Brands’ latest ploy to target kids: Virtual reality
Brand marketers are taking an interest in virtual reality, with its ability to deliver immersive experiences. Retailers like JCPenney, Dior and Target as well as publishers like The Economist and The New York Times have all integrated VR into their marketing strategies.
Lately, toy, fast food and soft drink companies are discovering VR as a way to target children and teenagers.
This week, McDonald’s Sweden invited kids to turn its Happy Meal boxes into VR viewers. Over the next two weekends, 3,500 red boxes, dubbed Happy Goggles, will be available at 14 McDonald’s restaurants in Sweden for the equivalent of about $4 each.
Coca-Cola, meanwhile, encouraged people to turn packaging for 12-packs of soda into VR headsets.
Mattel has also rebooted its iconic toy View-Master in collaboration with Google. Equipped with a smartphone and an app, View-Master users now can go to far-flung places such as foreign countries, outer space and below the sea, for $29.99.
Affordable, interactive VR products could be more effective ways for brands to engage with kids and teens than other devices. But they could face wariness from parents who are concerned about marketing to kids.
“My 4-year-old has tried VR, and he intuitively understood it in a way that even adults don’t,” said Paul Caiozzo, partner of VR ad agency The Office of Baby. “He absolutely loved it. That said, we don’t let him do it very often, and treat it as a highly regulated form of entertainment, the same as we do the computer or iPad.”
It’s not known whether prolonged use of VR has any effect on kids. But Caiozzo thinks that parents should be responsible for deciding if an experience is right for their children.
Meanwhile, lots of legalities could be involved in VR campaigns that target children. As more and more brands are trying to take advantage of VR, Andrew Lustigman, head of the advertising, marketing and promotions group at Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP, suggested that companies engage with children through VR should understand this technology from a child’s perspective.
For example, it may be appropriate to provide a VR children’s game as a form of entertainment, as long as the brand is interacting with the child and the parents in a positive manner. However, it would not be appropriate to advertise unhealthy food or activities “in a manner that would not be welcome during children’s television programming,” Lustigman said.
“VR is in its infancy, and brands are still developing how to use this technology so that its message and consumer engagement are seen as a natural fit,” he added.
Member ExclusiveDigiday Research: TikTok has already surpassed Snapchat in the eyes of brands and agencies
Snapchat and TikTok have quickly gotten traction with brands and agencies. Read the latest Digiday Research.
‘People are looking for ways to work together asynchronously’: Tech providers rush to meet needs of hybrid workplaces
Tech businesses are falling over themselves to arm employers and workforces with what's needed in a hybrid working world.
IPG’s Arun Kumar says the time has passed for the ad industry to regulate itself
Tech giants and government regulators are cracking down on digital tracking, and the ad industry has failed to convince people of tracking's trade-offs, IPG's data and technology officer said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
SponsoredIdentity solution fatigue is setting in: How to keep moving
By Kristina Prokop, CEO and co-founder, Eyeota As we move deeper into 2021, the desperate search for identity solutions that can smooth marketing organizations’ transitions to a cookieless world is reaching a fever pitch. There’s no shortage of new identifiers and identity technologies vying for attention — and that’s a big part of the problem. […]
Member ExclusiveMarketing Briefing: ‘This year is tougher’: Another virtual Cannes Lions shifts focus to creativity as agency execs count on a return next year
The return of in-person meetings for some vaccinated execs is more appealing that sitting in on another virtual conference. That’s not to say people won’t be attending Cannes but the excitement is more palpable for in-person business meetings, according to agency execs and industry observers.
The pandemic’s negative—and possibly long-term—toll on Gen X
Despite the weight of the crisis easing, many Gen Xers are still coping with the pandemic’s negative and far-reaching implications on their psychological, physical and financial health.