Playing for keeps!
KaBoom! is a nonprofit committed to building playgrounds in underserved communities around the U.S. In a world where smartphones have a bigger impact than see-saws, KaBoom! came to Insight Kids to learn how to wow today’s kids with the ultimate playground of the future. Findings were sought to fuel innovative playground designs as well as awareness and fundraising.
Insight surmised that building an ultimate playground meant drawing from all kinds of play that kids gravitate to today, including those that foster the 21st century skill set. Thus, our extensive qualitative and quantitative explorations sought to understand how the benefits of Lego and video games can be built into playground play. Ideation sessions and playground intercepts helped us stretch one monkey bar further to develop non-formulaic, kid-approved concepts for the ultimate playground of the future.
Making a splash… internationally!
Imagine you’re four, and someone takes you to a place you’ve never been, with strange creatures, a fantastical setting, and eight new friends. That was the exciting yet daunting prospect of The Octonauts, a preschool property that introduces kids to undersea life. The Chorion team suspected they had a hit on their hands, but were unsure
how to make this exotic world and large cast of characters developmentally appropriate for preschoolers. On top of that, they had to please parents in multiple countries.
Grounded in research with kids and parents, we consulted on concept refinement and launch strategy. We created a brand book, reviewed scripts, and illuminated how to foster the property’s natural play patterns via consumer products. Kids the world over are now chanting “Explore! Rescue! Protect!” And moms and mums are happy to let their kids dive in.
Contributing to the cultural zeitgeist
Common Sense Media and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center
When Common Sense Media and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop collectively sought our expertise, we behaved a bit like Cookie Monster in the presence of a snickerdoodle, and jumped at the chance. Common Sense exists to provide trustworthy information about media and technology to kids and families. And the Cooney Center aims to support digital learning tools for kids. Needless to say, we feel quite aligned with their work.
Together we embarked on a study to understand parents’ and teachers’ digital media knowledge and attitudes, providing concrete recommendations to policy makers, digital technology creators, and educators. Our study rocked the conference circuit and helped shape conversations moving forward. Updates have helped to keep current in terms of the technology landscape. So kids can live appily ever after.
The new elephant in the room
Corus Entertainment came to us for help with reinventing everyone’s favorite elephant. They were creating a new Babar animated series, Babar and the Adventures of Badou, and had specific goals and aspirations for international property distribution. Corus sought to understand how to build on Babar’s heritage and position this exciting new world to kids and families in the US and Europe.
To understand how kids and moms were connecting with the property, we did qualitative research that was very hands-on, evaluating all pillars of the brand from branding to broadcast and toy directions.
Watching kids “play” Babar was a trunkful of fun!
At study’s end, we provided the Corus team with clear brand positioning as well as the product directions that will resonate most with moms and kids.
Painting the world orange
Nickelodeon and Insight kind of grew up together. We started working with Nick when they were just a little splat, testing pilots for favorites like The Rugrats, Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, The Fairly OddParents, iCarly, Drake & Josh, and the ever-porous SpongeBob SquarePants.
As Nick grew from a beloved TV network to a family entertainment behemoth, our projects together became increasingly strategic, tackling topics like gaming, consumer product needs, sibling relationships, social media, and the gigundo, ongoing task of building their united, multi-platform brand, ensuring that each sub-brand has its place in the family, and is headed in the best direction.
We’re very proud of this collaboration, and look forward to an animated future together.
Delivering a hardcore “casual” strategy
Warner Brothers came to us with a task that was anything but nonchalant. They sought a deep understanding of the casual online gaming space and its gamers. They needed a clear picture of casual gaming’s present and future that would inform their strategic business decisions.
We started by defining casual gamers—not only by their ideal game genres, but by the key emotional benefits they sought from playing games, their media consumption patterns, properties that appealed to them, and their engagement patterns with advertising and competitors.
Our next stage of analysis pinpointed the key gamer segments who represented the most opportunity for Warner Brothers in the casual online gaming space. We determined that casual online gaming had a bright, solid, and serious future. We left Warner Brothers with a strategic direction to follow for a high score.