Developing creative content and campaigns for younger audiences
We’re all children at heart, and these opportunities let our team tap into their collective joy. We stay on top of current trends, as well as the interests and authentic language that will truly engage younger audiences. For more than 10 years, we’ve helped Nickelodeon develop marketing experiences in support of their numerous IPs, live events and co-branded partnerships. We’ve created a wide variety of content and digital destinations that range from custom online games, content-driven microsites, sweepstakes and short-form video content for social and broadcast spots. The key for success is finding ways not only to get kids engaged and interacting with what we create but to make sure they have fun as they play with friends and even their parents.
A great example of this is our work on a co-branded partnership between the film Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Cicis, a buffet restaurant chain in 32 states. We created a mobile-optimized game that challenged users to rise to the occasion and team up with the Turtles to recover stolen pizza toppings from an ensemble of evil villains. In re-imagining the classic Whac-A-Mole game, we concepted, designed, animated and developed a unique game for both single players and two-player teams so families and friends could play together. The experience was full of fun animations, sound effects, surprise micro-interactions and visual payoffs that enriched the gameplay and kept our audience engaged.
In order to make engrossing content, humor is always key. Throughout our work with LEGO Games, including LEGO Dimensions, LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Worlds, we have worked to bring humor to the forefront of the rich world of LEGO IP. A great example was our “Meet That Hero” social video series for LEGO Dimensions video game. The challenge was to introduce legacy IPs from the 1980s, including “The A-Team,” “The Goonies,” “Knight Rider,” “Gremlins,” and “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” to a whole new generation.
Our strategy was to use iconic LEGO Dimensions’ characters that kids already love to tell the unique stories behind each IP. From LEGO Batman giving the cave from “The Goonies” a B+ rating (since he’s an expert on caves) to Lumpy Space Princess from “Adventure Time” relishing the fact that she gets to hang with the A-Team and make her friend Melissa “so jelly,” these pops of age-appropriate humor resonated with audiences of all ages – becoming a viral success with millions of views and high levels of engagement.
When creating digital online experiences for younger audiences, we use bright colors and incorporate playful illustrated elements. Less text, with simple, straight-forward language, is always better. We always strive to surprise and delight with things as simple as rollover micro-interactions and larger movements like full-page transitions.
As parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, we recognize and embrace the need to regulate how brands communicate with younger audiences. It’s simple – we want children to be protected online. We champion the importance and need for COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) regulations and use COPPA as a clear and defining guide for our team. COPPA provides guiding principles and parameters that help define the sandbox our creatives can play in.
When developing experiences for kids, one of our biggest challenges and a main consideration within our creative processes is how we take something simple like a sweepstakes or sign-up micro-site and make it more fun and memorable, all while working within the COPPA guidelines. We work with our clients to limit the need for any information collected and if there is a need to collect into to ensure the parent’s contact email instead of the child’s, for instance. To further incentivize engagement and brand affinity, there are various techniques and enhancements we’ve applied throughout the years to create something more unique. Some of the most successful include incorporating mini-games, downloadable bonuses after submission, unlocking exclusive content, earning additional entries based on interactions and including Easter egg animations that appear as users navigate the experience.
At Mod Op, we enjoy creating a wide variety of work for industries ranging from luxury hospitality to B2B technology, but the kids’ content is something we all look forward to as an outlet for pure, unbridled creativity and a chance to feel like kids again.