Beano Studios is seeking brands to partner with as it researches the thoughts and reaction of young children to world affairs.
The Drum has learned that the recently-formed entertainment network, created around the long-running comic owned by D.C. Thomson, will be speaking at Cannes Lions having begun researching Generation Alpha (children aged seven or less) in a bid to understand its potential readership better.
It now wishes to find "like-minded, forward-thinking brands" who wish to become involved in the ongoing project.
Beano Studios has begun the research, including its weekly Trend Spotters series, in order to react to the things that children were hearing and experiencing to remain relevant to them.
The network's key demographic is aged between seven to 10 years-old and it uses content created around its many iconic characters such as Dennis the Menace and his dog Gnasher, across platforms including the Beano app, a new broadcast production operation as well as the creation of merchandise and exhibitions.
The app's content is inspired through the Trend Spotters interviews and monthly School visits, talking to hundreds of kids around country.
Inspired by the audience's views of the recent general election, Beano Studios took 24 hours to develop a game to reflect the high awareness of the result. The publisher has promised that the insights would be also be used to feed into the questioning of authority figures across its brands.
Here are some snippets of responses to the anonymous research conducted with Generation Alpha respondents around the general election and terror attacks in London.
- "The thing that happened in London. Mum was watching it in her bedroom and she called to me.”
- "And the general election's been – it's something like 'hang' – no one got enough seats. I totally would have voted for Labour. Jeremy Corbyn is so much better by 6 miles!"
- "The general election - there wasn't a winner"
- "There was a concert for charity in Manchester - I don't know who was there I was too busy on my PlayStation"
- "Theresa May doesn't have enough seats, she's going to ask another team to help her"
- "I was surprised and really happy that Ariana Grande came back and did One Love Manchester. Justin Bieber and Katy Perry were there"
- "There was another attack in London, I saw it on the news at our chalet. 46 people were injured. And the election - I went with mum to the polling station.”
- "All the terrorist attacks - there's a lot more police around."
- "The vote is a hung parliament. Theresa May has 316 MP's and she has to ask the smaller parties for help"
Emma Scott, chief executive of Beano Studios, explained: "Today’s digital age is as exciting as it is challenging, and the new generation of kids are growing up with it at their fingertips. Any child that has a smart device can access all sorts of content, some of which can be highly inappropriate, and it’s becoming a real challenge for any brands that are targeting kids and families to be sure that they’re doing so in a safe environment.
"At Beano Studios we’re all about having unlimited fun, big laughs and every day rebellion, and not only that but we have a very high awareness and trust rating with parents. We take this trust very seriously, and have taken steps to ensure a safe environment for kids to have fun, as we are now COPPA compliant. Because we are so trusted and know kids so well, it means that we can strike exactly the right tone with content, and how to connect with the kids whilst keeping the parents happy, but not leaving the kids feeling like they’ve been wrapped in cotton wool, which is what responsible brands are crying out for.
"Smart, responsible brands can partner with Beano Studios to start building these relationships with their consumers and can reach this audience using our insights to create content that these kids love, but also in a safe and compliant environment."
The company said that it believes this generation will be "significantly different" from their Gen Z predecessors having grown up post the financial crash while fake news and the internet have always been a part of their lives. The age group has also had their lives actively and willingly recorded across social media platforms.