Digital experiences are a part of our everyday lives, regardless of your age, it's common to spend at least a few moments of your day engaging with a screen. As experts in building out family-friendly activations, we often ask ourselves, how do we take an everyday activity and bring it to life in a new way for consumers to experience?
A brand engagement that promotes a new technology for kids must keep context and environment in mind. Don't leave tech hanging on the sidelines of an event as a simple kiosk, but build it into the event flow, surround it with a variety of activities that include physical and creative play, and bring the whole space to life with energetic audio and visual eye-candy. Building screens into a branded set invites kids and caregivers into the storyline before they even sit down to play. Additionally, highlight the team aspect of digital gameplay by providing group seating. This will give caregivers the visual and physical queue that they can and should sit and engage with their kids as they play along or simply act as a cheerleader.
Creating an inviting space for families to interact with a digital experience provides an opportunity for the brand to organically create a role for caregivers as the 'media mentor' onsite. As defined by Lisa Guernsey, a media mentor helps a kid understand what they see on a screen and relate or apply it to the real world (often through discussion or play). A media mentor can be a teacher, childcare professional, parent, or even event staff. With any activity, digital or physical, it is important to always have event staff onsite that can step into this role and encourage kids to embrace the experience fully.
Experiential marketers should pair technology with positive interactions and think of them just as they would a physical activity and involve all members of the family. Whether technology is central to the experience or simply rounds out the brand story for guests, surrounding it with visual, visceral, and human-to-human engagement will make it unique and memorable for all participants.
- TEDxTalks. (). How the iPad affects young children, and what we can do about it: Lisa Guernsey at TEDxMidAtlantic. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P41_nyYY3Zg