Kari McCreath, Director of New Business & Partnerships at SuperAwesome, the digital marketing platform based in the UK which specialises in content designed for children, who led Creativepool founder, Michael Tomes, and a host of other industry insiders through an absorbing roundtable discussion on kids and digital in modern advertising, and the role of creativity within that realm. Also joining the debate was Steve Ackerman, Managing Director at Somethin’ Else, Remy Kurpershoek, Executive Creative Director at XXS Amsterdam, Sam Browne, Managing Partner at Dentsu-Aegis and Katie Bell, Commercial Director, for Beano.
“How can a brand breakthrough and have a conversation with kids when they're spending 80% of their time online watching Minecraft video on YouTube?” Katie Bell
Kari presented numerous relevant topics to the group including:
- “In 2016, where do we feel that kids are spending the majority of their screen time?” “Looking to the future, do you think that short-form content is something we'll see more and more of?”
- “If you were working with a brand, would you pay a kid blogger to unbox your product online?”
- “How do we keep kids being creative with so many screens at their disposal?”
- “What is the role of play in 2016” amongst others.
“Judging from my personal experience, my kids are all over their iPads with TV at a distant second” Sam Browne
The opinions were obviously coloured a little by the fact that two of the debaters at the table have children of their own under the age of 18, but everyone involved was able to give well-reasoned answers, which touched on some topics you might not have expected from such a discussion. One interesting topic that seemed to take hold of the conversation towards the end was the importance of VR, which Steve would become a major force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
“The two V's we talk about when we're talking about kids are the two V's; video and visuals” Kari McCreath
Katie, meanwhile, who was the founder of “Stardoll,” an online doll dressing company, acts as a great proponent for sticky content that allows kids to express themselves and share these expression with their friends. Minecraft being a popular example. There was also much debate on the prevalence of mobile devices amongst younger kids in 2016 and whether or not it was a good thing, the difficulty for parents monitoring kids usage of content as they get older, the gateway drug that is short-form content and the sheer madness of unboxing videos and kid bloggers such as EvanTube.
“Social is a big part of the conversation, not just in terms of their friends but in terms of the content they're consuming as well” Steve Ackerman
It's a casual, but fascinating discussion between six industry experts, that skilfully manages to avoid some of the more generic answers such a topic might elicit from lesser minds. It's perhaps quite interesting to learn, for example, that Kari doesn't actually own a TV and Michael, by his own admission doesn't actually watch a lot of content (he works too hard), but he does own a TV. Who knew?
“I think brands should embrace gamification, and content not created by the brand itself, but by the children” Remy Kurpershoek