At the inaugural Leapfrog Film Festival, ten budding film makers and family gathered at the London Transport Museum to view their work on the big screen.
At the ceremony, hosted by TV presenter Dave Benson Phillips, the children aged ten and under watched and waited to see which film would be crowned winner and scoop the coveted prize of a family trip to Florida.
You can view all of the entries by clicking here.
The contestants line-up with the judges
The event was organised to promote the Leapfrog Explorer electronic learning system – with the handheld’s separate camera attachment kids can shoot, edit and produce their own home movies.
Samantha Harris, mastermind of the Film Festival and marketing manager at Leapfrog, confirmed there would be more to come. “I think we can do this again next year and we'll be aiming to get even more entrants," she said.
“Later on this year we've got the LeapPad launching so we will be looking to incorporate it into future competitions.”
The competition was promoted primarily through parenting websites, with Netmums.com providing an upload hub for entries.
Harris said: “We've been working with mummy bloggers for coming up to two years now. The way they communicate with each other creates a word of mouth effect which is great for promoting products.”
Over 2,000 short films were sent in to Netmums. The site’s co-founder Siobhan Freegard believes that the electronic learning sector will continue to grow.
“The toys are technologically exciting and make the kids feel like they are moving with the new world, as well as being simple enough for parents to control and not feel like they're out of their depth,” she said.
Also speaking about the toys, parent Dave Benson Phillips said: “When I was growing up editing film was something only done by wizards, so putting this technology into a child’s hands is absolutely amazing.”
Freegard and Pippa Wright, of the blog A Mother’s Ramblings, joined Benson Phillips on the judging panel – Elliot Payne’s a Mini Day Out was declared winner of the trip to Universal Studios in Florida.
When asked about the advantages competitions and promotional events like this have over mass-media marketing, Leapfrog’s Harris said:
“Although with TV campaigns you reach a mass audience, I think any time you tap into anything social or online you reach a consumer who might interact with the toy in a more positive way.
“Here you can actually talk to consumers face to face which works great as a research tool. You can discover new trends and it generally gives you a really good gauge as to how customers are using the products and if they enjoy them. From there you can tailor your marketing campaigns later on in the year.”