
popular licenced IP.
Humor please!
Kids anno 2014 have busy lifestyles. Too busy, with
all those levels to achieve, Minecraft monsters to
chase, and tv shows not to miss... Humor takes
away their stress. Using humor in digital advertising
will make it more effective and impactful, as it will
immediately trigger sympathy for your brand.
An example: the viral ad ‘The Camp Gyno’ stars
a precocious tween who gets her first period at
summer camp, appoints herself ‘Camp Gyno’
and proceeds to educate her peers about the
bloody passage to womanhood. Our tween’s reign
as Camp Gyno is finally foiled when her friends
realise they can get their monthly supplies via a
delivery service rather than a tyrannical 12-year-old.
HelloFlo: ‘It’s like Santa for your vagina.’
HelloFlo: “I was just a big loser... Then things
changed. I got my period.”
Video is king
Kids LOVE video. Watching video, whether it be on
television (24%), in the cinema (15%), on YouTube
or on brand websites is together with gaming (27%)
their favorite activity. Brands offering quality video
will easily get the kid’s sympathy.
There is a downside to this: the terms  conditions
of YouTube... don’t allow kids on the site, and
YouTube won’t allow you to set kids under 13 as
your demographic targeting option.
Kids love short format video. AwesomenessTV,
broadcasting users’ short format videos on their
popular YouTube channel also licenses its content—
to Nickelodeon and other websites, Netflix and
international platforms. But officially, kids are not
allowed on that channel either, and they have an
explicit age gate.
The Walt Disney company bought viral video
production company Maker Studios. Disney may
excel at producing big-budget blockbusters, but
Maker Studios is producing what kids and teens
increasingly want: short-form videos they can watch
on their cellphones.
Disney released their new series ‘Sherrif Callie’s
Wild West’ (picture below) for tablet first, months
before releasing it on television.
Storytelling
Content marketing to kids is all about storytelling,
and preferably this storytelling happens in video
format.
With fun and educational videos, Rokenbok Toys
was able to create entertaining in-store demos of
their toys virtually. Today, the majority of their online
sales come from YouTube channel viewers who
make up more than half of their customer base.
Rokenbok Toys employees create videos in a small
studio they set up for this in their offices.
For Lego, a brand with intrinsic storytelling power,
fans of the brand from all over the world are taking
this to a next level, creating stories, of which the
best ones are hosted on an official Lego YouTube
channel.
Sometimes brands create an online ‘series’ (often
with famous actors) to promote their products.
An example: Playstation Vita with their ‘Family
Dupont’ soap, casting several ‘BVs’, a.o. Axel
Dhaeseleire.
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Happiness and well-being
As Ozoda Muninova wrote in The Guardian, “There
is an increased focus on personal well-being.
In 2014 we will see more brands differentiating
themselves from competition through influencing
how people feel.”
Happiness for children is associated with the family
(and friends in the second place).
Here an example from Fisher Price, the ‘Moments of
Joy’ website section.
Another example is the ‘Toy feliz’ (pronounced
‘Estoy Feliz’ which means ‘I’m happy’) campaign
from Mattel, addressing the Latin community in the
US.
Real is beautiful
Nickolay Lamm caused a stir in the toy industry with
his comparitive mockups of Barbie-like dolls and
dolls with real life proportions.
When he decided to start a production of such a
‘natural-looking’ doll, called Lammily, he got 500%
of his required funding through KickStarters in a
minimum of time.
Mini rules
One of the major reasons that Lego could turn the
tide, moving from being at the brink of bankruptcy,
to being the global number 2 toy manufacturer, is
the big bet they made to focus on mini-figurines
and build a whole eco-system around it, including
games and movies.
Pinypon mini-figurines
Virtual minifigurines from Webkinz
Boys  girls
Gender stereotyping is back! While this is being
critized, and legislators are looking into this, it has
never been so explicit over the last 4 decades as
now.
Here an ad showing a Lego girl in 1981, and the
same girl now with a toy of a film crew, but at the
inside there is a makeup table.
This is the same catalogue for Sweden and Norway,
as legislation is different in those countries. At the
left the Swedish version, showing a boy with a
hairbrush.
Goldie Blox: construction toys, explicitly marketed
to girls.
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the interaction
Co-creation
Starification
Points, degrees, badges
A vocal generation
Helpful brands
The second screen
Advergames as goodies
Sophistication
Exposed to the internet and global culture,
children’s tastes are more sophisticated than ever.
So when designing products for and marketing to
them, you also too need to be sophisticated.
Especially the digital world has changed
dramatically over the last decade, and you’d better
take that into account if you want to communicate
with kids. Kids expect sophistication on all levels
when dealing with brands online:
•	 Graphic design
•	 Contentwise, through complexity of experiences.
E.g. Minecraft, with very ‘rough’ design
structures, but offering endless and ‘open’ play
possibilities
We see the same in the ‘traditional’ world. Where
previous generations were happy to watch nature
by going to the pond and watching frogs growing,
we now offer the kids prehistoric pets to raise
(‘triopses’).
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Starification
Digital media are - due to their interactive nature -
very apt to ‘starify’ kids. This can be done in several
ways. Here some examples:
Proud mums love to ‘show off’ with pictures and
videos of their kids. Photo contests organized by
brands are mainstream marketing activities.
Kids can be integrated in a passive way into
the marketing materials of a brand, creating a
customized experience, and making a star of the
children. Below an example of Persil doing this:
Children can be implicated in an active way within
a campaign. An example from Studio 100: the
band ‘K3’ asked kids to play along with their new
song and post the video on YouTube. The best
one(s) would then be integrated in their new tv-
commercial.
Points, degrees, badges
It originally came from the gaming world, then made
a detour by social media (‘Cool’-app, Foursquare
badges,...). And now they’re also there to stay in
kids marketing: kids just love points, degrees and
rewarding badges.
An example: the Geopalz device with app counts
the steps the children make. This gives them points,
which parents can use for instance to allow extra
screen time to the child.
Co-creation
Kids love to be part of a project from a brand they
admire, and to have an impact on it. After all they
are ‘the maker generation’.
Below an example of ‘co-created’ marketing to
kids: the ‘castle of imagination’-contest from
Disneyland. Kids have designed a castle through
an international competition. The best designs are
combined into a real castle that will be built in Paris
as a ‘popup castle’.
‘The Castle of Imagination’ from Disneyland Paris.
An other result of this longing to have an impact
on favorite brands is what we would call ‘DYI-
marketing’: fans helping to build the brand by
creating their own campaigns, without the brand
interfering in this. Below an example from Kinder
eggs and the so-called ‘unboxing’ videos, showing
fans while they are discovering what’s in the eggs.
A vocal generation
The 2014 kids and mums are both vocal
generations.
An example: the Gatorade campaign ‘Water is the
enemy of performance’ triggered a storm of protest
on social networks..
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The second screen
The so-called second screen is getting mainstream
for kids, especially the older ones, for whom
manipulating/watching several screens at a time is
a very ‘standard’ activity. They typically will watch
Youtube tutorials for their construction set, while
they are chatting with friends on their smartphone,
and they keep the tablet nearby for when they want
a small break from their construction activity.
A nice case of second screen application in the
cinema environment: Disney has introduced special
interactive screenings where kids are invited
to download the entertainment giant’s Second
Screen Live app on their iPads and use it to access
games and additional content. This was exclusively
available at select cinemas for a limited time.
Disney says that ‘the App gives friends and family a
chance to play games, sing along with songs, find
hidden treasure and compete with other audience
members for great prizes’.
Advergames as goodies
In 2010, 80 percent of websites for foods that were
promoted on children’s TV networks included
advergames (Culp, Bell,  Cassady). An advergame
usually involves a user playing with branded items
(e.g., using Life Savers or Oreo cookies as gaming
pieces) or playing in a heavily branded environment
(e.g., a virtual arcade that contains company logos
or product images).
Now that parents have got used to pay for game
apps, advergames have become interesting for
brands to give as goodies, as they have a perceived
value. In this example from Nestlé you get extra
levels on the website with an on pack code. The
game is a customized edition of Angry Birds, and
some of the levels are freely accessible.
Below is an example of advergames at an ‘open’
website (accessible without code), from McDonald’s
(Happy Meal):
Helpful brands
Customers now expect brands to be helping them
in their daily life, also through their marketing
campaigns and through the digital media they
create for their audience.
3 examples targeting mums and kids:
A flu-tracker from SoftSoap.
With Audi’s ‘Toy service campaign’ Audi technicians
repeared 500 cars for their most important
customers: the kids.
A Nutribén app to help kids eat and mum to share
pictures of the eating kid.
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social media
The ephemeral social
Protected social networks
The rising power of Twitter
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The rising power of Twitter
While Facebook is losing preference, Twitter is
remaining stable and Instagram is growing fast with
adolescents and young parents.
A campaign that worked really well with mums
on Twitter was the one from Carambar in France.
Carambar is a candy which has a joke on each of its
wrapping papers. They made a false announcement
(corrected by them after 5 days) that the jokes were
about to be replaced with school exercices. The
message was retweeted 55,000 times in 5 days,
and the campaign got 950 mentions in press. Sales
went up with 10%, without spending any media
dollar.
Another example is from Penguin Books: they had
Peter Rabbit hack their Twitter account for a few
days. Petter Rabbit asked the audience to help him
search for his lost jacket. Finally actress and Peter
Rabbit author Emma Thompson made an appeal
through social media to Peter Rabbit to get of the
account, which he ultimately did. Result: free PR.
Protected social networks
Brands were setting up their own social media or
massive multiplayer online games, but that is a hard
thing to do and to keep in practice.
Or brands buy existing social networks. The biggest
example: Club Penguin, bought by Disney:
Club Penguin has no advertising, however some
competitors do.
An example of a protected virtual world and social
network for kids with advertising is Woozworld. It
lets advertisers create an interactive and dynamic
environment, allowing them to connect with tweens
by capturing user attention and facilitating direct
communication, interaction and engagement.
Below is an example of HarperCollins integration in
Woozworld:
The ephemeral social
2014 will probably see a further decline of Facebook
with the youngest audiences. Kids are on Facebook
and love it, but early adopters start to say that
‘Facebook is so eighties’ (sic). And teens are
leaving the network behind. The change to the
Facebook algorithms to define how much free
content can be shown to fans will not help. Probably
brands will start communicating less to young teens
through Facebook in 2014.
Snapchat, the social network where your photo
posts only last for 6 minutes, is very popular with
tweens and teens. Mainly in the States (which
accounts for about 80% of their users), but their
penetration is growing fast everywhere. The
ephemeral character is very attractive to them. And
of course, just like it’s the case with Facebook, a
lot of the users are under the official age limit of the
service.
Snapchat introduced a new feature on its most
recent iOS version: SnapKidz, a special mode for
children under 13. But it doesn’t allow to send or
receive pictures, and it is not successful with kids.
Below the Litago Snap’n play campaign, allowing
to snap moments of real life, play games with it and
share.
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everything connected
The cross-channel approach
Immersive experiences
The mobile kid
The internet of things
Digital at the point of sales
Augmented reality
The wired kid
Virtual reality
Code-mania
Wearables
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Mobile is hot
Mobile apps with games are an obvious form
of mobile advertising to kids. We now even see
commercial game apps appearing targeting
preschoolers. Below you see an app created by
Dreammachine Kids for the preschooler shoes-
brand Woeffies.
However, we see a lot moving in the publishing and
streaming spaces on mobile, so the landscape for
mobile advertising will probably change a lot in the
coming year. Big game changer will be the arrival
of Netflix in Belgium (foreseen for the end of 2014).
