Identify Kids

With an eye on the true digital natives, Goldbach Media joined forces with Viacom and Nickelodeon to host the "Identify Kids Schweiz" trade event. Viacom researchers Simone Reitbauer and Claudia Fischer flew in from Berlin to present the latest study findings.

Organizers of Identify Kids and Swiss contact persons: Bastian Sarott (above), Team Leader Partner Relation Management TV PG2 Goldbach Media, and Sebastian Kahlich, Head of Sales MTV and Viva/Group.

The trade event for advertisers brought to light some revealing study results. Speakers on the results of the annual study by Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Northern Europe included Simone Reitbauer, Head of Research VIMN Northern Europe, and Claudia Fischer, Insights Manager Viacom Advertising and Brand Solutions. The study results focused on children's values and their attitudes towards happiness, family, digital networking and responsibility. With the results on children's and young people's media use, Goldbach Media wanted to show how advertising impact differs between TV and online, what role digital media generally play for today's children, and what effects cross-media campaigns have on kids.

"Mediavolution" in families

Viacom conducted an international study in seven countries with 3200 kids and their parents. It found that household penetration of TVs and computers in Switzerland is 98 percent - in other words, almost every Swiss family has at least one TV. Tablets and cell phones are even less widespread. For example, 26 to 28 percent of 6- to 13-year-olds own a device - less than in most other countries surveyed. "However, these ownership rates will rise," Simone Reitbauer is convinced. Already today, 13 percent of 6- to 13-year-olds would watch TV and use their smartphone at the same time. And kids can already recognize brands at a very young age, with this generation of digital natives preferring to receive advertising on the TV. As many as 34 percent of young users search online for further information about a product or service after seeing advertising, and around 47 percent would spend their pocket money on such products received on TV. The conclusion is clear: transmedia storytelling. An advertising campaign with the target group of kids should be played cross-medially. Because cross-media concepts have a higher impact than all the individual effects added together, says Reitbauer. But despite smartphones and tablets, the TV still clearly dominates kids' screen time.

Value attitude in the marketing focus

Claudia Fischer presented further study results from Viacom: In 33 countries, 6400 9- to 14-year-olds were researched in terms of their values. The results not only showed that the "digital generation" is happier than average, but also very self-confident and grounded. In other words, they trust in family, friends and themselves. According to Claudia Fischer, the success factor of possessions continuously plays a weaker role. Instead, a loving family is seen as a success factor. Thus in the marketing focus of Nickelodeon rather the individuality, creativity and singularity of the Kids stand than a car or a home of one's own. The slogan "Mach mal" fits in with this. But a strong sense of community, local ties and the will to get involved also characterize the digital natives of Switzerland - while they generally tend to perceive themselves as overprotected. uma


WW: Ownership rates of mobile devices and TV will rise. Can a single ad still attract the necessary attention of kids?
Claudia Fischer: I can imagine that this can be overwhelming for parents. But when you see how kids use the devices, you can say quite clearly that they are in control of their own entertainment. The kids know exactly how to use the devices and how to mix the different content. And I think the kids are just taking what they need.
Simone Reitbauer: The topic of attention span has not yet been sufficiently researched in this context. But I don't see any problems either. After all, kids have grown up with all these devices - not like us, who had to learn how to use them first. Kids use the various devices actively and consciously, depending on the situation and content. For today's kids, who were born into this media world, this is therefore nothing special, but rather absolute normality. We also see this, for example, in the fact that children use their smartphones or tablets in parallel with their TV consumption.
Fishermen: So the kids are very good at judging for themselves what level of entertainment they want, and they take it - apart from regular school hours, of course. The kids don't just talk about content and advertising, they also become active in this area themselves. In other words, they investigate further after seeing an ad, search online for more information - they want to know more.
The TV thus becomes a source of inspiration for kids to get more information online.
Reitbauer: That's what the results of our study show. TV often provides the initial input and thus acts as a showcase for further actions to follow. This is also reflected in communication concepts: The first story is often played out via TV, this is where reach is generated and broad attention is achieved. This is the basis for further measures via different touchpoints to interact even more strongly with target groups.
How does it look the other way around with the advertising recall of online advertising?
Reitbauer: Our study shows that advertising works on all the platforms we examined - TV, display ads and video ads. We were also able to show that cross-media communication concepts - i.e., linking TV and online advertising - achieve a significantly higher advertising impact. For example, online ads are viewed longer if a TV spot from the same campaign has been played beforehand, and the level of positive emotions is also significantly increased. We were able to prove this using methods such as facial coding and eye tracking.
That means multitasking and a higher attention span on the screen is one of the drastic changes of digitalization?
Reitbauer: Today's children definitely have a multitasking ability in this area that exceeds ours. They use the devices intuitively and without thinking. They are less focused on the devices than on the respective content - and simply use the devices accordingly. For example, the TV is still the most present, but if the children can also find and receive the content on other devices, they adapt their use.
Fishermen: In general, it's all about content for kids. For example, they want to watch cartoons, play games and share content with friends. The device itself may not be perceived as such. Children are already creating multimedia content themselves, which they then distribute across different media. These are the first true digital natives. These kids were born between 2001 and 2008, and they can no longer imagine a world without these devices. For example, these kids often already tend to want to turn the pages of a print magazine by touch - to assume there's a touchscreen behind everything. That's why we already call the post-millennials Generation Touch.
Interv iew: Ursina Maurer


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