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4 Key Insights for Kids & Family Advertisers

Precise TV event in New York - selfie with panellists

The kid’s media space is changing at a tremendous pace. It’s important for those in the kids entertainment and toy industries to continually evaluate their marketing strategies so they don’t fall behind. That’s why this week we organized an event as an opportunity for industry leaders to come together to discuss best practices and to learn from one another. As part of the event, we hosted a panel discussion and were joined by Katherine Resto from Moose Toys,Oliver Tilford from Warner Bros. Discovery and Stephanie Bailey, a former Paramount exec.

Here are the top four takeaways from the discussion: 

Be where the eyeballs are

In Nielsen’s latest The Gauge report, YouTube accounted for nearly 10% of all television viewing, far beyond that of its nearest competitor. And as one of our panelists said “Where there’s eyeballs, there’s value”. So YouTube is now the top priority destination for marketers in the industry, ahead of TV and print, something that a panelsist said was unheard of just five years ago. The importance of YouTube was stressed by all panelists. We even heard one anecdote of a particular show IP not appearing on YouTube until 18 months after airing on linear TV, and as a consequence that IP has now been overtaken in popularity but other shows that have applied a more YouTube-first strategy. 

Given the wide reach of YouTube across all demographics, one panelist said it can be a great place to create “lifelong fans”. Creating fandom with younger viewers who are viewing your content for the first time, to re-engaging older viewers who are looking for a hit of nostalgia. 

Of course, YouTube runs across all devices but it’s the growth of YouTube viewership on TVs specifically that has become really interesting for brands, which leads us on onto the next point of discussion…

Parents are showing more interest in what kids are watching

Earlier in the year we released our PARK study. One of the standout data points from that report showed that co-viewing (where parents and kids watch video together) is becoming increasingly common - almost half of parents co-view with their kids every day! Our panelists all agreed that they are seeing the same trend; parents are watching more video with their children so they can have conversations about their favorite shows and enjoy those shared moments.

For brands, co-viewing offers a great opportunity to reach both parents and their children at the same time. Targeting the YouTube app on TVs is a great way to be part of those co-viewing moments.

Paid vs earned vs owned

Conversations about the right mix between paid, earned and owned media have been around for as long as social media advertising, and it continues to be an important topic of discussion. 

Our panelists provided a good way to think about your mix: when launching new IP, brands should focus more on paid and getting the message out there; for more established IP, brands can lean more on earned and owned media. 

There was also an interesting conversation about the measurement, specifically when thinking about earned and owned, brands don’t always need to focus on commercial metrics i.e not every bit of content needs to be attributed to purchases. Instead, it is important to think about “entertainment”. If you are consistently providing entertainment to your audience, the results will follow.

In-app gaming can be an easy way into gaming 

Well over half of all kids are playing games on mobile devices or tablets (as per data from our PARK study), and given the amount of engagement gaming creates, more and more brands are looking to participate in the gaming space. However, just like the video landscape, it can be difficult for a brand to know where to start: there are metaverse games like Roblox, mobile games like Toca Life World, console games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and advertising on gaming content on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. 

All our panelists had experience in the gaming space, including custom activations on roblox and creating in-app mini-games. They agreed that roblox campaigns can create great engagement but can be costly and require brands to think like a game developer, so are for those who are more experienced. The panelists recommended that brands who are just starting out on their journey in the gaming space should look first to in-app advertising, such as custom mini-games, which can be highly effective but much easier to activate. Mini-games can even replicate the ‘feel’ of a brand for example by incorporating “similar eyes or snuggle feeling” as the toy that is being promoted. 

A special thanks to our panelists and all those that attended our event. We hope you can join us at our next event.

Topics: youtube, advertising, contextual targeting, gaming, event