Important to know is that Netflix does not have
advertising (or at least not in the kids part), and that
probably kids will spend a lot of their ‘mobile screen
time’ on the ‘Just for Kids’ part of this app.
The cross-channel approach
We already said it in the chapter ‘how to engage
with kids’: Kids are tearing down themselves the
walls between channels and media, and they expect
you to do the same. Successful brands adopt a
transmedia approach. The content is the fill rouge
to their experience with your brand. Kids expect
continuity and consistency through all media.
In the end it all comes down to that, within a quickly
evolving digital world. Brands no longer create
isolated projects in silos, but become part of the
digital eco-system of the child. Also offline and
online get connectioned.
The internet of things
Business Intelligence forecasts the number of IoT
enabled objects to go from just under 1.85bn in
2013 to over 2.5bn in 2014 and 9bn in 2018 when
they will account for half of all internet enabled
devices.
One of the spaces in which this is changing fast is
the connected car.
Below: picture of Mercedez entertainment options
For kids this means that the car basically becomes
a digital experience.
For advertisers, this evolution means that you really
don’t know where, in what way and in what context
your content will be consumed, especially if this
content is of a mobile nature.
See also: Wearables.
Immersive experiences
Brands have growing possibilities to offer immersive
experiences.
McDonalds’s happy table is a good example of this
trend being put into practice by a brand:
McDonald’s McParty Run app turns the smartphone
into a car, and users can select one of the chain’s
classic mascots to be their driver. There are several
different games to choose from, all of which have
themes based upon the restaurant’s popular menu.
The Furby eco-system
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Augmented reality
Augmented reality exists since many years, but
analysts expect the technology to really take off in
2014. Below 3 examples:
Kellogg’s Choco Krispis transforming the box into a
gaming device through augmented reality.
Lego in-store augmented reality. In selected Lego
stores clients can watch the content of the boxes in
a kind or augmented reality - mirror.
App from the German ministry of health, stimulating
kids to brush their teeth long enough, offering an
augmented reality experience while brushing.
The wired kid
The Geopalz device and app counts the steps
of kids in order to give them points, that can be
cashed a.o. with Amazon. They also have other
commercial partnerships: e.g. It shuts down or
opens the Minecraft server for the kid at request of
the parent (if configured like that, and according to
the number of steps taken).
The Huggies Tweet Pee notifies the mum when
there is a need to consume a new ‘Huggies’.
Virtual reality
The Oculus VR glasses, showcased in New
York at the ‘Digital Kids’ conference, and bought
by Facebook, are expected to speed up the
breakthrough for Virtual Reality applications.
Expectations are high that VR will become an
important technology to reach kids soon.
We don’t know of any Oculus-projects yet targeting
children, but the commercial possibilities are
certainly there: Nissan is partnering with Oculus to
reach Digital natives. To introduce Nissan IDx they
partnered with 3D VR pioneers Oculus and created
an immersive, virtual world of co-creation that
people could literally step into and explore.
Digital at the point of sales
Retailers are welcoming creative digital POS tactics
into their stores.
2 interesting cases:
The Macy’s Believe campaign is about the power
of letters and the magic of the holidays. When kids
and parents came to mail their letters to Santa
at Macy’s, they could bring the characters from
the new holiday classic “Yes, Virginia” to life. By
downloading the Macy’s Believe-o-Magic app and
pointing the camera at special markers at Macy’s
stores, kids could pose for holiday photos with their
favorite characters through the magic of augmented
reality.
Another example is the Makie Dolls popup stand
at Selfridges end of last year, where people could
create their Makie Dolls through a 3D printing
configurator app. Selffridges is known to be always
ahead with new technologies in their store.
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Wearables
Besides Google Glasses for kids, there are similar
(cheaper) glasses from toy manufacturers.
We don’t know of marketing to kids on those
devices, but we expect this to happen in the years
to come.
Below a child ‘Googling’ Barbie pictures on her
Google Glasses. The smartphone shows what the
girl is seeing on her glasses.
digital mums
Nothing less than perfection
Educate kids and sell to parents
Inform the parents
Celebrating heroic mums
Imperfect mums
Nostalgic mums
The inclusive experience
Code-mania
Only a few years ago we were surprised to see
children of the ‘maker generation’ coding their own
games in Scratch. Now this is taken further, with
devices and apps learning preschoolers how to
code. Some examples below:
Primo coding set for small children
Play-i coding device for small children
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Educate the kids and sell to
the parents
Nowaday mums are perfectionists when it comes
to their motherhood. This is especially true when
it comes to the education of kids. Combine this
with the fact that screen time is felt as an issue:
educational content will give parents a perfect
excuse to allow their children to use digital media.
Companies are leveraging this feeling by offering
sponsored quality content and educational apps for
kids.
Two examples:
Cadbury educational app
Danone Russia: The product in question was
not perceived as healthy, so they packaged
communication with educational value. Edutainment
keeping the parents in control about what skills the
kids should develop.
Celebrating heroic mums
Mums in 2014 expect from marketers to
acknowledge their multiple roles as a mother, a
business woman, an artist, and so on.
Brands are showing their respect and pay a tribute
to mums, sometimes almost giving them ‘divine’
proportions.
Procter  Gamble went down this road with their
texting app ‘Tap to thank’ (see below). I facilitated
sending text messages to moms from smartphones,
looking into the address directory for all common
spellings and variants of the word ‘mom’.
Procter  Gamble, ‘proud sponsor of mums’
campaign (sponsorship of Olympic Games). This
much awarded campaign collected 18 mio views.
PG: “We are using our voice to celebrate and
reward mums and recognise the sacrifices that
all mums make to help their children to grow and
succeed. This campaign is about real people
and we have featured employees and our agency
partners who are mums with their kids in our
adverts.”
Nothing less than perfection
Digital products are helping parents to get closer to
a perceived perfection in parenting.
The below ‘Teddy the Guardian’ product sends
medical data about the child to an app, as soon as
it’s being hugged. Although it was originally aimed
at hospitals, the makers are surprised to find out
that this product is quite successful with perfection
seeking parents.
The ‘Teddy the Guardian’ website and app.
Inform the parents
Parents have a need for relevant, organized, timely
and accessible informations. They want to know
where their kids are (see above), they want brands
to help them organize the chaos of informations,
they want websites to offer them lists of only
relevant and well ordered contents.
This trend comes with a real ‘listmania’.
Two examples:
The Playrific app, embedded on the Tabeo device,
collects a great number of apps under one umbrella.
This brings order in the chaos for parents, and it
guarantees better app visibility and lower production
costs for brands. Above an example of the Seaworld
app within the Playrific environment.
The Spring in’t veld - website, offering more clarity to
parents in the cultural offering for kids.
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The inclusive experience
Brands tap into the frustration of nowaday parents
that they don’t spend enough quality time with their
children, by offering them inclusive experiences,
where they do things together, while being engaged
with the brand.
Rice Krispies (Kellogg’s) holiday site
Oetker recipes for birthday parties
Imperfect mums
We see a totally different mum depicted in some
recent commercials. We see mums that are
explicitely no heroes, no saints, no sacrificing
perfect beings. For instance in this successful
campaign from Hyundai: a 4 minutes viral video,
making fun of the “corny” image of the caring and
“perfect” mum, starring actress Anna Crilly.
... or in this Halfords Easter Getaway commercial,
where mum puts a crocodile in the house to get the
family out and in the car.
The mum in the below video from Renault outsmarts
her tatoed daughter with an even bigger tatoe under
the motto ‘The times have changed’.
Nostalgic mums
With nowadays mums, nostalgia is a strong
feeling that marketers tap into. Mums search for
experiences that will create family memories, and
they look for ways to eternalize and share those
memories.
Some examples:
Kellogg’s Rice Crispies campaign, creating
shareable ‘branded’ moments. Kellogg’s asked
moms to share those “Moments That Snap, Crackle
and Pop” with them on Facebook, by uploading
a photo of her child enjoying Rice Krispies for
breakfast. In 11 weeks page Likes increased from
24,000 to 302,000, and over 900 million total brand
impressions were generated.
Nesquik published the ‘Quicky Mix’ app to help
mums to edit and publish family movies. With this
app “It’s as easy as making Nesquik. Just choose
your theme, your film clips and your soundtrack,
then stir them together! Family movies have never
been so easy.”
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
7372
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
the business
perspective
Big data
Growth hacking
Crowdsourcing
Struggling with business models
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
7574
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
Struggling with business
models
Brands are struggling with their business models in
the digital space for kids. There is a lot of pressure
to offer free or very cheap services and apps. On
the other hand, advertising is not appreciated on
kids’ media. Another model is the one of licencing
and merchandising.
Case: Rovio is no longer charging for its suite of
insanely popular Angry Birds mobile games, opting
instead for the pay-as-you-go, freemium model. And
according to a report published today in the Wall
Street Journal, the move is part of company’s chief
executive Mikael Hed’s master plan to make Rovio
the Walt Disney of the future.
Growth hacking
JibJab is a publisher of apps for kids  families.
They build all their successes upon previous ones,
and make sure that all their products are tied to
each other. They pull you in with very funny little
videos (virally spread through their systems). As
soon as you start engaging with their website, you
quickly create heads for your family members.
Those ‘heads’ become like characters in the whole
eco-system, living throughout all of their products,
and keeping the whole family engaged.
They also use a lot of ‘embedded virality’ combined
with upsell possibilities at the right spots.
Thanks to this intelligent approach the products are
promoting themselves efficiently.
Growth hacking through ‘embedded virality’ by
JibJab.
Crowdsourcing
An older example, but you still see this a lot:
Dreammachine created this crowdsourcing
campaign for Atoma and MSN to pick best
notebook cover designs through an online contest.
Through the campaign they got to know for what
activities people use the notebooks (recipe-book,
diary,...) and what the brand means to them.
Then they used those informations in their next
campaign. And of course they only produced the
chosen designs.
Big data
Big data can be used to optimize conversion
and the sales funnel, but it can also make the
experience better.
That’s what Disneyland is doing very well with
it’s MagicBand. The MagicBands are linked to
a credit card and function as a park entry pass
as well as a room key. They are part of the new
MyMagic+ system and joining is still completely
voluntarily. However, visitors who join will have
many advantages such as jumping the queues, pre-
booking rides, changing reservation on-the-go via
smartphones, being personally addressed with their
name by the Disney characters, and much more.
Although they are collecting massive amounts of
data, Walt Disney does respect the privacy of their
visitors. They allow visitors to completely control
how much and what sort of data is collected, stored
and shared with whom or to op-out completely.
Netflix uses big data, doing A-B testing on
testgroups of 50,000 users, to constantly optimize
the interface giving access to their video offering.
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
7776
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
opportunities for
innovation
Opportunities for innovation
The combination of the cloud, with social aspects,
sensors, bluetooth, mobility and geolocation
are offering opportunities for innovation. This is
the space where the toy industry as well as kids
marketers are experimenting.
Expect more to come from this area.
2020 outlook: nostalgia for the
traditional?
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
7978
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
Introduction
Excellent usability for kids is a key driver of satisfaction and thus of success for your marketing
actions. Bad usability can form not only an obstacle to a pleasant experience or even to get
your message through, it can also ruin your carefully built brand image for a long time.
Often kids websites or apps are constructed using the good old ‘Fingerspitzengefühl’ as a
guiding principle for usability. Typical clichés are that ‘funny typo’ (often unreadible), vivid colors
(often not well contrasted), moving objects (difficult to catch with the mouse when they are used
for navigation) and ever-changing interfaces (confusing) should work well for the young. These
are dangerous assumptions, that - as research has shown - should be avoided.
