The more technology proliferates our lives, the more native kids become to any aspect of technology, often putting them in the position of being the in-house “experts” and helping mom and dad with setting up and programming devices. Combined with Gen Z kids having an increasing say in non-traditional household matters (such as travel and tablets) as we’ve seen in our YouthBeat parents’ data, this generation has been dubbed as “reverse influencers” – they influence their parents just as much as their parents influence them.
Marketers have been capitalizing on this trend by engaging kids in their advertising from the ground up – influencing parents by giving their kids a role in the marketing game. It’s not a new concept, engage kids to ask for something to spur parent purchases, or even use kids to market a product not at all related to them. And, parents hear multiple requests in a day, even in an hour. So what is it about these marketing campaigns that look different with this generation?
- They break away from products that kids traditionally have had influence on
- They offer parents a new way to connect with their kids and tug at emotional ties by sharing a kids’ point of view of something that parents may take for granted
- They give kids an opportunity to push boundaries and shine in a grown up world by validating their feelings, dreams, and imaginations
- They focus on simple tenets of childhood that every kid, and parent, can relate to
- They take it beyond traditional media into new formats or tie ins with relevant causes to reinforce the message
What are some of the brands that are doing this well? Some of our favorites include:
- Honda’s Storytime with Accord. These commercials bring kids’ imaginations to life, and help parents see their car as more than just a car:
- Dove’s Love your Curls. This commercial, as well as their related book of poetry and curly hair people emojis reminds us that parents and kids win when we show kids how to love themselves, just as they are:
- Target’s Back to School. In these kid-created commercials, parents get to look into kids’ school life that they may not always hear about around the dinner table: