For some time now, brands and companies have focused their strategies on reaching younger audiences including Millennials and, most recently, Gen Z. While everyone seems to be targeting Millennials, many of them have grown up. The Millennial family and kids are now in the spotlight, and brands are looking for ways to win not only with the parents but also with the kids. As a result, there have been a lot of kidification strategies in the marketplace; the ones below are just a few examples we’ve observed.
Online Kids: Fun for Kids, Safe for Parents
Kids are online in a whole new way nowadays. This became very apparent with the December launch of a new offer from Facebook: Messenger Kids. The concept is like the original: a real-time chat with the possibility to send photos, videos, and emoticons. The only significant difference: parents are creators of their kids’ accounts and have to approve their contacts. This initiative is reminiscent of the launch of YouTube Kids in 2016, which offered a simplified interface with an international-content aggregation dedicated to the little ones—but with a message focused on security to reassure parents.
Indeed, there is a paradigm shift: products do not have to be designed for kids, but rather can be adapted from an adult version, anchored in habits to a simplified and secured version. This acknowledgement of the kids desires, and their parents, desire for security is the key to success for such a target expansion strategy.
Kids (and their parents) are not just looking for online entertainment. To generate desire from kids, Pathé cinemas got the idea to revisit classic screening rooms. Thanks to a partnership with Lego, an area is completely dedicated to little ones: soft light, colorful decor, comfortable seats, many Legos—every detail is thought out to appeal to both kids and their parents.
By creating a new experience, Pathé is able to convince families to come to the cinema rather than stay at home. Here, kids are clearly at the core, which transcends the cinema’s initial function: it is not only about seeing a movie, but taking part in a unique, playful moment.
Kidified World: Tailoring to the Kid Audience
Have you ever thought of kids as mini adults? The KidZania project does. The project stages a reality for kids that replicates adults’ society. In one of the 24 amusement parks worldwide, little ones can amuse themselves by mimicking their parents’ daily lives: they have to choose a job, work to receive a salary. and spend their money in shops. There is even a special currency, “Kidzos,” making the concept seem even more real. The park should make its appearance in France shortly, and many brands want to be a part of it. Indeed, H&M, McDonald’s, Samsung, and Renault are already present in the parks’ other locations.
Here, we notice an important tenet of kidification: taking the brand discourse to a totally new target. This toned-down version of reality has an educational aim; it seeks to help kids understand the work system of our society and empower them so that they can be ready for real life.
Kidification is popping up everywhere. But the involvement of brands in kids’ lives from an early age clearly raises some ethical questions: what boundaries and limits must we establish in order?
Contributed by: Jeanne Lebarbenchon, Integer Paris
Image Source: Unsplash