Microsoft, Lego, Sony and similar multinationals have budgets to perform large scale laboratory
testing with young users. However, not every budget allows dedicated usability testing.
Understanding and respecting the below ground rules should help your project to be more
successful.
But let’s start with a view on the development stages of the child again (see also above
‘Generation Spongebob: kids grow old young’), this time from a specific usability perspective.
The stages of development
Piaget has been criticized a lot, but his classification
of the development stages is still very useful to
acquire a good understanding of certain usability
issues:
The 4 stages
Piaget defines the following usability stages:
•	 Sensorimotor stage (0-2 years)
•	 Preoperational stage (2-6 years)
•	 Concrete operational stage (7-12 years)
•	 Formal operational stage (12 years and older)
The sensorimotor stage
(0-2 years)
Development of body level functions (touch, feel,
taste) and memory.
Starting from 8 to 12 months children realize that
objects that they don’t see keep on existing.
As to their physical development at this age we
see an important evolution of the motirics – the fine
motorics will only follow afterwards.
Usability
“I don’t see where
I can go on this
website.”
Contact
Dreammachine
Kids for a usability
analysis of your
existing or future
digital project.
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
8180
© Dreammachine Kids 2014
Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium
+32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids  family marketing
Their visual acuity (the ability to distinguish details
in objects) is full grown now. Only now children start
being able to do those mouse movements which
demand a precise coordination between the eyes
and the hand.
How does all this apply to
usability?
Johanna Heléne Gelderblom has made a very
interesting recap with guidelines about how you
should design for developmental appropriateness
for 5 to 8 year old children. She did this in her
comprehensive dissertation ‘Designing technology
for young children: Guidelines grounded in a
literature investigation on child development and
children’s technology’.
Below you see a (very small) sample from this very
comprehensive framework:
This is a good example of how usability guidelines
can and should be grounded in the developmental
stage of the audience.
Piaget about learning
Piaget had a constructivist view on learning: he
thought that learning occurs through a process
of adaptation to the kid’s environment, through
assimilation, accomodation and equilibration.
How does this apply to usability? The more a
website or game resembles other websites or
games a child has already seen, the more it will be
easy for thim (her) to understand the interface and
to use it.
Motivation and emotion are a second trigger for
learning.
Excerpt from ‘Designing technology for young children: Guidelines grounded in a literature investigation on child
development and children’s technology’, Johanna Heléne Gelderblom, 2008.
The preoperational stage
(2-6 years)
We begin to see fine motorics skills.
Language develops further at a fast pace at this age
– but they still understand everything literally.
Self-consciousness develops, and with this comes
an egocentric attitude. These children are animists,
still believing for instance that a computer has a
kind of soul. Memory develops and the kids learn
by imitating and playing.
Senses are well developed, but for the child it is
difficult to order and organize his impressions.
He also has difficulties for searching things. They
cannot really ‘scan’ an environment while searching.
Also they only perceive one characteristic of an
object at a time. They concentrate on one single
aspect of a task. They have no understanding of
hierarchies.
Their reaction time is still 3x longer than the one
of an adult and their concentration span is mostly
limited to 8 to 15 minutes.
The concrete operational stage
(7-12 years)
We now see the development of:
•	 the ability to compare lengths and quantities;
•	 the ability to concentrate on more than 1 aspect
at the time;
•	 the ability to order, count and calculate.
•	 They are able to understand hierarchies and
reverse actions.
Their concentration becomes selective, adapted
and planned. They start to be able to solve
problems. They keep on learning by playing and
imitating, but also planned studying starts and is
required from them more and more in their school
environment.
Figurative thinking becomes possible and they start
to appreciate someone else’s perspective.
Their reaction time is gradually enhancing, to get
comparable to the speed of an adult by the age of
12.
As to the physical development we see an important
evolution of the fine motorics, mainly the hand.
The formal operational stage
(12 years and older)
Only from 12 years on we see the development of:
•	 Abstract  deductive reasoning. They are able to
consider many aspects together;
•	 Spatial thinking;
•	 Analyzing options  drawing logical conclusions.
“Is the computer happy
when I click here?”
a typical 4 year old
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z
Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z

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Whitepaper Digital Marketing to Generation Z

  • 1. 1 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Digital Marketing to ‘Generation SpongeBob’ Whitepaper - update May 2014 Gerda Van Damme - Guido Janssens (Dreammachine Kids)
  • 2. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 32 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Communications to kids through digital media require a specific approach. Understanding of usability requirements, legal and ethical concerns, deep knowledge of kids’ interests, sensibilities, ideals, fears and hopes... these are just a few of the skills you should ask from your agency when targeting kids. Dreammachine Kids offers you this knowledge. We help you find. the emotional touchpoints with your brand through successful digital marketing projects for kids and their mums. Some of the clients include Le Chat, Persil, Danone, Atoma, Woeffies, Grany, and many other A-brands. Interested to know more about our services? Mail us at kids@dreammachine.be. Strategic services of Dreammachine Kids: • Analysis of existing projects • Usability checkup • Usability testing with kids • In company trainings • Setup of agency briefs • Audience analysis Development services of Dreammachine Kids: • Websites, contest sites, minisites, kids’ corners • Games & contests • Mobile sites, mobile apps • Digital advertising campaigns • Online communities • Augmented reality • Social Media • E-mail marketing • E-commerce, E-coupon or e-voucher actions • Top topicals (back2school, halloween,...) ... Targeting kids, mums and families in an appropriate way Gerda Van Damme is Business Unit Manager of the ‘Dreammachine Kids’ department at Dreammachine. She started her career in the children’s books publishing world. Before working at Dreammachine she was also Consumer Marketing Manager at MSN (Microsoft) and Manager of The Web Factory. Her deep knowledge of the online consumer is based upon a large experience with digital and online media since 1995. Guido Janssens is Manager of Dreammachine. As a multimedia expert since 1992, he started his career in the early days of the CD-i at Philips Interactive Media Center. In 1998 he joined The Web Factory, and he has not left the internet sector ever since. 3 4 Digital Marketing to ‘Generation SpongeBob’ Gerda Van Damme & Guido Janssens (Dreammachine Kids) Whitepaper Update May 2014 About the authors
  • 3. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 54 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Table of contents Introduction 6 The importance of kids marketing 8 ‘Generation Spongebob’ 10 A new generation of mums & dads 22 Digital media consumption 26 Kids & digital marketing 28 Trends in digital kids marketing 36 Usability 78 Legal & ethical considerations 88 References / further reading 96
  • 4. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 76 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Introduction Kids marketing: the new kid in town “speaks Digital”. According to a Nielsen study, the spendings in digital marketing to kids for US and UK together topped 1 billion dollar in 2013. The infographic ‘Kids of the past vs internet generation’ (Bhavesh Patel) was the single most viewed infographic on Slideshare over the whole of 2013. Kids marketing is hot, and the kids ‘speak digital’. Generation Z, or ‘Generation Spongebob’ as we call them, are the first generation of internet users who are born at a time when the internet is completely accepted as a mainstream element in our daily lives, with internet access available in the vast majority of households. The greater part of them are raised by the generation (called generation Y) who adopted the internet with a huge enthusiasm 10 to 15 years ago – when they were teens, using already applications like IM on a daily basis. In this respect their mothers are very different than all previous generations of mothers. Most popular infographic in 2013 “The new kid in town” This paper is mainly based upon desk research and treats the following topics: • The importance of kids marketing • ‘Generation Spongebob’ • A new generation of mums & dads • Digital media consumption • Kids & digital marketing • Trends in digital kids marketing • Usability • Legal & ethical considerations • References / further reading
  • 5. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 98 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing The importance of kids marketing Most active and lasting bindings to a brand are established before the age of 16. Indirect influence on many adult purchases Kids influence a lot of purchases: • Kids related goods, such as toys or clothing • Kidfluence: Marketing towards kids influences about every buying decision a parent takes. Parents take their kids opinion into account. Dale Wyat (Suzuki Sales and Marketing Director – 2012): “It is typically the whole family that influences the decision for buying a family car.” Some figures about influence of children in purchases (source: ‘Candy-Coated marketing’ – Sheena Horgan – 2012): • Holidays (86%) • Drinks (84%) • Television (80%) • Furniture (78%) • Computers (25%) • Cars (17%) 63% of kids put things in the shopping basket when they go shopping with their parents (mainly: candy, drinks, cereals, cosmetics, fruit, videogames and clothing). And 64% of kids propose to buy things while in the shop (source: OIVO). When using the so called ‘pester power’, kids urge the parents to buy things they’ve seen in ads. Shaping future brand opinions Studies show that an active binding to a brand, that lasts for a longer time, has to be established before the age of 16. As brand awareness starts at about 6, the brand image should be established in this period. Spending power According to Kinder als Zielgruppe der Werbung’ - Julia Lutz, kids use their money mainly to buy sweets, drinks & fastfood… …BUT when asking the kids, they say they want to put money aside: • For buying toys and bikes (<=9 yrs) • For buying mobile phones (>10 yrs) In Belgium the amount of pocket money is growing with the age, from 21 € a month at 10 to 28 € a month at 12. 57% save it at home, and another 30% in a bank account. The younger they are, the more they save the money. They spend their money on food & snacks (40%), clothing (38%), videogames (27% - growing with the age), going out (11%), cosmetics (9%),... (source: OIVO Onderzoeks- en informatiecentrum van de Verbruikersorganisaties, 2011). Indirect influence Influence on purchases of kids- related goods Mainly older tweens have a big influence on the purchase of kids-related goods, or they simply decide themselves what they want. Brands are extremely important in this context amongst the older tweens: the brands a kid uses (clothing, toys, phones) will play an important role if he’s “in” our “out”. Starting from 8 years old, the brands a kid consumes (or wears) are an important factor determining if he/she will be accepted between his peers. Kids even influence the websites their mother visits. (IAB)
  • 6. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 1110 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Who are we talking about? This whitepaper is talking about children from 2 to 13 – the age on which they can officially make their Facebook account. A great part of this age group consists of “tweens”: the children between 8 to 12 years old. They are too big to be a child, too young to be a teen; they are just ‘in between’. This group is a part of the so-called ‘generation Z’. The commonly used definitions and delimitations of the generations are not very precise: • Baby Boomers: born between approximately 1946 (Post-War) and 1964 • Generation X: born between approximately 1965 and 1980 • Millennial Generation (Generation Y, NextGen, the Next Generation): born between approximately 1980 and 2000 (some sources say 1995) • Generation Z: born between 2000 (or 1995 or 2005 according to the source) and now (at Dreammachine Kids we like to ccall them ‘Generation SpongeBob’). • Generation Alpha is said to be coming soon. Generation SpongeBob “Kids grow old young.” Ask for our audience analysis service for your project!
