Stuck in the middle
In our connected world, we sometimes assume everyone is using social media, even children. We are in awe when, at a younger age, kids continuously use personal computers and mobile devices more than generations before them. Studies by My Child Online and Know the Net suggest that children up to 7 years old are actually not that active on social media, in fact, with most kids starting to use it around 9 years of age and continuing to utilize it more over the next several years.
These studies also point out that the greatest proportion of Internet activity takes place when children reach 11 years of age, and also suggests that parents are strongly involved in their children’s media choices by handpicking channels and setting up filters that block the use of certain pages. About 63 percent of parents, the studies state, check their child’s Internet activity at least once a week. Additionally, research by the Dutch Youth Institution on the subject also suggests that a main concern of parents is excessive media use, and that they struggle with their children spending too many hours behind a screen, showing disinterest in other activities.
So, to effectively reach children in the digital age you sometimes have to unplug, take your communications strategy offline and create campaigns that include fun activities that make an impact on children and positively influence parents.
Young gamers, parents appreciate offline activities
When creating awareness for a new product, consider engaging children with creative or active events where they can learn about the product while playing and interacting with others.
For the launch of the Skylanders Trap Team video game, social events were organized to engage every ultimate gamer in attendance with creative drawing workshops and encouraged them to take part in sponsored sports events. These activities were fun and promoted social engagement away from the screen, which parents appreciated. The response was captured on video, then seeded to influencers such as mommy bloggers and other online media outlets.
Skylander’s Trap Team campaign educates young gamers
A young audience is much more comfortable interacting with others of the same age, and they make great influencers. So, involve youngsters in your integrated communications campaign by letting them share their experience with the world.
Video gamer children took an active role in educating new audiences during the launch of Skylanders Trap Team, which worked well because they knew and loved the game and spoke about the brand in a very endearing way. And while professionals may often focus on corporate message and technical details, kids summed up key features of the game in easy-to-understand language that peers and parents could relate to.
One example of compelling content (above video) created for the campaign included a camera that was set up during one of the launch events to capture a Q&A with the children. Their answers were sincere, hilarious, brutally honest and showed that influencer campaigns can work offline.