Child using laptop

Kids look to many sources to inspire the decisions they make. Friends, family, online content creators, and the digital communities that they belong to are all important influences. Historically, though, the schoolyard and word-of-mouth are most impactful; kids want what their friends have.

However, 2020’s lockdown period due to the Coronavirus pandemic saw kids participating in both the classroom and the playground digitally. They were still talking to each other, but they were doing it online. And screen time wasn’t just reserved for socializing – both the US and UK saw steep increases in the amount of time spent playing mobile games and watching YouTube.

For Generation C, a new cohort of kids shaped by the pandemic, the metaverse is the new playground. Generation C shops online, games online, and streams online. This increased digitization, caused by depleted in-person social networks combined with the flexibility of homeschooling, has led to notable behavioral changes. Everything from what they wear, to what they eat, to what they want for the holidays is influenced exclusively by online activity.

How will increased digitization affect kids’ behavior this holiday season?

Our recent holiday season report, How Generation C is influencing holiday purchasing for the entire family, explores this very question and reveals some interesting shifts. Where we would usually see important differences in data between the US and the UK, this year the gap has narrowed:

  • Kids are consuming the same content: Kids across the US and the UK are watching the same favored influencers (SiS VS Bro, Norris Nuts, Moriah Elizabeth, ItsFunneh) across YouTube and TikTok, and they’re playing the same popular games (Roblox, MineCraft, Fortnite). They’re hooked on the same TV shows (Stranger Things remains a favorite). 
  • Technology and clothing have universal appeal: Regardless of location, kids make wish lists to request the gifts they want. This year, both territories are in agreement over the desirability of technological devices, video games, games consoles, and clothes or footwear for the holidays. 
  • Gaming has surged in popularity: There’s absolute unanimity over the most important big-ticket item this year: the games console, preferably a PS5, followed closely by the Nintendo Switch. 

How can brands leverage these insights to get ahead?

Kids’ screen time has increased and, as demonstrated by the narrowing gap between global interests and behaviors, the influence of online activity is powerful. Brands should meet kids where they are by incorporating digital spend into their 2020 holiday marketing budget. But with many different channels and formats to choose from, it can be difficult to get started. Based on our recent findings, we recommend the following key tactics:

  1. Create relevant branded content: Now more than ever, it’s essential that brands focus their holiday marketing activity on the passion-points of kids. Platforms such as YouTube and PopJam have huge global communities of kids all focusing their activity arounds trends and popular content creators, and this is where this global cohort will find the opinions that influence their holiday gift decisions. 
  2. Use kids and family influencers: By collaborating with beloved content creators, brands can create authentic content that makes an impact. Contextual targeting on YouTube will ensure that advertising pre-roll is being seen by kids with interests aligned with your brand and products. 
  3. Consider the digital experience: It’s clear that gaming is an essential part of life for Generation C. By developing creative, gamified content that kids can participate in, you’ll build brand affinity with this audience. And don’t forget about parents: with the majority of kids migrating to digital wish lists, preferring to share links of the items they’re requesting, make sure that your products are easily accessible and shareable through various digital platforms.

SuperAwesome has a range of solutions to help brands to form their holiday spending strategies, from the insights necessary to make robust content and platform decisions, to the reach and scale to connect with the relevant audience. 

Are you interested in more 2020 holiday trends? Tune in to our insights-packed webinar to learn how to optimize your 2020 holiday budget for the best ROI.