  • 7. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 1312 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Cognitive and emotional development of the preschooler To understand the way preschoolers use the internet, let’s first have a look at their cognitive and emotional development, which will influence their browsing behaviour and their browsing capabilities. • Preschoolers are very curious, but they have a have a short attention span. • Once absorbed in an activity, they like to do the same thing over and over. • When they master something new, they have a huge sense of accomplishment There is a big difference between kids 3-4 years old, and 5 years old. Age 3-4: • They like to laugh and try to tell themselves simple jokes that make no sense. • They are still very egocentric. • They are concrete thinkers concentrating on one feature at a time, they don’t understand the concept of compensation. To explain this, the easiest is to refer to the story you may know of the tall and the wide glass filled with water. Toddlers will always think that the tallest glass has most water, and cannot compensate the lower height with the larger width. • They do categorizing based upon 1 attribute. E.g. for a child an apple may not be recognized as fruit, as you cannot squeeze the juice out. Also they have no ability to see hierarchies yet. This will have an impact on the way they can understand subcategories in a website. • They have no comprehension of time. If you say that their friend will visit in a week, they will ask every day if he’s coming today. • They display very externalized emotions (crying, laughing, fighting,…). Age 5: • Empathy starts to really develop and they start learning socially acceptable behaviour. • Start using and understanding symbols. E.g. ‘I am a witch’ (sitting on a broom, this is enough as a symbol to make the statement acceptable for the child). • Distinction between appearance and reality starts to develop, but they love to ‘pretend’ that their fantasies are real. They still sincerily believe that things can appear and disappear. • They are questioning adults to understand the world. • They still have no strategies for memory. • They have a limited understanding of maps, but difficulties with understanding e.g. that the red line on a map doesn’t mean that the street is red. • They learn from experiences (‘if I do this, this will happen’). They see causality. • In complex tasks they will only focus on the current subtask. • They start to accept a delay in the fulfilment of their desires. E.g. wait for their turn to play with a toy. Kids can identify brands starting from about 5 years old. (http://youtu.be/N4t3-__3MA0).
  • 8. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 1514 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Development of the children’s brain Development: 6-8 At 6 to 8 years old the evolution of the imaginative, more visual right hemisphere slows down in favor of the more logic left hemisphere. It moves from a fantasy world into the real world and its preferences follow accordingly. Extending possibilities As this children start reading and writing, they have much more impact and understanding of their surrounding world. The child gets an aversion of everything that could be ‘childish’. They want to be taken seriously. Also the difference between boys and girls gets more and more evident and both sexes have a very clear preference for the ‘right’ toys. Kids grow old young At this age we also that kids start to imitate the adult world, the so called ‘Kids Grow Old Young’ – tendency. Due to its social and emotional development, the child cannot afford to be associated with products or games that might label it as ‘childish’. And of course, this intensifies the boy-girl contrast. In the following years of the child’s development, this trend will get more intense. Development: 8-12 From 8 years on, children are getting really savvy consumers. Brands are getting important and brand loyalty starts to develop. Also many other decisions that a child makes at this age will remain unchanged for the rest of its life. But if a brand doesn’t correspond to his values, it will be dropped – probably for the rest of the child’s lifetime. Social influence from peers gets more and more important. The child starts to recognize, consider and question another person’s viewpoint. The child takes the behavior and appreciation of his friends into account. He wants to be ‘cool’ and hip. At 10 their neurological growth increases, and at 12 they enter the early adolescent stage, which will change their way of thinking, their values and their behavior completely. But attention, at this age their attention curve is still much shorter than the curve of an adult. We even see that in the following stages (12-18) their attention curve is still significantly shorter than the one of an adult.
  • 9. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 1716 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Technological/social context they live in Today’s young people are completely comfortable with the rapid technological evolution. The rate of innovations, as reflected in patent applications, has more than doubled during their lifetime. For this generation, toys conceived as a mix of ‘analog’ and interactive technology are normal. For example: Monopoly Zapped, combining a classical monopoly with extensions on the Ipad. The bank is on the IPad, which also contains extra modules, for example to get you out of jail. Always attached to technology According to the study ‘Zero to Eight’ from the EU Kids Online Network (August 2013), “Over the last five to six years there has been a substantial increase in internet usage by children under nine years old. Children under nine years old enjoy a variety of online activities, including watching videos, playing games, searching for information, doing their homework and socialising within children’s virtual worlds. The range of activities increases with age.” Starting from 8-12 years children start to be continuously connected, using several devices multiple times per day. Many values of the previous age group remain important: the safety and love of its caring family. Identity and peer influence Kids are searching for their identity and benchmarking this with the characteristics of their peers. They are searching for the boundaries of what is allowed for them. They look for their role in school and at home, and long for acceptance by friends and family. The influence of their peers is enormous, acceptance of their social neighborhood is essential in every decision they make. But the biggest influencers are the children that are a bit older than themselves (“Kids grow old young”). Values of a new generation
  • 10. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 1918 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing Self-esteem & success “Fame” has become more inspirational: “Dreams are just a YouTube Video away”: 77% desire fame and believe they will actually achieve it (source: Youth Product and Program Developer’s Handbook – Daniel Acuff – 2013) They seek for independence and expression of their individuality. Therefore they search constantly for new things – brands that do not reinvent themselves are forgotten – and personalization is important! Happiness as their normal state According to ‘The Marketing Store’, Jan 2013, kids of generation z are basically happy kids. Most cited sources of happiness are family, friends, play, and toys. The family is the very most important source of happiness, cited twice as much as the second source, which are the friends. Family and friends first This makes it no surprise to hear that the most desirable values for kids aged 6 to 12 are: being a happy family, having lots of friends and being a nice person. Also being smart and being rich score high. An important learning for any marketeer targeting kids is that those who focus on unhappy, rebellious or frustrated kids in their messaging will have a hard time to connect to the majority of kids and their parents. Engaged kids Again according to ‘The Marketing Store’, Jan 2013, at very early age children of generation z are quite engaged towards global issues, society and environment. An example tapping into this: the EL MONSTRUO website from ING Direct and Unicef: a monster that prohibits the children to go to school can be countered by sending an sms with your desired ending of the story. See http://elmonstruo.org/ For each SMS ING gave 1,20 € to Unicef, in total 197.000 €. Boys vs Girls: is the gender gap closing? The difference between boys & girls gets enormous at the tween age: they form separate groups at the schoolyard, they dress differently, and they play with different toys. While there is a lot of debate going on about the gender gap and gender stereotyping in advertising and in toys design, the reality shows that traditional toys are still strongly gendered. Boys and girls play in a different way. Hasbro research shows that boys expect power and control in their play, while girls are endless explorers and identity seekers when playing. According to Viacom research, parents encourage gender neutral play for girls, but not for boys, while the play preferences of the kids... reflect stereotypes.
  • 11. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing 2120 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids & family marketing What products are important to them? • Classical toys like Frisbees, skateboards, building sets,… • Electronic products that imitate the adults world, like cell phones, cameras,… • Videogames (70% male) • Everything they can collect (source: Youth Product and Program Developer’s Handbook – Daniel Acuff – 2013) For classical toys: starting from 6 the use of classical toys shrinks (some time ago, this was still 9 years). Starting from 3, children already start playing (simple) video games. For the older children in this age group, ‘real’ mobile phones, computer games and clothing get more important. Following the ‘kids grow old young’ principle, they get more and more attracted by adult media and brands. When they’re 12, 83% of the US residents owns a mobile phone. In UK, 44% of the 8-11 year old use a tablet PC. The actual spending of this group is different: they spend most of their money to sweets, ice cream, drinks and fast-food, followed by comics and magazines, mobile phones and toys. What are their favourite activities? The global research from The Marketing Store (Jan 2013) concluded that these are the favourite activities of kids aged 6 to 12: 1. Play video/computer game (27%) 2. Watch TV (24%) 3. Explore Internet (21%) 4. Go to movies (15%) 5. Playing outdoors (15%) 6. Riding bikes (15%) 7. Play with toys (14%) 8. Play a sport (14%) 9. Outdoor activities (e.g. hiking) (11%) 10. Reading (11%) on subgroups and cliques, as well as on the product category (for example backpacks are more commonly black). Design: • Preferences for special effects • Preferences for symbols (hearts, stars…) • Extensive use of sound and animation • Everything has to go on quickly, kids have no patience. Content: • Be concrete, • Use a present day style, • Use both visual and verbal elements. • Especially under 8 verbal information is less important than the visual. • Take care of the mums: the communication has to be attractive for the mums (and dads) also! • Be sure to have an emotional impact According to ‘Candy-Coated marketing’ – Sheena Horgan – 2012, content for kids should be all about: • More sophisticated storylines and content • Scary, dangerous in combination with conflict • Boy/girl relationships and family issues • Humor (the tweens start to understand more complex humor like sarcasm and allusive remarks). Mainly 6+ males love shocking and taboo, scatological and disgusting content. More specifically about the storylines: • Older tweens get interested in past and future, but more in the future. • Combination of past & future is very exciting (this is an old trick: see Tintin or Bob & Bobette) • Racecars, vehicles, sports, adventure, pop stars, music, magic (for the younger ones), outer space, monsters, dinos, the beach & the ocean, parties (the older ones), • theme parks, • arcades, • fashion (female) and celebrities. • Pirates always work. • Ideally you have to find a scene and an historical setting that fits the product. What design is interesting for this age group? Color: This depends on the age. At 7 they still prefer primary colors, at 12 they have a preference for a much wider range. It also depends on the gender. however blue is common to both genders. Moreover it depends What content and design works?
  • 12. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 2322 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing A new generation of mums dads “Love, hope fear” Love, hope fear Fear Parents of this generation have fear that their children are not eating right, not sleeping right not developing right. They think they are bad parents. Professor Sheila Green (Dublin): “Parent’s anxiety is often irrational. […] This is a ‘risk society’. [….] Parents think they can control all aspects of children’s lives.” Love Authoritarian parenting is disappearing. Parents re-position themselves as their children’s friend. Parents think they do not have enough time for their kids. Pursuit of Happiness Parents have an obsession with academic education. We see that children are put under pressure to learn to read and count earlier and outperform other kids in the group. This parent’s attitude results in: • Children having the power over the free time many purchases of the family. • Children buying and playing games that are meant for a higher age (50% of 13+ in the UK) with agreement of the parents. • Exponential rise in demand for private schools, tutoring and extra-curricular academic lessons. This makes for example the success of sites like www.brainchild.com. Parents in control According to the Ofcom research ‘Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report, 2013’, the majority of parents use a combination of mediation strategies to help keep their children safe online, and over four in ten parents have parental controls installed. Nine in ten feel that their children are safer as a result. The majority of 5-7s and 8-11s say they spend most of the time using the internet with an adult in the room (85% and 69% respectively). Different generations of mums There are two ways of categorizing mums into ‘generations’: by their own age, or by the age of their kids. We first start with the mums categorized by their own age. Mums have all been a child once. Their perceptions are influenced by key moments of their own youth: Tsjernobil, the fall of the Berlin wall, 9/11,... Babyboomer mums (born before 1965) The want money for value. They often try to imitate the majority of the younger moms. They are certainly the most nostalgic of them all, wanting to recreate childhood memories for their own children, as they are nostalgic about their own childhood.
