“I want to advertise to kids” is a sentence not often heard. People still hesitate when advertising directly to kids, while most of them probably reflect back on what they know and don’t feel comfortable with the “advertising world” in general. But advertising, and especially advertising for kids, doesn’t have to be – or even mustn’t be – pushy, deceptive or aggressive. There are so many things to consider when advertising for kids: where, when, how and even why. Here’s our quick take.
1. Kid-safety: Big Fines Ahead
Kids’ brands and products should always follow kid-safety and kid-privacy regulation. We believe that all individuals and companies working with kids would not want to endanger them or compromise their privacy or safety. In the past year alone, we’ve seen many companies getting fined heavily for not complying with regulation in their brand/product promotions. Whichever media partners you work with – check if they are COPPA-compliant and cover your bases: if they violate FTC regulation, you, as an advertiser, might be in violation, too. We also advise looking at the CARU guidelines, which, along with COPPA, guides networks and advertisers not to collect any data, not to require any special permission and not to abuse the trust of kids and parents.
2. Brand-safety: You’re Only as Good as Your Placement
There’s almost no bigger trauma for kids’ brands than having a screenshot of its promotion in an inappropriate placement. Always make sure ads are presented in a brand-safe way so as not to tarnish the brand, its values or public opinion that is held. You’ve been working so hard on brand identity, value and trustworthiness, and people are not too forgiving when it comes to embarrassing screenshots.
3. Numbers Game: Getting Traction When TV Time Spend Drops
Oh, the old days of “Just-put-out-a-TV-ad”… We personally don’t miss them. Now that online has overtaken television, kids are scattered around thousands of apps – and this is actually where they spend their time. Though it appears to be hard to get mass traction in the mobile era, advanced targeting tools and media platforms actually make it easy and worthwhile. Choose a big ad network, which is integrated in many apps dedicated to kids, to bring you the most engaged audience. (Somebody say KIDOZ? :))
4. Engagement Level: Completion and Game Play are More Than Buzzwords
What are your expectations from the promotions? How should kids engage with it? Obviously they cannot and should not make a purchase. Make sure your chosen platform provides the right engagement metrics for your promotion to meet campaign expectations: views, completed views, game play, downloads, secondary actions and exposure – all are legitimate engagements that should be predefined according to campaign KPIs and creative.
5. Content: Don’t Just “Push”; Get Discovered
Following up on my previous point: with kids – don’t sell, engage! Using content discovery tools is a great way to introduce kids to your brand, creating a fun and positive brand experience. Consider the value created for your audience and how the marketing platform you choose may deliver this value.
6. Share of Voice: Are You Getting Noticed?
Not only where promotions appear matters – but also how exclusively they’re presented within the mobile frame. When going for premium locations, make sure to get the highest share of voice possible. Also – push for greater viewability to make sure kids can always see your promotion the way it was intended. This point is often overlooked but is so crucial in the kids’ space – where prospective audience attention span is limited.
7. Budget Spent: Can the Ad Platforms Deliver?
When planning a campaign with a budget and objectives – make sure your chosen platforms can actually “spend” the allocated budget, meaning they can offer enough media to meet objectives and bring results in a satisfying volume.