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Preview: IP 360

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 1:13pm by Lucy Gill

Lucy Gill, kids app and User Experience (UX) specialist is the session producer for IP 360. There she talks about the challenges of creating a 360 brand in the children’s space.

Like many mothers, I can map my son’s early years through his brand affiliations. From ‘Fireman Sam’ to ‘Octonauts’ to a world of superheros, our house has filled with toys, books, magazines, stationery, really anything ‘on brand’ that he could get his hands on. Accompanied, of course, by an obsessive desire to watch the show, play the games etc etc. I vividly remember having to wash my son’s one Fireman Sam plate after every meal for several weeks – at 18 months he simply wouldn’t eat off anything else! In my experience, a child’s commitment to their latest favourite is a force to be reckoned with!

There is no doubt of the consumer demand for cross-platform content and in many ways this area is not new but it does seem to get ever more complicated. My son is now only 6 and yet at the start of his Octonauts phase I was still reliant on the PVR to feed his appetite for episodes where now his latest favourite shows are accessed almost exclusively via kid-friendly VOD, whether on TV or tablet. The rise of VOD, apps, games, YouTube and social media as part of the landscape of popular children’s IP has been swift and in many ways game-changing for the industry. The choice of which platforms, what content, what order, not to mention the breadth of skill sets required to deliver such a broad portfolio for one brand whilst retaining its essence, and managing the financial complexities are staggering.

I spend most of my time working in the children’s app space where I’m regularly faced with the two extremes: popular IP unsure of how to grow into a great kids’ app and moderately successful app-only brands seeking their big break into TV, books, toys and beyond. It is obvious that the choices are not easy and there is no clear recipe for success but I’ve become fascinated by understanding the details that tip the balance.

So I have produced the IP 360 panel to pick the brains of people who are really making this work for them! Our panel were carefully chosen to give us differing perspectives. They have various priorities and starting points, cover ages from toddler to teen, focus on properties from established favourites (‘Thomas and Friends’) to the new hits (‘Hey Duggee’, ‘The Next Step’ and ‘The Deep’). They will talk about every platform you can think of (and some you may never think to consider). I’m genuinely excited about hearing their insights and debating the answers with such a great group of people.

As someone who spends most of their time focused on the parent and child perspective, I have no doubt that great IP relies on creative magic that truly captures the love, trust and engagement of its audience. What this session will do is help you consider what gets you closer to that end goal: What content really engages kids on each platform? How can you not just retain the integrity of storylines and characters across platforms but build on these? How should you plan for the evolution of your brand? What are the particular challenges of toys, books, apps, social, on demand etc? Where do you even start…?

Lucy Gill

About the author

Lucy Gill

Digills Consulting, Child-Centred Consultant & Researcher

Lucy supports development of children’s apps, toys and EdTech providing an audience-centred perspective. She provides insights and ideas to support concept development and user research to inspire creative teams. Her approach is informed by over a decade of experience in UX/user research, reviews of over 400 children’s apps while creating… Read more

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