  • 13. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 2524 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Another way to categorize mums is through the age of their children. Preschooler mums In general there is a strong distinction between mum at home and working mom. The working mom REALLY has no time. She is vulnerable for pester power. Food is very important to her. Food must be healthy, but the working moms have no time to prepare and so they often eat out. The preschooler mum wants to be contemporary, and she wants to camouflage weight gain (the first years after birth). This is also why she loves physical exercise for herself. For the children the focus is on entertainment education (this will stay like that in the next years). The internet is used mainly to keep up with peers and to search for information. Elementary schoolchildren’s mums Children are away during daytime, so this mum has no control over what they eat. For this reason dinner at home is important. Children start buying their own sweets candy. Sports become more part of the family lifestyle. Education and school are central in their life. For this mum, the internet is a lifeline between the child and the mother. It’s also a way of communication to peers for the children. This mum wants to look contemporary professional, and the kids should look presentable at school. Generation X mums (born 1965 - 1980) In their own youth, they were part of the so- called ‘latch key generation’. Their mothers were the first generation working out, and not many tools were available yet for their mothers to organize the family life on top of this. Some of them want to forget their own unstable childhood. In this group we find many divorced and single mums. Above all they want a stable life for their kids and for themselves, with or without a man. They try to be like a friend with their own mum and with their kids. Not all generation X mums are equal, they cherish their individuality: there are many kind of mums (e.g. yoga mum, eco mum,...). They expect marketing to appeal to their multisensory communication behavior. They are willing to spend money for enriching experiences that will create family memories, like unique or adventurous travel. Generation Y mums: ‘Get on the floor and play.’ (born after 1980) These are the preschooler mums. They usually had a prosperous youth. They want to make the world a better place to live and save the world from the damage done by previous generations. They are more world-centric than family-centric. They move and operate in groups. Their style of parenting is: ‘get on the floor and play’. They embrace an ephemeral lifestyle. When it comes to advertising, they have a strong capacity to filter and select what fits their lifestyle. Digital mums The ‘Digital Mums’ Report, from IAB Europe Mediascope series, Feb 2013, demonstrates the importance of digital media for the media, brand and shopping choices of European mums. This report highlights that: • 69% (92 million) European mums access the internet on a weekly basis (EU 65%). • 55% (50.6 million) digital mums media multi-task the internet whilst they are watching TV (EU 48%) • 21% (19.3 million) mums use mobile internet (=EU) and 8% (7.3 million) browse using a tablet (=EU). Top websites visited monthly by Digital Mums The research also confirms earlier researches stating that digital mums habits vary accordingly to the age of their children.
Mums who use the internet and have babies and very young children (0-4 years old), are far more likely to visit family and kids websites and personal care sites, whereas women with children aged 16-18 take time out to focus on movie websites and clothing fashion websites. Media Multi-Tasking 77% access the internet between 5.30pm-9pm, typically after the kids are in bed, enjoying their ‘me- time’ or tackling tasks they didn’t get done during the more busy day-time. 55% use the internet whilst watching TV (EU 48%).
Mums have grasped and managed digital media and technology to underpin their multi- tasking lifestyle. Keeping in touch
 Mums are also using the internet to be social. Instant messaging is used by 53% of digital mums at least once a month (26% daily) and the number of digital mums who have ever made a telephone calls via the internet is 63%. • They regularly access social networking sites – 72% weekly (EU 59%) and 58% daily (EU 44%), • 30% upload photos/videos weekly (EU 24%) and 7% daily (EU 6%) • 22% enjoy contributing to online ratings and reviews weekly (EU 17%) and 11% daily (EU 6%) • 21% get involved in blogging weekly (EU 20%) and 8% daily (EU 8%) All are evidence of digital mums’ desire for personalisation and participation. Online shopping
 Digital mums are even more frequent online shoppers than the average European Internet user (IAB Mediascope). How to reach the digital mum Most research about how to reach digital mums has been done in the US, a.o. by targeted media such as ‘CafeMom’. According to Punchtab (2013), the best way to influence mums, are social media: • 91% of them use social media. Mainly Facebook, but also other channels (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) are rising quickly. • Over 50% relies on recommendations of other moms on social media. Recommandations work 2x better than ads. 91% of the moms don’t like brands to post on their Facebook wall. • 81% of the moms say that they will buy more if rewarded by a loyalty program of the brand or the parent company that owns the brand. • If offered rewards, 81% of all moms are willing to interact with brands socially.
  • 14. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 2726 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Digital media consumption In 2013 the main device for visiting the web at 5-15 is still the PC/laptop. Some statistics (source: ‘Children Parents: media use and attitudes report’, UK, 2013) How much? • The 5-7 group spends 6,7 hours/week on internet (13,9 hours TV) • The 8-11 group spends 9,2 hours on internet (15,2 hours TV) • Starting from 12 the internet usage is much higher (12-15: 17 hours/week, TV 16,6) What do they do? Starting from 6, kids start doing everything that adults do on the web: • searching information (homework!). Google is for the Flemish children the 2nd source of information (DS, 16/10/2013) • playing games • contacting friends and family (mail, chat, social networking) • listening music and watching videos • shopping (!) • reading on-line magazines Their old offline toys from when they were 5 or 6 are for a big part replaced by online activity. They visit sites with games and communities, often related to their traditional toys or movies. That way there is a real boost of communities for 6+, mostly owned by brands, aimed at emotional involvement by the children: • Mattel: Barbie • Disney: Club Penguin • Kellogg’s Kids Club • National Geographic • Everloop, Woozworld How do they visit the web? Kids’ online activities occur at home and very frequently ‘out of sight’. From 5 years on they start using mobile devices to go on the internet unattended. • Use of computers in bedrooms 5-7 without adult: 11% • Use of computers in bedrooms 8-11 without adult: 24% • Use of computers 5- 7 attended by adult: 85% • Use of computers 8-11 attended by adult: 69% In 2013 in UK the main device for visiting the web is still the PC/laptop. The importance of tablets to visit the web is rising quickly within 8-11. For 11+, mobile phones get more important. “One in five UK parents of 5-7 year old feel their child knows more about the internet than they do.”
  • 15. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 2928 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Kids digital marketing Kids expect digital media to entertain them. Kids marketing What kind of marketing do these children accept and what do they accept from marketing? Until 8-9 years, children interpret the advertising very literally. No difference between the publicity and the ‘real’ product will be accepted (size, color…). Starting from 8-9 years, the child’s vision upon marketing changes: marketing should be entertaining. Slogans should be ‘cool’, image building is important and the message isn’t analyzed in a critical way anymore. Limited ad awareness Ad awareness has several aspects: first of all there is the recognition of a communication as advertising. And secondly there is the question whether the child can interpret the suggestive language of advertising, whether the kid takes the message literally or not. Kids develop ad awareness only over years (and as a ‘final’ step they develop ‘banner blindness’). Children may click on banners by mistake, as they haven’t developed an effective ‘ad avoidance’ yet. Banners are - as opposed to television advertising - mixed with real content. Some internet advertising is ‘disguised’ as a game or a dedicated zone on an adult website, a club or a branded environment. All this makes it difficult for kids to understand where they are entering a ‘commercial’ environment. Studies show that especially the youngest children are often not aware of the commercial intent of advergames. This means that for young kids ‘Advertising should be recognizable as such’ gets a new meaning. Some people would rather love to ban all advertising to kids for this reason. BUT: an advertising-free world doesn’t exist. So some people seek the solution in education of kids about advertising. What do kids themselves think about this? There seems to be an evolution towards a somewhat more positive attitude of chidren towards advertising. E.g. half of internet users aged 12-15 are aware of personalised advertising – and are less likely than in 2012 to think it is a bad thing (UK study 2013). Nielsen did some research about ad awareness, and he came to the conclusion that ad unawareness also creates some usability problems on websites, with young kids leaving the website because they unintendedly click on advertisements which they don’t recognize as such. Five years is the age at which children deveolop the facility for making the advertising/editorial distinction; at 7 to 8 children understand why the advertising is being used; at 8-10: children begin to recognize, consider and question another persons viewpoint.
  • 16. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 3130 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing How to engage First of all: Children at most any age beyond 4 will immediately make a ‘for me’ or ‘not for me’ decision when first perceiving a product or a program. Therefore it is important to communicate to them in the right tone of voice. Some ways of communicating are very successful with children. Here are some guidelines that may help you to make the connection: Set the right tone • Use emotions • Magic. Must be more sophisticated for 8+ audiences. • Exaggeration (for example huge muscles of super heroes) • “Cool” additions. For example, give sunglasses to your hero. Leverage the power of play. Play is timeless Communicating with kids, you should be aware that playing is their favorite activity (in the top 10, according to “The Marketing Store’, playing video games comes in the first place, and further in the list we find ‘playing outdoor games’ and ‘playing with toys’). Play has not been revolutionized by digital media. Play is timeless, and ‘good play’ (recognized as such by the child) will always follow or build upon classical play patterns. Parents feel that the following purposes of play are lacking the most (and here is an opportunity for marketeers!): problem-solving, active/ physical (outdoor?), learn something, imaginative, collaborative. At the left we see an online campaign for Joyvalle leveraging this. Gaming is often used as a marketing tool. Think of the numerous advergames we see appearing on websites and in the App store. Games guarantee interaction with your brand and a positive and repeated exposure of your brand. (see also p. 33) Think like a child For a child, a stick is a toy. Try to think like a child when talking to children. Test your communication with them, do research (as we are no children). Make sure to adopt the thinking of a child of the right age (att.: a child of 4 is not the same as a child of 4,5!). Create a story Storytelling is key when addressing children. Story telling helps to get your message our there, and it helps even more when you are in an educating role. Don’t count on bells and whistles For kids it’s all about the content, not the bells and the whistles. For instance in the toys arena, ‘watch me’-toys will be rejected. Tear down the walls Adopt a transmedia approach. The content is the fill rouge to their experience with your brand. Kids expect continuity and consistency through all media. Example below: this is the key to success for Lego, who is taking intellectual property across devices and formats, ranging from toys over video games to movies in a very consistent way. Let there be fun Kids have busy lifes nowadays. Humour gives them a break in their busy schedule. Humour has become the kids’ language. Kids appreciate shareable jokes. Lego and Minecraft: both built on the same classical play patterns
  • 17. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 3332 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Also music gives them a moment of well appreciated entertainment, whether it be peers’ music or music from bands they like. Engage with whom they look up to Kids look up to older kids. In digital marketing it’s a good idea to target kids of 2 to 3 years older than your real audience. They love to imitate the adult world. BUT: younger kids do NOT want to be older.  While they may desire to have some things that older kids have, and to ‘play older”, they are very happy being their age. “Brands should celebrate childhood rather than pushing them to “grow up”.  Give kids the opportunity to stay younger longer by encouraging activities that allow them to be (and act) their age.” (The Marketing Store). You can engage with kids through ‘early adopter- marketing’, but this is a difficult process. Early adopter kids (about 15%) are more connected, and they keep informed by watching TV and through social media. They share with their peers... mostly on the playground. If you want to engage with the, make sure to ‘speak their language’ and to offer them creative content they can share. Empower them, they’re the ‘maker generation’ Kids want to be empowered. Many of them are used to empowering games, such as Toontastic (allowing them to create movies) and Scratch (allowing them to code games). They are ‘the maker generation’. Characters are their best friends It is important to study very well the character before starting: • He/she has to care for /educate the child (or the other way around: f.e. dolls) • The child has to be able to identify himself or exactly take a distance of the role (Joker of Batman) • The child has to be able to look up to the character (for example super heroes) • The character has to be entertaining • The character has to be based on a known archetype (hero, mother, troll, prince,…) Up to 6 years old, children prefer basic and safe animals as main characters. From then on they prefer more “exotic” ones. Gradually their interest shifts towards ‘human’ characters. Dinos are interesting for each age, but mainly for boys. Be aware of your real audience • Who buys? Parents? Grandparents? The child itself? • Who will play with it, use it and participate? • Get a very clear picture of the child: age –gender – and the other data that you would need for an ‘adult’ action Adapting the tone of voice • Keep in mind their psychological and cerebral evolution • Keep in mind their values • Keep in mind what products and design they like • Their attention curve is still very short, so the messages (and mainly the call to action) should be very clear and compact. Some ways to reach out to kids Games Kids are not simply looking for information (except maybe the older ones when making their homework). They want to be entertained. Therefore games are extremely important. Why games? They guarantee: • Interaction with your brand • Give fun a positive exposure in relation to your brand • Repetition of this exposure (by trying to get to a
