Advertising has always been under fire when directing it to kids.  First and foremost, there are ethical issues, unfair advantage, and then there are developmental and health issues.  Moreover, brands are accused of marketing tactics that promote obesity in children. It’s no doubt that brands spend millions to hook consumers onto their brand. 

Group of children standing over a blank board. Isolated on a white background with word advertising.

Group of children standing over a blank board. Isolated on a white background with word advertising.

However, as consumers, we should support brands that ethically and respectfully advertising to kids.

In 2004, brands spent $15 billion and that amount has reached over $50 Billion.  One reason for this huge increase is the invasiveness of advertising.  An increase of kids purchasing power also contributes to the paramount budgets brands have to secure a cradle to the grave loyalty.  Similarly, technology changes the reach and accessibility of advertising to children.  Internet marketing to kids is featuring puzzles, activities, games, and cartoons.  As a result advertising on games grew from $77 million to $230 million.  

Another new advertising tactic is the use of virtual reality (VR) and immersive interactive games.  VR is expected to be larger than mobile advertising, although the technology is still new to marketers.  Additionally, VR is becoming necessary in communicating with people and how we experience the world.  Conversely, VR is an individual experience and should we should treat it as such.

One company that is using VR and creating individual experiences is Kiddoz.  Kiddoz is content discovery network for kids.  Kiddoz partnered with EyeClick to create interactive immersive experiences where kids can engage with brands virtually.  EyeClick is the maker of BEAM, an interactive gaming projector that allows kids to play in a virtual playground.  Imagine using virtual reality for marketing while keeping kids active and engaged.  Marketing through interactive games allows kids to take part in the brand experience while building loyalty.  

Marketers are increasingly building brand awareness and loyalty through video games.”  To market to kids, provide an immersive experience that has a cradle to the grave strategy.  

Effective marketing to kids should encompass these elements

Attention: Grab kids attention through music, features, color, themes, and even sound effects.  Your advertising should be consuming and fun.  “Embedding a marketed product into entertaining content creates favorable attitudes about that product without the user even being aware.

Repetition:  The more you say your brand slogan, display its brand logo, colors, or story, the easier it is to recognize.

Recognition & Retention:  songs, rhymes, visuals reinforce brand awareness.  The more kids are exposed to a brand the more they can recall the brand.

They should also be original.  Create original content.  Be genuine and trustworthy without trying too hard.  Remember to include parents.  Ultimately, parents are the decision-maker.  But, let the kids be the voice of your brand and your ultimate follower.  

Last, but not least, use VR to create advertising that kids can take a part in.  Grab their attention with a fun interactive game where they can play with the brand’s advertisements.
While it’s still hard to market to kids, brands should use new technologies, stay authentic, and respect both children and parents.  Stay ethical, and find fun immersive ways to reach them.

About BEAM

BEAM interactive projector game system by EyeClick is the future of VR and augmented reality.  The award-winning, innovative platform engages customers in Family Entertainment Centers through tailored games.  BEAM helps brands provide a top-notch, no distraction dining experience to patrons and also encourages children to indulge in physical activities to work up a healthy appetite.  Learn more about BEAM (insert email)

~~~J Franco is a freelance content writer and social media strategist for BEAM by EyeClick.  She is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Master of Communication Management.  J is a marketing ninja by day who is always plotting her next global adventure where she can continue writing her personal memoir. Follow her here

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