Undoubtedly we are all busier than ever – juggling the demands of work and home. But as a parent myself, I know the importance and value of creating precious moments with my children. However what is now becoming clear is that children themselves are increasingly influencing family decisions and it’s something brands and broadcasters should note.
Recent Nickelodeon research suggests families are becoming increasingly democratic and collaborative in their decision making. Two thirds of parents claim to include their children’s views in family decisions and the kids corroborate this. Mums and dads are also finding time to build closer relationships with their children. Two thirds of parents believe they are closer to their children than they were to their parents and over half of the same group cite their children as their best friends.
So how are families achieving this new dynamic, creating stronger relationships and acting more democratically, if they have less time?
The answer lies in quality. Families are being more selective and more demanding. They want products or experiences that they can share and enjoy together, the decision making is done collaboratively and significantly, they are placing added emphasis on the quality of their time together. Brands not only need to convince the whole family to choose them, but they need to meet expectations too.
Our research tells us that parents and kids agree that days out and watching TV together are the top two family activities. Games consoles, eating together and cinema trips are also very popular.
The fact that TV co-viewing is an important family time is a pleasing finding, but our viewing figures have told us for years that families watch our channels together in big numbers. Because of the changes in the family dynamic, we are more conscious than ever of the need to provide family experiences that meet expectations.
Our new series of Kung Fu Panda launching in November will have something for all ages and we know that families play our SpongeBob SquarePants games together. Our pre-school offering on Nick Jr., from Bubble Guppies to Team Umizoomi, is beautiful and engaging, but importantly both the programming and online games and activities have curriculum based development objectives at their heart.
Beyond on-air and online content, parents read Dora the Explorer books to their children, we have Nickelodeon Cruises around the Mediterranean and Nickelodeon Land at Pleasure Beach in Blackpool.
Throughout the development of these brand extensions we are aware that when winning the votes of both the kids and their families to spend time with us, we have a responsibility to meet their expectations and ensure that quality time is spent.
Thankfully, judging by the smiling faces in Blackpool, huge ratings growth for Nick Jr. and the healthy outlook for our consumer products portfolio, we can be sure that we are delivering.