  • 18. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 3534 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing higher level) • They capture the youngsters attention for a long time (longer than on ‘normal’ websites) • The participant must leave some of his data (with their parents consent), so you can follow him up afterwards • Children identify themselves with the main character, which may be a brand embassador • Children may collect loads of (branded) things How to address the child in a game? • put the participant in the centre • reward him as often as you can • let him start with (and win) an easy level and climb up to more difficult ones • let him compete with his peers Sidenote: what starts as a one media brand, ends up as a complete lifestyle brand, throughout all the media. E.g. a game on the Lego website is a ‘real’ Lego product and at the same time a promotion for the Lego pack. The same brand, the same toy, the same game exists in various media, and the child can engage with the brand in a consistent way through all those media. Social Media Following 2013 UK research, the interest in social networking sites with kids is diminishing in favor of instant messaging. While the total number of profiles is declining, the number of social networks is increasing. 18% of the 8-12 years should have at least one profile. Kids social media There are many social networks for children. Nickelodeon, Disney,… Most of them also offer advertising possibilities. Their growth has been enormous since 2007. Already in 2011 the number of subscribed kids, tweens and teens nearly reached 250 million. In general, parents think that dedicated social networks have a positive impact on their child. Teachers disagree. Figures from 2008 (source: ‘Candy-Coated marketing’ – Sheena Horgan – 2012) say: • SN could help reading and writing skills: 76% parents, 29% teachers • SN could help self-expression: 75% parents, 28% teachers • SN could help students learn to work together: 72% parents, 36% teachers On these sites, the communication towards parents is as important as the communication towards the children. • Parents have to approve the registration of their child • Parents want to be reassured about the safety of the platform. In many cases they have a parental panel in which they can activate/deactivate various functionalities (e.g. chat). • Parents are reassured that they will have ‘peace of mind’ (sic - Everloop) while the kids have a place of their own. • Parents are invited to subscribe themselves to newsletters. Adult social media Starting from about 9 years old, many children start using Facebook (that officially only allows kids starting from 13). They exaggerate their age in order to be allowed. • In the EU 17% of the 9-16 years old exaggerate their age on internet. • Kids-oriented groups on Facebook have an enormous success: Spongebob 44 Mio Fans, Silly Bands (animal shaped rubber wrist bands): 1,7 mio fans (October 2013). In 2012 the following percentages of 8-12 participated in ‘adult’ social media in the US +UK: • Facebook: 46% • Twitter: 15% • Myspace: 14% • Google+: 11% • “I don’t belong to any”: 37% In 2011 36% of their parents are aware of it. And they trust their kids on social media although they control them (8-12 US+UK): • I trust my child to be responsible when using social networking sites: 90% • Social networking sites are a good way for my child to connect with friends: 96% • Social networking sites pose a danger to my child: 71% • I need to supervise my child when he/she uses social networks: 82% (source: ‘Children Parents: media use and attitudes report’, UK, 2013) Getting data Getting children’s data is important for later marketing use. FEDNA (European Code of Practice for the Use of Personal Data in Direct Marketing) guidelines impose to ask for children only the really necessary information. Many social media for kids ask 2x data, so that afterwards they have 2 ways to reach the child: • By asking ‘minimal’ data of the child itself (name, e-mail, age, gender) • By asking the data to the parents, when they have to give their permission to the child to subscribe itself to the social media. Here you can ask all the information you want, and their account is linked to the child’s account. More about the restrictions can be found in the chapter about legal and ethical considerations.
  • 19. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 3736 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Trends in digital kids marketing The digital life of the kids is as such a major trend of this decade. Introduction to the trends Kids are the trend The trend of trends is really the new attention that is paid to kids, by organizations, government institutions and companies. Kids are more than before considered as little consumers, with their own right to fashion, their own electronic devices, their own tv stations, etc. Think of – just to name a few – Stella McCartney and Lord Willy’s (‘the ridiculously posh gentlemen’s clothing line based in New York City’) starting a clothing line for kids (‘Little Willy’s’). Little Willy’s, exclusive clothing line for boys, from the posh gentlemen’s suit company, Lord Willy.
  • 20. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 3938 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing The digital revolution Digital kids are the trend Ban digital advertising! Ban digital! Revolutionizing brands The content Storytelling Humor please! Video is king Characters and Santa Claus Boys girls Real is beautiful Mini rules Happiness and well-being Sophistication Everything connected The cross-channel approach Immersive experiences The mobile kid The internet of things Digital at the point of sales Augmented reality The wired kid Virtual reality Code-mania Wearables The interaction Co-creation Starification Points, degrees, badges A vocal generation Helpful brands The second screen Advergames as goodies Social media The ephemeral social Protected social networks The rising power of Twitter Digital mums Nothing less than perfection Educate kids and sell to parents Inform the parents Celebrating heroic mums Imperfect mums Nostalgic mums The inclusive experience The business perspective Big data Growth hacking Crowdsourcing Struggling with business models Opportunities for innovation the trends
  • 21. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 4140 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing the digital revolution Digital kids are the trend Ban digital advertising! Ban digital! Revolutionizing brands
  • 22. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 4342 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Revolutionizing brands To survive in this revolution, brands are rejuvenating and digitizing their brand at all costs. In some cases, even if this has to happen at the expense of the carefully built core brand characteristics. We see the same tendency to be open to complete brand ‘resets’ with adult products. An example of this is Moet Chandon producing Champaign in India. An extreme example of such a move in the toys industry is Lionel Trains. Below you see an old advertisement of this company, and the new image of the brand as reflected in their game app. Old New Ban digital advertising! While parents, educators and governments are getting more aware of the possible undesirability of some types of digital advertising to kids (fearing obesity, pester power, ad unawareness, a.o.), the industry has understood the appeal of advertising- free environments for kids. • On the one hand there are many devices appearing, offering advertising free content through walled garden. • On the other hand we see ad-blocking devices, such as the AdTrap hardware device, appearing and similar solutions offered by software packages, such as the Disconnect App. Digital is bad! Another topic worrying many parents, is the discussion about the negative effects for children spending too much time behind screens. Digital media consumption is under moral pressure, and brands are leveraging these feelings by offering non-digital, ‘real life’ entertainment activities for parents to do with their children. The Canadian traditional toy company Kol Kid took this as the theme of their campaign with the series of ‘The Joy of Simple Play’-commercials (picture below). The Joy of Simple Play - campaign from Kol Kid In the same philosophy we see that ‘real life aids’ are starting to learn kids, ‘alienated from real life skills’ by their digital addiction, how to behave in society. An example of this is the below ‘Beep Boop’ app from the creators of JibJab. The ‘Beep Boop’ app learning kids to behave well in real life. Digital kids are the trend With most successful toys having moved into the digital arena, kids are living a digital lifestyle that goes a lot further than being a lot on digital devices as we are used to think of them: smarktphones, tablets, computers... There is an explosion of digital objects, and the kids’ space is one of the most important areas where the so called ‘internet of things’ becomes a reality. For kids it’s a totally normal and a prerequisit that their toys are interconnected (e.g. Furby doll with the Furby app), artificially intelligent (e.g. the electronic Tangram from Tangible Play) and allowing social interaction (e.g. Minecraft allowing to connect to play together through their multiplayer servers). Creative companies go further in their kids’ communication than just delivering digital content through web or app interfaces. They see opportunities to connect in the real world, and grasp those to truly interact with the kids in a way that appeals to them. Below an exmple of YES-bank in the Kidzania theme park in Mumbai: they installed ATM-like interfaces, allowing kids to learn about banking in a realistic setting.
  • 23. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 4544 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing the content Storytelling Humor please! Video is king Characters and Santa Claus Boys girls Real is beautiful Mini rules Happiness and well-being Sophistication
  • 24. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 4746 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Characters and Santa Claus The ‘old fashioned’ traditional ‘characters’ such as Santa Claus, Sinterklaas, ... are still doing their annual good job. An interesting case is the ‘NORAD tracks Santa’ one. Here’s the story: back in 1955 a Sears ad, inviting to call Santa Claus, had a typo, and calls arrived at a top-secret military crisis number of the NORAD. They answered the calls pretending to be Santa Claus, and a new tradition was born. This is now an annual online event, with 70,000 calls being answered and many videos being posted. The 2013 edition of ‘NORAD tracks Santa’, sponsored that year by Internet Explorer Besides the ‘good old’ characters, the characters from movies/tv shows (e.g. SpongeBob Squarepants) and games (e.g. Angry Birds) are now the fuel of a lot of kids-targeting marketing campaigns. Characters are kids’ best friends. Business models are built on the exploitation of popular licenced IP. Humor please! Kids anno 2014 have busy lifestyles. Too busy, with all those levels to achieve, Minecraft monsters to chase, and tv shows not to miss... Humor takes away their stress. Using humor in digital advertising will make it more effective and impactful, as it will immediately trigger sympathy for your brand. An example: the viral ad ‘The Camp Gyno’ stars a precocious tween who gets her first period at summer camp, appoints herself ‘Camp Gyno’ and proceeds to educate her peers about the bloody passage to womanhood. Our tween’s reign as Camp Gyno is finally foiled when her friends realise they can get their monthly supplies via a delivery service rather than a tyrannical 12-year-old. HelloFlo: ‘It’s like Santa for your vagina.’ HelloFlo: “I was just a big loser... Then things changed. I got my period.” Video is king Kids LOVE video. Watching video, whether it be on television (24%), in the cinema (15%), on YouTube or on brand websites is together with gaming (27%) their favorite activity. Brands offering quality video will easily get the kid’s sympathy. There is a downside to this: the terms conditions of YouTube... don’t allow kids on the site, and YouTube won’t allow you to set kids under 13 as your demographic targeting option. Kids love short format video. AwesomenessTV, broadcasting users’ short format videos on their popular YouTube channel also licenses its content— to Nickelodeon and other websites, Netflix and international platforms. But officially, kids are not allowed on that channel either, and they have an explicit age gate. The Walt Disney company bought viral video production company Maker Studios. Disney may excel at producing big-budget blockbusters, but Maker Studios is producing what kids and teens increasingly want: short-form videos they can watch on their cellphones. Disney released their new series ‘Sherrif Callie’s Wild West’ (picture below) for tablet first, months before releasing it on television. Storytelling Content marketing to kids is all about storytelling, and preferably this storytelling happens in video format. With fun and educational videos, Rokenbok Toys was able to create entertaining in-store demos of their toys virtually. Today, the majority of their online sales come from YouTube channel viewers who make up more than half of their customer base. Rokenbok Toys employees create videos in a small studio they set up for this in their offices. For Lego, a brand with intrinsic storytelling power, fans of the brand from all over the world are taking this to a next level, creating stories, of which the best ones are hosted on an official Lego YouTube channel. Sometimes brands create an online ‘series’ (often with famous actors) to promote their products. An example: Playstation Vita with their ‘Family Dupont’ soap, casting several ‘BVs’, a.o. Axel Dhaeseleire.
