When a 3-year-old boy wants a toy in a supermarket, he just grabs it. Veni, Vidi, Vici. No limits, no internal barriers, and no obstacles.
It seems that selling and marketing to kids are easy. But there is always some “but” in the story where everything looks simple: a modern 4-year-old boy doesn’t notice toys in the supermarket because he is staring at his tablet or his mother`s smartphone.
That’s why marketing and selling to alpha kids, the generation that plays gadgets instead of ships and dinosaurs, is extremely difficult if you don’t know how to distract them from iPads and smartphones. But it is possible to create a marketing campaign that would take into account these peculiarities of these indigo children.
Who Are Alpha Kids? How do you sell to kids?
Who are alpha kids? These are the children of Millennials born after 1990, and they are really demanding audience in terms of marketing and selling. Alpha kids are the children born after 2010. Though they still can’t make themselves cereals for breakfast, they are changing the way the economy works. It won’t surprise you if I say that even pre-school kids know how to use gadgets today and use them regularly.
That is what statistics say about alpha kids:
55% of pre-schoolers feel comfortable and confident in using smartphones and tablets and 16% of them have their own gadgets. More than that: 41% of preschoolers and early teens have their personal cell phone. Alpha kids perceive gadgets surrounding them naturally.
Why? Think about it: these kids saw iPhones, dinosaurs, LEGO sets left around the space. That`s why for them iPhones are not different from toys: dolls, cars, LEGO.
Generation Z (the kids who were born after 1990) didn’t know the world without technologies and learned how to use laptops, tablets, and smartphones organically while growing. Generation Alpha was immersed in technologies completely from head to toes. And irreversibly.
Most sociologists and marketers still discuss the impact of Millennials on marketing, while Alpha kids are getting older. According to Forbes, by 2050 when all the Alpha babies are born, their number will reach 35 million. All in all, there will be 2 billion shoppers in this generation.
And the problem is that the mere fact of their total immersion in tech world changes everything for marketers. Alpha kids think differently, they behave differently. And Alpha kids respond to different stimuli. To understand them better, let’s take a look at the way they were raised.
Millennials: Parents of a New Type
Millennials are not typical parents, in most cases, they have a negative experience with their parents, that’s why they try not to repeat the mistakes of their moms and dads. Millennial parents or “parennials” are different, very very different from traditional parents.
Alpha kids’ parents create Instagram accounts and YouTube channels for their kids at the very moment they are born. Alpha kids are exposed to social networks, gadgets, and neural networks from the moment they open their eyes.
Millennials have kids at an older age because they study and travel more. That is why when they finally decide to settle down, they usually direct all their time and energy to kids upbringing.
Millennial parents don’t ask for pieces of advice. Instead – they Google everything they don`t know or understand about parenting: ” How to raise a bilingual kid” or ” augmented reality apps for kids”.
That’s why marketing to Alpha kids must also be different. Some brands got this early enough and launched amazing augmented reality marketing campaigns.
Here are 3 cool marketing campaigns using AR:
1. Disney Color and Play AR app to reach kids via their favorite characters
Augmented reality app can be the mediator between a child and his/her favorite cartoon characters.
Using AR apps, brands manage to reach kids on the emotional level. I have a 4-year-old niece who gets mad whenever she sees Elza from Frozen. Even at a gas station full of people, her parents are doomed to buy any merchandise with Elza`s portrait on it. No matter what it is: a bottle of water, a T-shirt, a notebook. Buy now! Disney decided to create a special AR app with kids’ favorite heroes, such as emotions from Inside Out, Dory, Palace Pets in Whisker Haven. And bring characters to life!
Yep, alpha kids fell in love with augmented reality (they didn’t even perceive it as something non-organic). And parents were doomed to buy.
2. Rastishka AR app to teach kids about the solar system
This augmented reality application was created for Danone to promote yogurts AND teach kids about the solar system. Did you know that you can reach 2 different goals with one augmented reality application for marketing? Each Danone yogurt has a little magnet attached to the top of yogurt. After pointing a camera at this magnet any curious Alpha kid could animate magical aliens or constellations.
Kids saw how planets were spinning around and how stars were dancing in order to form constellations. They could hear all the information about the planets being voiced by a speaker. And Learn.
WeAR Studio built this bright and intuitive app for iPhone and Android and it became one of the most popular apps in the country and was downloaded more than 500.000. What about Danone? The company confirmed that this AR marketing campaign exceeded their expectations in terms of sales.
It’s My Thing AR app instead of Menu
Have you ever visited the restaurant with a 5-year-old kid? Yes, it’s really fun for like 10 minutes while a kid is busy coloring, chewing or watching other people. English brand Robinsons Fruit Shoot decided to create something more extraordinary and interactive to entertain kids in a restaurant.
Kids could download “It’s My Thing” app (don’t worry, even 3-year-old knows how to do it now), point it at their placemat which served as a marker and has fun. And then the magic began: there were games and various puzzles and entertainments in different categories, such as sports or music. Children are busy, and parents can eat in peace.
More than that, with such an AR app for children, adults can offer an excellent gamified experience to curious babies. This AR app becomes the means of interaction between real reality and virtual reality for kids keeping them routed to the present world and yet offering them magic elements. Another cool benefit of such an AR app is the ability to provide kids with shared experience- they can play simultaneously!
What is marketing for kids? Alpha kids, if to be precise?
It’s marketing activities that take into account all the peculiarities of kids’ development at such a young age. A perfect marketing campaign for Alpha kids should include:
Use augmented reality or any other technological tool to attract kids’ attention, that’s first and foremost. If you’re still trying to push your products with the help animators dressed as Madagascar characters, you’re doing it totally wrong. In any case, for alpha kids, your campaign will remain almost unnoticed. Augmented reality marketing campaigns are extremely effective for teenagers and kids
Use bright vivid images and animation. At such an early age, kids can react to either familiar or to very unexpected and bright stimuli. 3D characters in vivid colors can be hookers for kids.
Reach your little consumers with the help of their favorite characters, don’t sell them anything directly. If kids adore Elza, pitch them with Elza, they won’t notice anyone except for Elza.
Use Influencers. Do you know what is the most popular social media among kids? You will be surprised but it’s YouTube! Kids love videos because they grasp all their attention. When children see their peers in videos playing with toys or recommending some gifts, they repeat a mantra to the parents: “I want it too!” Many videos are entertaining, others are educational. Videos work.
Don’t forget about parents. Yes, you’re selling products to kids but parents are the people who make this final decision to spend money. And what do parents want for their kids? They want useful content! That’s why using augmented reality for marketing is so effective. Augmented reality app, like the one created for Rastishka, is the best way to motivate both children and parents.
Marketing to kids is never easy. Brands have to grasp kids attention, retain it longer than 3 minutes (that is when an average kid feels bored) and then entertain a kid in some way.
That’s never been easy but with alpha kids, the mission seems impossible. These little people don’t see the difference between a toy car or an iPad. They don’t react to traditional ads. So if you want to reach Alpha kids, use the things they love the most – gadgets, animated cartoons, interactive games. That’s what AR can offer you.
Long story short, you can use the passion of alpha kids for technology to sell them anything. That’s AR marketing, and the all big world brands, such as LEGO, Danine, Disney, Pizza Hut, are using augmented reality advertising actively to attract users.