On September 9th, SuperAwesome hosted its first-ever online EMEA Digital Kids Upfronts. Typically held in person, the highly anticipated event is packed with presentations on critical topics related to kids marketing, from the latest kids insights to upcoming product launches.

2020 Digital Kids Upfronts logo

This year’s agenda included the following sessions and speakers:

  • How Generation C (and Covid) is influencing holiday purchasing for the entire family Sam Clough, Insights Director, SuperAwesome
  • Everything you need to know about Q4 kids innovation and holiday planning Matt Lester, EMEA Sales Director, SuperAwesome
  • Causing a Rukkaz: welcome to our new video platform – Nick Walters, Managing Director of Rukkaz
  • Successfully growing a youth brand – a fireside chat –Dylan Collins, CEO, SuperAwesome, in conversation with Jamie Gutfreund, former CXO of Hasbro and CMO of Wunderman Thompson

Three themes were prevalent throughout the event: kids’ influence continues to rise, traditional television consumption continues to decline, and coronavirus means that Q4 will be more competitive than ever before. In case you couldn’t make it, we’ve rounded up some highlights and key opportunities for brands.

Kids have growing influence on family purchasing decisions

Kids 10-17 are poised to become the largest generation of consumers this year. In fact, it’s expected that this demographic will influence up to $143 billion in direct spending

Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has made kids the family decision-makers for the 2020 holiday season. This year, kids are deciding what the family will make, bake, play with, and buy from now until early 2021 at the very least. 

“Don’t forget that children are gift-givers, too. Quite often we focus on children as the recipients of all the gifts…what’s really interesting is that their spend ranges from £30 to £60. How do we help those teens and tweens stretch their budgets for their friends and siblings?”

–Sam Clough, Insights Director at SuperAwesome

Opportunities for brands:

  • Incorporate kids in your marketing strategy: Kids audiences are not just for kids-focused brands. Expand your impact by reaching them in a way that’s safe, effective, and compliant with the help of a trusted partner or by taking advantage of kidtech solutions.
  • Build awareness and affinity with kids: Get in front of kids early and often on the platforms they use to stay top of mind.

Family content consumption has become fragmented

Under-16 audiences are the most affected by the decline in traditional television. Instead of tuning into television sets, young viewers are instead moving to digital and on-demand platforms. 

Graph showing the decline in television viewing time from 2010-2019
Television viewing time (in minutes) by age from 2010 through 2019

SuperAwesome’s video-on-demand marketplace has grown 30% year over year, now reaching over 4 million homes in the UK alone. This indicates that kids and families still enjoy watching content – but their viewing preferences have shifted. 

Additionally, screen-time for kids has increased ten times in the last seven years, with the Covid-19 pandemic only amplifying this surge.

Opportunities for brands:

  • Diversify your channels: Traditional television advertising may work, but maximize your reach and impact by implementing digital spend in your kids marketing strategy.
  • Don’t discount social and gaming: Social platforms are digital playgrounds for kids, especially during the Covid era. Get in front of kids where they are consuming content by running social video campaigns or giving your brand an authentic voice through kid-safe influencers

“We already know that influencers are incredibly powerful in helping kids make purchasing decisions. One of the things kids most crave is to interact with influencers. We had kids saying things like, ‘it would be my dream to be part of an influencer squad.’”

–Nick Walters, Managing Director of Rukkaz

Everyone is competing in a crowded digital landscape

Marketing spend is typically on the rise in Q4; last year, there was a 133% increase in spending between Q4 and the previous quarter. It’s clear that 2020 will be no different. 

Concerns over stock shortages have also led to an extended holiday season, with 6 out of 10 parents claiming that they have already begun their Christmas shopping. Consequently, the critical engagement period is sooner in a shorter-purchasing funnel; brands must go to market early with activations that cut through the clutter.

“The effects of the first half of this year means that this will be the most important Q4 we’ve ever had in this industry. Everyone, big and small, will be competing to stand out in what will be the most cluttered market we’ve ever seen.” 

–Matt Lester, EMEA Sales Director at SuperAwesome

Opportunities for brands:

  • Get interactive: Prioritize engagement to connect with kids on their level. Gamification is a powerful technique to do this effectively.
  • Provide a standout consumer experience: Increased competition means that every brand touchpoint is critical. A seamless e-commerce experience can be the difference between being a brand of choice or losing out to your competitors.

“Commerce and e-commerce are critical. Walk your digital aisles and really look at what it is like for parents and kids to make purchases.”

–Jamie Gutfreund, CMO MGA, former CXO of Hasbro and CMO of Wunderman Thompson

Used by hundreds of brands and content owners, SuperAwesome’s technology provides the tools for safe digital engagement with almost half a billion kids every month. For more resources on how to reach young audiences in a way that resonates, while ensuring brand-safety and compliance, get in touch today.