  • 25. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 4948 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Happiness and well-being As Ozoda Muninova wrote in The Guardian, “There is an increased focus on personal well-being. In 2014 we will see more brands differentiating themselves from competition through influencing how people feel.” Happiness for children is associated with the family (and friends in the second place). Here an example from Fisher Price, the ‘Moments of Joy’ website section. Another example is the ‘Toy feliz’ (pronounced ‘Estoy Feliz’ which means ‘I’m happy’) campaign from Mattel, addressing the Latin community in the US. Real is beautiful Nickolay Lamm caused a stir in the toy industry with his comparitive mockups of Barbie-like dolls and dolls with real life proportions. When he decided to start a production of such a ‘natural-looking’ doll, called Lammily, he got 500% of his required funding through KickStarters in a minimum of time. Mini rules One of the major reasons that Lego could turn the tide, moving from being at the brink of bankruptcy, to being the global number 2 toy manufacturer, is the big bet they made to focus on mini-figurines and build a whole eco-system around it, including games and movies. Pinypon mini-figurines Virtual minifigurines from Webkinz Boys girls Gender stereotyping is back! While this is being critized, and legislators are looking into this, it has never been so explicit over the last 4 decades as now. Here an ad showing a Lego girl in 1981, and the same girl now with a toy of a film crew, but at the inside there is a makeup table. This is the same catalogue for Sweden and Norway, as legislation is different in those countries. At the left the Swedish version, showing a boy with a hairbrush. Goldie Blox: construction toys, explicitly marketed to girls.
  • 26. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 5150 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing the interaction Co-creation Starification Points, degrees, badges A vocal generation Helpful brands The second screen Advergames as goodies Sophistication Exposed to the internet and global culture, children’s tastes are more sophisticated than ever. So when designing products for and marketing to them, you also too need to be sophisticated. Especially the digital world has changed dramatically over the last decade, and you’d better take that into account if you want to communicate with kids. Kids expect sophistication on all levels when dealing with brands online: • Graphic design • Contentwise, through complexity of experiences. E.g. Minecraft, with very ‘rough’ design structures, but offering endless and ‘open’ play possibilities We see the same in the ‘traditional’ world. Where previous generations were happy to watch nature by going to the pond and watching frogs growing, we now offer the kids prehistoric pets to raise (‘triopses’).
  • 27. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 5352 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Starification Digital media are - due to their interactive nature - very apt to ‘starify’ kids. This can be done in several ways. Here some examples: Proud mums love to ‘show off’ with pictures and videos of their kids. Photo contests organized by brands are mainstream marketing activities. Kids can be integrated in a passive way into the marketing materials of a brand, creating a customized experience, and making a star of the children. Below an example of Persil doing this: Children can be implicated in an active way within a campaign. An example from Studio 100: the band ‘K3’ asked kids to play along with their new song and post the video on YouTube. The best one(s) would then be integrated in their new tv- commercial. Points, degrees, badges It originally came from the gaming world, then made a detour by social media (‘Cool’-app, Foursquare badges,...). And now they’re also there to stay in kids marketing: kids just love points, degrees and rewarding badges. An example: the Geopalz device with app counts the steps the children make. This gives them points, which parents can use for instance to allow extra screen time to the child. Co-creation Kids love to be part of a project from a brand they admire, and to have an impact on it. After all they are ‘the maker generation’. Below an example of ‘co-created’ marketing to kids: the ‘castle of imagination’-contest from Disneyland. Kids have designed a castle through an international competition. The best designs are combined into a real castle that will be built in Paris as a ‘popup castle’. ‘The Castle of Imagination’ from Disneyland Paris. An other result of this longing to have an impact on favorite brands is what we would call ‘DYI- marketing’: fans helping to build the brand by creating their own campaigns, without the brand interfering in this. Below an example from Kinder eggs and the so-called ‘unboxing’ videos, showing fans while they are discovering what’s in the eggs. A vocal generation The 2014 kids and mums are both vocal generations. An example: the Gatorade campaign ‘Water is the enemy of performance’ triggered a storm of protest on social networks..
  • 28. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 5554 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing The second screen The so-called second screen is getting mainstream for kids, especially the older ones, for whom manipulating/watching several screens at a time is a very ‘standard’ activity. They typically will watch Youtube tutorials for their construction set, while they are chatting with friends on their smartphone, and they keep the tablet nearby for when they want a small break from their construction activity. A nice case of second screen application in the cinema environment: Disney has introduced special interactive screenings where kids are invited to download the entertainment giant’s Second Screen Live app on their iPads and use it to access games and additional content. This was exclusively available at select cinemas for a limited time. Disney says that ‘the App gives friends and family a chance to play games, sing along with songs, find hidden treasure and compete with other audience members for great prizes’. Advergames as goodies In 2010, 80 percent of websites for foods that were promoted on children’s TV networks included advergames (Culp, Bell, Cassady). An advergame usually involves a user playing with branded items (e.g., using Life Savers or Oreo cookies as gaming pieces) or playing in a heavily branded environment (e.g., a virtual arcade that contains company logos or product images). Now that parents have got used to pay for game apps, advergames have become interesting for brands to give as goodies, as they have a perceived value. In this example from Nestlé you get extra levels on the website with an on pack code. The game is a customized edition of Angry Birds, and some of the levels are freely accessible. Below is an example of advergames at an ‘open’ website (accessible without code), from McDonald’s (Happy Meal): Helpful brands Customers now expect brands to be helping them in their daily life, also through their marketing campaigns and through the digital media they create for their audience. 3 examples targeting mums and kids: A flu-tracker from SoftSoap. With Audi’s ‘Toy service campaign’ Audi technicians repeared 500 cars for their most important customers: the kids. A Nutribén app to help kids eat and mum to share pictures of the eating kid.
  • 29. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 5756 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing social media The ephemeral social Protected social networks The rising power of Twitter
  • 30. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 5958 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing The rising power of Twitter While Facebook is losing preference, Twitter is remaining stable and Instagram is growing fast with adolescents and young parents. A campaign that worked really well with mums on Twitter was the one from Carambar in France. Carambar is a candy which has a joke on each of its wrapping papers. They made a false announcement (corrected by them after 5 days) that the jokes were about to be replaced with school exercices. The message was retweeted 55,000 times in 5 days, and the campaign got 950 mentions in press. Sales went up with 10%, without spending any media dollar. Another example is from Penguin Books: they had Peter Rabbit hack their Twitter account for a few days. Petter Rabbit asked the audience to help him search for his lost jacket. Finally actress and Peter Rabbit author Emma Thompson made an appeal through social media to Peter Rabbit to get of the account, which he ultimately did. Result: free PR. Protected social networks Brands were setting up their own social media or massive multiplayer online games, but that is a hard thing to do and to keep in practice. Or brands buy existing social networks. The biggest example: Club Penguin, bought by Disney: Club Penguin has no advertising, however some competitors do. An example of a protected virtual world and social network for kids with advertising is Woozworld. It lets advertisers create an interactive and dynamic environment, allowing them to connect with tweens by capturing user attention and facilitating direct communication, interaction and engagement. Below is an example of HarperCollins integration in Woozworld: The ephemeral social 2014 will probably see a further decline of Facebook with the youngest audiences. Kids are on Facebook and love it, but early adopters start to say that ‘Facebook is so eighties’ (sic). And teens are leaving the network behind. The change to the Facebook algorithms to define how much free content can be shown to fans will not help. Probably brands will start communicating less to young teens through Facebook in 2014. Snapchat, the social network where your photo posts only last for 6 minutes, is very popular with tweens and teens. Mainly in the States (which accounts for about 80% of their users), but their penetration is growing fast everywhere. The ephemeral character is very attractive to them. And of course, just like it’s the case with Facebook, a lot of the users are under the official age limit of the service. Snapchat introduced a new feature on its most recent iOS version: SnapKidz, a special mode for children under 13. But it doesn’t allow to send or receive pictures, and it is not successful with kids. Below the Litago Snap’n play campaign, allowing to snap moments of real life, play games with it and share.
  • 31. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 6160 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing everything connected The cross-channel approach Immersive experiences The mobile kid The internet of things Digital at the point of sales Augmented reality The wired kid Virtual reality Code-mania Wearables
  • 32. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 6362 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Mobile is hot Mobile apps with games are an obvious form of mobile advertising to kids. We now even see commercial game apps appearing targeting preschoolers. Below you see an app created by Dreammachine Kids for the preschooler shoes- brand Woeffies. However, we see a lot moving in the publishing and streaming spaces on mobile, so the landscape for mobile advertising will probably change a lot in the coming year. Big game changer will be the arrival of Netflix in Belgium (foreseen for the end of 2014). Important to know is that Netflix does not have advertising (or at least not in the kids part), and that probably kids will spend a lot of their ‘mobile screen time’ on the ‘Just for Kids’ part of this app. The cross-channel approach We already said it in the chapter ‘how to engage with kids’: Kids are tearing down themselves the walls between channels and media, and they expect you to do the same. Successful brands adopt a transmedia approach. The content is the fill rouge to their experience with your brand. Kids expect continuity and consistency through all media. In the end it all comes down to that, within a quickly evolving digital world. Brands no longer create isolated projects in silos, but become part of the digital eco-system of the child. Also offline and online get connectioned. The internet of things Business Intelligence forecasts the number of IoT enabled objects to go from just under 1.85bn in 2013 to over 2.5bn in 2014 and 9bn in 2018 when they will account for half of all internet enabled devices. One of the spaces in which this is changing fast is the connected car. Below: picture of Mercedez entertainment options For kids this means that the car basically becomes a digital experience. For advertisers, this evolution means that you really don’t know where, in what way and in what context your content will be consumed, especially if this content is of a mobile nature. See also: Wearables. Immersive experiences Brands have growing possibilities to offer immersive experiences. McDonalds’s happy table is a good example of this trend being put into practice by a brand: McDonald’s McParty Run app turns the smartphone into a car, and users can select one of the chain’s classic mascots to be their driver. There are several different games to choose from, all of which have themes based upon the restaurant’s popular menu. The Furby eco-system
  • 33. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 6564 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Augmented reality Augmented reality exists since many years, but analysts expect the technology to really take off in 2014. Below 3 examples: Kellogg’s Choco Krispis transforming the box into a gaming device through augmented reality. Lego in-store augmented reality. In selected Lego stores clients can watch the content of the boxes in a kind or augmented reality - mirror. App from the German ministry of health, stimulating kids to brush their teeth long enough, offering an augmented reality experience while brushing. The wired kid The Geopalz device and app counts the steps of kids in order to give them points, that can be cashed a.o. with Amazon. They also have other commercial partnerships: e.g. It shuts down or opens the Minecraft server for the kid at request of the parent (if configured like that, and according to the number of steps taken). The Huggies Tweet Pee notifies the mum when there is a need to consume a new ‘Huggies’. Virtual reality The Oculus VR glasses, showcased in New York at the ‘Digital Kids’ conference, and bought by Facebook, are expected to speed up the breakthrough for Virtual Reality applications. Expectations are high that VR will become an important technology to reach kids soon. We don’t know of any Oculus-projects yet targeting children, but the commercial possibilities are certainly there: Nissan is partnering with Oculus to reach Digital natives. To introduce Nissan IDx they partnered with 3D VR pioneers Oculus and created an immersive, virtual world of co-creation that people could literally step into and explore. Digital at the point of sales Retailers are welcoming creative digital POS tactics into their stores. 2 interesting cases: The Macy’s Believe campaign is about the power of letters and the magic of the holidays. When kids and parents came to mail their letters to Santa at Macy’s, they could bring the characters from the new holiday classic “Yes, Virginia” to life. By downloading the Macy’s Believe-o-Magic app and pointing the camera at special markers at Macy’s stores, kids could pose for holiday photos with their favorite characters through the magic of augmented reality. Another example is the Makie Dolls popup stand at Selfridges end of last year, where people could create their Makie Dolls through a 3D printing configurator app. Selffridges is known to be always ahead with new technologies in their store.
