Research Insights 1,2 and 3

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2013 5:34pm by Jayne Kirkham


Blogged by Jayne Kirkham

Produced by – Btisam Belola, Insight and Innovation Consultant, BBRI.

“Fascinating but deeply depressing that children live in such an enclosed environment” Jon Mason.

“Interesting: I can use some of this to generate content.” Johnny Leagas.

“Could you possibly type more quietly?” The lady at the end of my row.


Three different audience researchers shared their latest findings.

Top Ten Takeaways:

· Children haven’t changed, but parenting has.
· Parents are the gatekeepers but once inside a brand or an idea, children occupy the territory in their own way.
· Children love ‘classics’ but love them even more if they can share them.
· Children are information Hunter-Gatherers.
· Parents and teachers no longer feel reading for pleasure alone is justified.
· Once a child reaches school age, reading becomes another skill to be mastered rather than a pleasure.
· Kids don’t discriminate about platforms: it’s all entertainment (apart from reading – see above).
· Kids are looking for things that reflect their positive outlook.
· Authenticity is key: they see through the fake and the cynical.

Expanding the reach of Heritage Brands Online.

Presented by – Peter Robinson, Global Head of Research, Dubit
Sponsored by – Dubit

View this presentation

In Brief:
Children love heritage brands – the things their parents and other generations pass on to them. When digitising such brands it is important to think about how kids think. When kids engage with a property they’ll happily cross platforms; like hunter-gatherers tracking down information, making connections between different texts within franchises. TV still makes the most noise but the influence of digital is growing. While parents want nostalgia and safety, kids want to be able to share brands. They may love something but to really, really love it they need to be able to share it.

When adapting a brand, it is the essence of the brand that is important and how it figures with audience expectations. For example Jungle Book – what resonated with children was the father-son relationship of Baloo and Mowgli and the fear of Shere Khan. These produced feelings similar to those enjoyed when playing dancing games or the ‘eek’ moments of Temple Run.

So if you have a heritage brand:

· Understand how the brand relates to kids in modern world.
· Identify the essence of the brand, not necessarily its heritage or narrative.
· Clarify how the audience wants to engage with the key elements: characters, story, game.
· Don’t be afraid to enter the digital playground: kids want your stories and characters.

(Slides available at Dubit’s website)

Is Children’s Reading a Casualty of Modern Life?

Presented by – Rebecca Ironside, Senior Director Qualitative, SPA Future Thinking; Alison David, Consumer Insight Director, Egmont

Sponsored by – SPA Future Thinking

In Brief:
The Reading Street ongoing research shows that parenting has changed more than kids have. Parenting has become a high-pressure job: parents are anxious and competitive – after school activities will go on a child’s CV. Downtime is seen as a waste. This attitude is also now seen amongst teachers who are under pressure to tick boxes rather than have ‘story time’. Reading is now seen as a passport to betterment rather than pleasure.

Pleasure needs to be reintroduced and redefined as a concept for reading: kids still love a story.

This research is ongoing: join the conversation at @egmontuk #ReadingLives.

Kids Now – ‘The Next Normal’

Presented by – John Conlon, VP Director of Research, VIMN UK Cluster
Sponsored by – VIMN

In brief:
Millennial children have grown up post 9-11 and the economic slow down. They are more sheltered than ever, yet are also more exposed to the digital world than ever. However, technology enables rather than defines children. They expect a three-sixty degree experience, and are comfortable if it is non-linear.

UK Kids describe themselves as ‘very happy’. They value family members above things and they expect brands to reflect their optimism. Nevertheless, they have their feet on the ground. They expect to be doctors rather than princesses and define success as being happy. They are inspired by family members rather than celebrities. They despise fake and want their brands to be authentic.

The implications for content commission and brand management: there has been a change over the last 5 – 10 years: fame is no longer the driver, talent is more important. In uncertain times, families pull together, celebrity means less. Content is beginning to reflect more of the family dynamic in terms of narrative but also the idea of shared viewing growing.

Event Reports

Jayne Kirkham, Writer, Script Consultant, Youth Activity Worker

About the author

Jayne Kirkham


Jayne currently splits her time between adapting Ann Kelley's Bowerbird novels into a feature film for Artemisia Films, polishing her novel The Bones of Rockham Bay, administering the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children's Media and the Arts for the CMF, serving on the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Executive… Read more