The Kids’ Table

Brands Enlist Children to Help with Campaigns

Whereas older generations spent their childhoods roleplaying in the privacy of their living rooms, Gen Z is “realplaying”; 89% spend part of their free time doing activities that they consider productive and creative instead of just hanging out. Series like MasterChef Junior and Project Runway Junior aren’t the only ones leveraging this—advertisers are likewise tapping youth’s desire to create.


To show off the restyled 2017 Accord, Honda created the Storytime with Accord campaign, which reimagined children’s stories as theatrical plays. The automaker and its agency sat down with Ethan, age 4, Kingsley, age 6, and Ellie, and 8, and asked them to imagine a world where the Accord could go anywhere. The team then created full-scale productions to bring the kids’ stories to life. The Accord’s adventures included a trip to Mars to rescue a princess, a treasure hunt under the sea, and a journey into the forest to visit animal friends.


Most seniors in high school don’t get the opportunity to direct a campaign for a brand like Target. However, that’s exactly what the retail giant made happen for Claire Jantzen, who was part of a group of two dozen young people ages 8 to 17 asked to create the brand’s 2016 Back-to-School campaign across broadcast TV and digital video, radio, social, and in-store marketing. For the TV commercials, three kid directors oversaw the production, seven kid writers put the stories together, kid illustrators brought the sets to life, and a group of girls from the band L2M performed all the music.


Swiss real estate website Homegate combined VR technology and the imagination of children to create its newest campaign, which was developed as branded content for Swiss news platform 20 Minuten. First, kids were asked to draw images of their dream homes. The most creative drawings, which included a strawberry-shaped treehouse and star-covered castle, were recreated in 3D and brought to life via an Oculus VR headset. The brand then created a video revealing how the kids reacted when their dream came alive in virtual reality.