The changing media consumption habits of children has spurred new strategies for content marketers interested in reaching this demo. It has even made companies in other industries – such as toy brands – push beyond their usual remit and look at content production.
Pivoting from manufacturing to entertainment is no easy task, and often brands prefer to partner with experienced media owners.
Formerly known as Turner, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks operates Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Mega Awesome Wow kids YouTube network in Australia. It has been working with big names such as Hasbro, Lego, MGA and Headstart to create animated series and games, as well as influencer content on YouTube.
The company are experts at animation and storytelling and are also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to consumer engagement and local content production for kids on both linear and YouTube platforms, as well as games and apps.
Sales Director for WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks in Australia and New Zealand, Melissa Fitzgerald, says: “There's been a shift in the market with the arrival of more devices and more ways people, and especially kids consume content and how we communicate with them. For a long time now, we’ve moved beyond simply selling airtime on a network,” Fitzgerald says.
“We have many clients that understand the value of fun and entertainment within a broader content marketing strategy, but may not have the skill sets to deliver it. They come to us, an established content creator with a track record of reaching specific audiences.”
The recent partnership with Melbourne-based toymaker Headstart has so far included the production of two animated series called Best Furry Friends and Boxed Warriors. Best Furry Friends went on to be a finalist for the Australian Animation and Effects Awards 2019.
To achieve client goals, it’s often a case of art plus science. In other words, you need equal quantities of creativity and data.
“It wasn’t simply a case of just developing a cartoon for a client. A lot of research went into the language to create humour and relevant storylines that would resonate with kids. Also, within our 2019 New Generations AdLab study, the strength of long form branded video outweighed the success of a 30-second pre-roll on our Mega Awesome Wow kids YouTube network,” continues Fitzgerald.
Beyond its own Cartoon Network-branded products in app stores, the media company has also experience helping clients navigate the mobile games market. It has created games such as Little Live Pets app for Moose Toys, which has chalked up more than a million downloads for the brand.
It’s also been at the forefront of developing quality programming on video-sharing platforms like YouTube. Mega Awesome Wow boasts millions of views since it launched in 2017, providing clients with safe, fun and effective advertising solutions.
The channels include “Unicorn Squad”, for 5- to 12-year-old girls, and “Planet 1Up”, for 5- to 14-year-old-boys, containing reviews, unboxing, product demonstrations and challenges.
The Mega Awesome Wow content team frequently track topics and styles of content that are trending and partner with local influencers to boost awareness for clients and increase reach in a specific area. For example, popular videos right now include a Frozen make-up tutorial on the Unicorn Squad platform, and Minecraft and Fortnite vids on the Planet 1Up account.
“The inclusion of branded content to complement TV or digital ad units builds a deep connection between the viewer and the brand. Our research finds that a combination of long-form video content, a 30-second TVC and pre-roll has been proven to significantly increase intention to purchase,” Fitzgerald adds.
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