Report: Lockdown, Learning and Brands

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 12:07am by Cate Zerega


  • Navigating new platforms as a gateway to the brand is best executed by deeply learning about the platform, its content managers and what they want to promote. Otherwise the content will get lost.
  • Lockdown has shone a light on positive content that helps children move through tiresome tasks in a positive, healthy way.
  • A child’s existing interests are a great gateway to embedding STEM in their play.

Moderator Lucy Gill began the discussion with Editor in Chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday. Guinness found that the best way to reach kids is through partnership. He has access to a huge amount of content because they are currently receiving one hundred applications a week for records. The company moved into TikTok because that’s where the kids are and it’s a positive platform that affirms interaction between parents and kids. Guinness World Records has done well on the platform because it works well with their existing content, which is small and punchy and appeals to kids. 

Helen Foulkes, Head of BBC Education, spoke about the work of producing as big a package of content as possible that was flexible in use and resulted in three million unique users per week online and five million on iPlayer. A key element of their programming was intense curation so that each product made step-by-step sense to their audiences. BBC has worked with more partners than usual, such as Pearson and the RSC to achieve their programming demands. Helen hopes that online learning will play a productive and helpful part in the wide variety of transitions students, parents and teachers will be making in the autumn term.

Clark Stacy, Cofounder & CEO of WildWorks launched the Animal Jam game ten years ago based on the fact that every child has a favorite animal that they want to learn about and demonstrate their knowledge of. A significant portion of their audience is girls, so the game has been developed to include more women scientists. During lockdown, kids have been using Animal Jam much like parents are using their social media (to keep in touch with their friends), spending 60-80 minutes a day in the game mostly talking to their friends. WildWorks uses strict, manual guardrails for the chat content which allows parents to feel comfortable letting their kids run around in the game for an hour without worry. 

Craig Glenday found that lockdown has revealed to parents the breadth of information available for learning by stealth. Guinness World Records have engaged more directly during lockdown to find out what their audience wants from them, and they plan to carry this practice forward. 

Helen Foulkes found that lockdown opened up the world of digital learning a little more and at a younger age. BBC Education would like to give confidence in using more digital content in the classroom and at home post-lockdown. 

WildWorks asked themselves at the beginning of lockdown, “How can we be of service to parents in this period?” The company is membership-based, which they feel is the most ethical way to proceed with monetisation and children. They made the game free during lockdown, which has resulted in building trust in the brand with the audience .

The talk finished with Changemaker Joe Brindle & the team from Teach the Future discussing the urgency of embedding climate change and sustainability teaching through every element of a student’s curriculum and beyond that in more media content of relevance to children’s need to understand the issues. 


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Cate Zerega

About the author

Cate Zerega

Freelance Production Coordinator

Cate has worked as a nanny, a talent agent, in casting & production. Cate’s resume means she no longer fears anything and has sunblock & headshots always about. She completed an MA in the screen industries in 2018 & works passionately to promoting female filmmakers. Read more