Gary Pope unveils new children’s manifesto at Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit

“Content is absolutely no longer king. Audience is” says the co-founder and ceo of Kids Industries.

Gary Pope – co-founder and ceo of family-focused marketing agency, Kids Industries – has unveiled a new children’s manifesto today (9 June) at the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit, calling for brands, products and services to acknowledge key drivers of change and to put the outlined values front and centre of their campaigns.

A guest speaker at the event, Gary is participating in a panel entitled ‘How Priorities are Changing Across Generations of Consumer’ and focusing on the first truly digital natives – Generation Alpha (children born between 2010 and 2024).

Gary is keen to shine a light on the macro drivers that are developing the attitudes and behaviours of today’s children and preparing them to be tomorrow’s adults.

“Generation Alpha follow in the wake of Z, but once they come of age they’ll be changing the world in ways we can’t even imagine yet,” commented Gary. “Digital access and literacy have combined to enable children to be heard and this generation will be activists.

“Whilst the here and now is challenging, if we can help these children navigate it well, the future will look pretty good. This is why it’s important to recognise key drivers and support them – I call them the Super Six Pillars Shaping the 21st Century Childhood.”

KI’s manifesto outlines six aspects of a child’s life that are driving change in attitudes and actions include.

Mental health and wellbeing – The need to do more and go above and beyond.

Safeguarding – The commercial and predatory advantage continues. Advertisers are still circumventing regulations and social networks continue to avoid the issue of under 13s… this has to stop.

Sustainability – We need a wider awareness of the supply chain among families and how it impacts climate change. Real commitments must be made to result in positive change.

Education – Provision is not currently equal, but the rise of edtech plays a key role in redressing the balance.

Equality – We acknowledge that progress has been made, but there’s a long way to go still. We need to see commitments to improving diversity and inclusion and equal pay.

Play – A child’s work, play underpins everything that the future self will become. Childhood must be playful… it is a fundamental pillar of development.

Gary continued: “It’s a full list, but I’m optimistic about what we can achieve together. Our sector is undergoing rapid change and it’s critical that we keep up. In the area of play, for example, the opening up of inspiration could be narrowing – with discoverability getting ever more difficult.

“The touchpoints to reach children are shifting and being increasingly protected so it’s important to consider how they’re connecting and finding out about brands without seeing adverts. Moving forwards, I predict that the brands, products and services that win will be those that can spend the most (to be the most visible) but also the ones that have their values in step with their audience. We are entering an era where truly the one player that collects, aggregates and then keeps an audience will be the winner. I’d strongly suggest that brands put the consumer in middle of their eco-system and keep them there.

He concluded: “Content is absolutely no longer king. Audience is. And bear in mind Generation Alpha is a whole lot more picky about how and who they engage with.”

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