Aussie kids go to World Cup 2010 as Player Escorts thanks to Macca’s

This is the TVC from the little Player Escort program we recently created for Macca’s. Basically 11 Aussie kids around Australia were selected for being ‘good sports’. Their prize, a trip to South Africa to walk on the pitch with the Socceroos for their 2nd match against Ghana as official Player Escorts (you know, those cute kids who hold the players hands as the go onto the field).

As part of the entry mechanic to select the winning kid, theys had to create a comic stickerbook  telling a story of how they were a ‘good sport. They had to create their avatar and put together a simple story.

Stickerbook competition

The campaign’s gone gangbusters, we got over 1200 great entries from kids all over Australia and loads of press coverage.

Here’s a few of the winning stickerbook entries the kids created online..remember these kids were aged 4-8.

Sebastians stickerbook entry

Aidan's winning stickerbook entry

We had a great media integration with Channel 9 as one of the competition winners, Harry got to be a junior reporter on the Today program and interview Graham Arnold before the Socceroos left for Germany in late May. Harry’s interview here.

Here are some pics of the kids leaving Sydney Airport this morning en route to Jo’burg.

Aussie player escorts getting ready to leave Sydney for South Africa

Digital Media for Kids – creating content that travels

Interesting speech by Michael Levine at TED Atlanta recently on the impact of emerging digital media on kids learning.  He covered some interesting topics, most notably the fact that todays youth are going into multmedia multitasking overload and how we can harness that. Also the need to tap into transmedia storytelling and use these touchpoints in a more learning based environment.

He speaks about the current issue with kids learning in the States, despite the massive education spending ,they are currently 15th in the world in basic reading proficiency. He speaks about kids knowledge ‘being mile wide, but an inch deep’ and the 3 key trends which are impacting on digital learning for kids today:

1. MEDIA MULTITASKING – Clearly kids are taking in ridiculous amounts of media per week, 53hrs a week to be exact, however is it leading to attention deficit disorder as kids don’t know what to concentrate on. Michael believes that ‘Aligning content’ via games, mobile, books and TV via characters will enable a more immersive learning experience and build on the habits of kids to engage with characters.

2. CONVERGENCE LEARNING – the growth of transmedia narratives where stories come to life across multiple touchpoints needs to be translated to the educational system. It’s about creating educational content that travels – so they can access it anytime, anywhere through any touchpoint.

3. PEER LEARNING – social media enables amazing sharing of content and ideas, and this social behaviour needs to be harnessed for the education system. The ability for kids to learn with their parents and grandparents collaboratively via technology is the way of the future. His company has been developing an interesting book reader idea with Nokia Labs which looks to redefine the learn and play paradigm by giving kids the chance to teach their parents as well.

Some interesting thoughts here for marketers.

Overall, he spoke about the need to create more personal, deeper and participatory learning environments using digital media.

Interactive storytelling – glimpse into the future


Found this awesome phonebook concept from a Japanese media lab. Meet the phonebook, combining the beloved iphone with a simple childs book. Very cool way to integrate print with technology. I love that it’s so simple and low tech but produces an incredibly rich solution which  could really revolutionise how parents and kids interact over the sacred storytelling time every evening. Creativity could be unleashed with this little app. There’s some more info here but it’s in Japanese.

Aussie kids say GFC is a major issue

digital kids

Sat through quite an interesting presentation by Cartoon Network yesterday. They do an annual ‘New Generations’ study of kids aged 7-14, sample size 2000. There was nothing amazingly breakthrough but some interesting statistics which I thought I’d share:


97% of 7-14yr olds have access to a laptop/desktop in the home, 87% have access to a digital camera and 70% to a handheld console. 50% of these kids also have a TV in their room and a whopping 58% have a a gaming console in their room.


Kids are spending on average 17.1hrs a week watching TV, next comes the web with 16.4hrs (defined as fun activities like social networking, chat, gaming) and 11 hours for playing video games. 45% of kids said they wish they played outside more…a worrying trend for the ‘cotton wool’ culture that exists in Australia.


When asked what they’d change about themselves, 45% of kids said they’d like to be smarter, 42% said they want to be better at sport and 26% said they’d change the way they look.


It’s clear that media and parental commentary has a massive influence on Aussie kids, no surprise right!! In terms of the most important world issue, 20% of kids said the financial crisis, 17% said environmental issues.


The GFC has brought with it a decline in kids pocket money, down 5% to 67% of kids getting pocket money. On average, 7-14yr olds get $10.52 a week, this is on an increasing scale with age. 7-8yr olds get $6.51, 9-10yr olds get $8.52, 13-14yr olds get $10.46 and 13-14yr olds get $15.61. For 13-14yr olds this equates to $1353 purchasing power a year which isn’t bad ‘play’ money.


Online gaming is by far the most popular digital activity for kids aged 7-14, it’s actually higher between ages 7-11 than it is as ages 12-14 as kids start discovering youtube and socila networking.


50% of kids aged 11 have a mobile, 76% of 12yr olds have one and a whopping 94% of 13-14yr olds have one. Texting (46%) is still by far the most popular use, with girls sending 10 texts a day and boys 6 texts a day. They start young.


No massive suprises here, it’s Miley, Zac Effron, Rob Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe and the Jona Brothers.


Pink tops the list, not surprising as she’s just done 60 shows in Australia, Michael Jackson comes in at No.2 (on the back of his tragic passing), Taylor Swift is adored by young girls and Eminem is back in the kids good books off his latest album.


WWF star John Cena tops the list for the boys with Darren Lockyer (Brisbane Broncos rugby league star) and David Beckham coming in third.


20% of kids say ‘ME’, which is nice to see that the ‘make me famous’ trends is still alive and well. Paris Jackson and Taylor Swift are seen as the next big things.

So that’s it, just some toplines on what’s happening with kids aged 7-14yrs in Australia in 2009. Thanks Cartoon Network for the insight.