  • 34. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 6766 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Wearables Besides Google Glasses for kids, there are similar (cheaper) glasses from toy manufacturers. We don’t know of marketing to kids on those devices, but we expect this to happen in the years to come. Below a child ‘Googling’ Barbie pictures on her Google Glasses. The smartphone shows what the girl is seeing on her glasses. digital mums Nothing less than perfection Educate kids and sell to parents Inform the parents Celebrating heroic mums Imperfect mums Nostalgic mums The inclusive experience Code-mania Only a few years ago we were surprised to see children of the ‘maker generation’ coding their own games in Scratch. Now this is taken further, with devices and apps learning preschoolers how to code. Some examples below: Primo coding set for small children Play-i coding device for small children
  • 35. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 6968 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Educate the kids and sell to the parents Nowaday mums are perfectionists when it comes to their motherhood. This is especially true when it comes to the education of kids. Combine this with the fact that screen time is felt as an issue: educational content will give parents a perfect excuse to allow their children to use digital media. Companies are leveraging this feeling by offering sponsored quality content and educational apps for kids. Two examples: Cadbury educational app Danone Russia: The product in question was not perceived as healthy, so they packaged communication with educational value. Edutainment keeping the parents in control about what skills the kids should develop. Celebrating heroic mums Mums in 2014 expect from marketers to acknowledge their multiple roles as a mother, a business woman, an artist, and so on. Brands are showing their respect and pay a tribute to mums, sometimes almost giving them ‘divine’ proportions. Procter Gamble went down this road with their texting app ‘Tap to thank’ (see below). I facilitated sending text messages to moms from smartphones, looking into the address directory for all common spellings and variants of the word ‘mom’. Procter Gamble, ‘proud sponsor of mums’ campaign (sponsorship of Olympic Games). This much awarded campaign collected 18 mio views. PG: “We are using our voice to celebrate and reward mums and recognise the sacrifices that all mums make to help their children to grow and succeed. This campaign is about real people and we have featured employees and our agency partners who are mums with their kids in our adverts.” Nothing less than perfection Digital products are helping parents to get closer to a perceived perfection in parenting. The below ‘Teddy the Guardian’ product sends medical data about the child to an app, as soon as it’s being hugged. Although it was originally aimed at hospitals, the makers are surprised to find out that this product is quite successful with perfection seeking parents. The ‘Teddy the Guardian’ website and app. Inform the parents Parents have a need for relevant, organized, timely and accessible informations. They want to know where their kids are (see above), they want brands to help them organize the chaos of informations, they want websites to offer them lists of only relevant and well ordered contents. This trend comes with a real ‘listmania’. Two examples: The Playrific app, embedded on the Tabeo device, collects a great number of apps under one umbrella. This brings order in the chaos for parents, and it guarantees better app visibility and lower production costs for brands. Above an example of the Seaworld app within the Playrific environment. The Spring in’t veld - website, offering more clarity to parents in the cultural offering for kids.
  • 36. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 7170 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing The inclusive experience Brands tap into the frustration of nowaday parents that they don’t spend enough quality time with their children, by offering them inclusive experiences, where they do things together, while being engaged with the brand. Rice Krispies (Kellogg’s) holiday site Oetker recipes for birthday parties Imperfect mums We see a totally different mum depicted in some recent commercials. We see mums that are explicitely no heroes, no saints, no sacrificing perfect beings. For instance in this successful campaign from Hyundai: a 4 minutes viral video, making fun of the “corny” image of the caring and “perfect” mum, starring actress Anna Crilly. ... or in this Halfords Easter Getaway commercial, where mum puts a crocodile in the house to get the family out and in the car. The mum in the below video from Renault outsmarts her tatoed daughter with an even bigger tatoe under the motto ‘The times have changed’. Nostalgic mums With nowadays mums, nostalgia is a strong feeling that marketers tap into. Mums search for experiences that will create family memories, and they look for ways to eternalize and share those memories. Some examples: Kellogg’s Rice Crispies campaign, creating shareable ‘branded’ moments. Kellogg’s asked moms to share those “Moments That Snap, Crackle and Pop” with them on Facebook, by uploading a photo of her child enjoying Rice Krispies for breakfast. In 11 weeks page Likes increased from 24,000 to 302,000, and over 900 million total brand impressions were generated. Nesquik published the ‘Quicky Mix’ app to help mums to edit and publish family movies. With this app “It’s as easy as making Nesquik. Just choose your theme, your film clips and your soundtrack, then stir them together! Family movies have never been so easy.”
  • 37. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 7372 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing the business perspective Big data Growth hacking Crowdsourcing Struggling with business models
  • 38. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 7574 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Struggling with business models Brands are struggling with their business models in the digital space for kids. There is a lot of pressure to offer free or very cheap services and apps. On the other hand, advertising is not appreciated on kids’ media. Another model is the one of licencing and merchandising. Case: Rovio is no longer charging for its suite of insanely popular Angry Birds mobile games, opting instead for the pay-as-you-go, freemium model. And according to a report published today in the Wall Street Journal, the move is part of company’s chief executive Mikael Hed’s master plan to make Rovio the Walt Disney of the future. Growth hacking JibJab is a publisher of apps for kids families. They build all their successes upon previous ones, and make sure that all their products are tied to each other. They pull you in with very funny little videos (virally spread through their systems). As soon as you start engaging with their website, you quickly create heads for your family members. Those ‘heads’ become like characters in the whole eco-system, living throughout all of their products, and keeping the whole family engaged. They also use a lot of ‘embedded virality’ combined with upsell possibilities at the right spots. Thanks to this intelligent approach the products are promoting themselves efficiently. Growth hacking through ‘embedded virality’ by JibJab. Crowdsourcing An older example, but you still see this a lot: Dreammachine created this crowdsourcing campaign for Atoma and MSN to pick best notebook cover designs through an online contest. Through the campaign they got to know for what activities people use the notebooks (recipe-book, diary,...) and what the brand means to them. Then they used those informations in their next campaign. And of course they only produced the chosen designs. Big data Big data can be used to optimize conversion and the sales funnel, but it can also make the experience better. That’s what Disneyland is doing very well with it’s MagicBand. The MagicBands are linked to a credit card and function as a park entry pass as well as a room key. They are part of the new MyMagic+ system and joining is still completely voluntarily. However, visitors who join will have many advantages such as jumping the queues, pre- booking rides, changing reservation on-the-go via smartphones, being personally addressed with their name by the Disney characters, and much more. Although they are collecting massive amounts of data, Walt Disney does respect the privacy of their visitors. They allow visitors to completely control how much and what sort of data is collected, stored and shared with whom or to op-out completely. Netflix uses big data, doing A-B testing on testgroups of 50,000 users, to constantly optimize the interface giving access to their video offering.
  • 39. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 7776 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing opportunities for innovation Opportunities for innovation The combination of the cloud, with social aspects, sensors, bluetooth, mobility and geolocation are offering opportunities for innovation. This is the space where the toy industry as well as kids marketers are experimenting. Expect more to come from this area. 2020 outlook: nostalgia for the traditional?
  • 40. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 7978 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Introduction Excellent usability for kids is a key driver of satisfaction and thus of success for your marketing actions. Bad usability can form not only an obstacle to a pleasant experience or even to get your message through, it can also ruin your carefully built brand image for a long time. Often kids websites or apps are constructed using the good old ‘Fingerspitzengefühl’ as a guiding principle for usability. Typical clichés are that ‘funny typo’ (often unreadible), vivid colors (often not well contrasted), moving objects (difficult to catch with the mouse when they are used for navigation) and ever-changing interfaces (confusing) should work well for the young. These are dangerous assumptions, that - as research has shown - should be avoided. Microsoft, Lego, Sony and similar multinationals have budgets to perform large scale laboratory testing with young users. However, not every budget allows dedicated usability testing. Understanding and respecting the below ground rules should help your project to be more successful. But let’s start with a view on the development stages of the child again (see also above ‘Generation Spongebob: kids grow old young’), this time from a specific usability perspective. The stages of development Piaget has been criticized a lot, but his classification of the development stages is still very useful to acquire a good understanding of certain usability issues: The 4 stages Piaget defines the following usability stages: • Sensorimotor stage (0-2 years) • Preoperational stage (2-6 years) • Concrete operational stage (7-12 years) • Formal operational stage (12 years and older) The sensorimotor stage (0-2 years) Development of body level functions (touch, feel, taste) and memory. Starting from 8 to 12 months children realize that objects that they don’t see keep on existing. As to their physical development at this age we see an important evolution of the motirics – the fine motorics will only follow afterwards. Usability “I don’t see where I can go on this website.” Contact Dreammachine Kids for a usability analysis of your existing or future digital project.
  • 41. © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing 8180 © Dreammachine Kids 2014 Espace Trésignies | Avenue Général Michel, 1E | 6000 Charleroi | Belgium +32 (0)10 86 12 42 · www.digitalkidsmarketing.com · kids@dreammachine.beDigital kids family marketing Their visual acuity (the ability to distinguish details in objects) is full grown now. Only now children start being able to do those mouse movements which demand a precise coordination between the eyes and the hand. How does all this apply to usability? Johanna Heléne Gelderblom has made a very interesting recap with guidelines about how you should design for developmental appropriateness for 5 to 8 year old children. She did this in her comprehensive dissertation ‘Designing technology for young children: Guidelines grounded in a literature investigation on child development and children’s technology’. Below you see a (very small) sample from this very comprehensive framework: This is a good example of how usability guidelines can and should be grounded in the developmental stage of the audience. Piaget about learning Piaget had a constructivist view on learning: he thought that learning occurs through a process of adaptation to the kid’s environment, through assimilation, accomodation and equilibration. How does this apply to usability? The more a website or game resembles other websites or games a child has already seen, the more it will be easy for thim (her) to understand the interface and to use it. Motivation and emotion are a second trigger for learning. Excerpt from ‘Designing technology for young children: Guidelines grounded in a literature investigation on child development and children’s technology’, Johanna Heléne Gelderblom, 2008. The preoperational stage (2-6 years) We begin to see fine motorics skills. Language develops further at a fast pace at this age – but they still understand everything literally. Self-consciousness develops, and with this comes an egocentric attitude. These children are animists, still believing for instance that a computer has a kind of soul. Memory develops and the kids learn by imitating and playing. Senses are well developed, but for the child it is difficult to order and organize his impressions. He also has difficulties for searching things. They cannot really ‘scan’ an environment while searching. Also they only perceive one characteristic of an object at a time. They concentrate on one single aspect of a task. They have no understanding of hierarchies. Their reaction time is still 3x longer than the one of an adult and their concentration span is mostly limited to 8 to 15 minutes. The concrete operational stage (7-12 years) We now see the development of: • the ability to compare lengths and quantities; • the ability to concentrate on more than 1 aspect at the time; • the ability to order, count and calculate. • They are able to understand hierarchies and reverse actions. Their concentration becomes selective, adapted and planned. They start to be able to solve problems. They keep on learning by playing and imitating, but also planned studying starts and is required from them more and more in their school environment. Figurative thinking becomes possible and they start to appreciate someone else’s perspective. Their reaction time is gradually enhancing, to get comparable to the speed of an adult by the age of 12. As to the physical development we see an important evolution of the fine motorics, mainly the hand. The formal operational stage (12 years and older) Only from 12 years on we see the development of: • Abstract deductive reasoning. They are able to consider many aspects together; • Spatial thinking; • Analyzing options drawing logical conclusions. “Is the computer happy when I click here?” a typical 4 year old