Go to Your Room

You've heard me write a lot about kids online. While I'm a strong advocate for the protection of kid's viewing content, I'd like to write about awareness versus protection.

A funny thing happened to me the other day. My new puppy chewed a tiny piece of plastic off my mobile phone charger. Suddenly I realized how dependent I was on technology as my life turned into a hectic whirlwind.

Having been on telecom accounts (and ever having to pay for a phone), I haven't really been in a mobile phone store for a while. I headed for god ole Target (aka Tar-jay), only to find a gigantic aisle of every phone need. I was astonished not only by the vast inventory but by the shoppers. I was the oldest one in the aisle. There were car chargers, wall chargers, chargers that looked like a purple Lucite pump, baubles designed to be accessories, funky cases, even cooler plastic snap on faceplates, clear numbers, animal prints... the list goes on.

For a while I became distracted by my endless voicemails that would be awaiting me. I thought about what it's like to be a kid with so much technology today. To them, technology is cool. Well maybe I should rephrase-technology has to be cool. None of them want a simple black plastic rectangle for a phone, TV, or laptop. This is the Mac generation. They not only want fashionable mobile phones, clips and cases, they want ringtones.



A recent MediaDailyNews story discussed a new study by Knowledge Networks/SRI called, "The Home Technology Monitor." As marketers we need to pay close attention to the findings when marketing to kids (8 - 17):

  • Kids' bedrooms have become a media hub.
  • 61% of children now have a television set in their bedrooms.
  • 17% have their own PC.
  • 35% of kids have videogame systems in their rooms.
  • 14% have their own DVD player.
  • 9% have Internet access via a PC in their bedrooms.

    Because of this, kids' media habits are changing. Just think about all the access they have.

  • 50% say they have parental rules for their TV use.
  • 57% say all of their Internet use takes place in their rooms.
  • 61% report having parental rules restricting their Web use.
  • 75% report multitasking while watching TV.
  • 43% have visited a Web site as the result of a TV ad within the past week.

    We all know targeting this audience can be tough. We've been challenged by the under 18 market in many ways: privacy, awareness, and security top the list. The bottom line is trusted brands will win. These kids know more than you think they know. They want information, entertainment, and instant access. Don't try and fool them with campy advertising antics. Speak to them in their own language. Make sure your technology stays ahead of the curve. Remember, this audience grew up online. They feel as if they have something to say, they can say it to the world. They chat, instant message, watch streaming video, listen to streaming audio, download just about anything, can search for everything, and speak their own language.

    And to think, I thought I was cool sneaking on my telephone when I got sent to my room.

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