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Learning from kids' TV



So I admit that I watch a fair amount of kids' TV these days. It's mostly inane ramblings and offers little to keep me amused. So yesterday I tried to see if I could learn anything about communicating in an informative yet fun way. This is a fairly whimsical post so please don't take it too seriously.

• A double act can work - We often think a campaign should have a single figurehead but a partnership can be more charming; offer a range of emotions; or cater to different audiences. Who can forget Hale and Pace’s famous firework safety ads back in the 80s? On the other extreme, the mother and daughter pairing of Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, when backing Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, packed a more poignant punch then any one of them could alone.


• Repetition, repetition - If your audience knows little about your topic of choice - a public information campaign, for example - then don't be shy to keep repeating your key messages, although you could give them a different spin each time - in song, rhyme or dance?

• Animation - How many organisations have truly captured the beautiful medium of the animated cartoon? It could be a great alternative to the ever-popular infographic and we all know adults love cartoons too. Check out this campaign video for Amnesty. The Guardian commission quite a few eye-pleasing animations.



• Be dreamy - Kids' programme aren't scared of being ethereal. It captures the imagination. Too many businesses communicate in a dull, overly ‘sensible’ way which is a turn off if you're wanting them to consume your content for fun or in their spare time.

• Bring in the customer voice - I see my little boy lean in when he hears another child talking or doing something on screen. The best programmes don't rely on adult presenters but bring in a rabble of enthusiastic amateurs who their viewers will relate to better.

PS normally I don't get cultural references because they are too high brow; too low brow; too trendy or too old. The title of this post refers to a popular children's TV programme on CBeebies. The one with Chris and Pui. Pui is the female presenter whose main role is to make Chris look like a superb actor.

Julie Kangisser