This is our first AdZouk Insights – two part blog series
We look at our Kid’s and the Digital Advertising industry in the MENA region and, why new media outlets are scrambling to understand Generation Z and the soon to emerge Generation Alpha.
As part of our upcoming announcement with Super Awesome later this week, we delve into Gen Zs and their obsession with consumerism, how Gen X & Y parents have an uphill battle on their hands when it comes to the home front with their kids and screen time!
You don’t always get the chances to read specific articles relating to the MENA region, which is why we are excited to explore the lucrative world of the children’s advertising industry, and how safe are our today’s kids?
Last week the results of a survey came out in the UK that literally had me lost for words, it outlined that three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates, even more alarming is that the study also showed that more than one in nine children had not set foot in a park, forest, beach or any other natural environment for at least a year, reported the Guardian.
As depressing as this finding may be, are we really that surprised? As much as it saddens me, I’m not entirely shocked. Most of our AdZouk blog readers are likely to have been born pre 1985, which makes us collectively somewhat of a rarity – essentially we are the polar opposite of the “millennial” demographic, the generation that have experienced what life is like both with the Internet and without! Where as the younger Millennial kids and now the ankle biter Gen Zs have literally been born with a smart phone attached to them like an additional appendage. The Gen Ys are coveted by advertisers and marketers the world over and targeted by new media outlets, but now they’re scrambling to understand Generation Z and the soon to emerge Generation Alpha, the “teen” and “tween”. After all, teens are the future of online consumerism!
Gen Z is the most technologically saturated generation our world has ever experienced. They are digitally transformed – how they manage to seamlessly weave technology into their everyday realities, is astonishing [anyone who has watched a toddler navigate and work a smart phone, will know what I mean]. They are definitely more globally focused than any other generation before them; this is due to the emergence of global pop culture, global brands, and a borderless virtual reality.
From a $$ perspective Gen Z and Gen Alpha [teens and tweens] are, to put it simply “millennial kids” on steroids…
X & Y are now parents
Has the coddling mentality of Gen X &Y Parents actually put them at a greater risk? Are we are guilty of “over protecting” our kids and wrapping them up in cotton wool? I’m sure most of you reading this, blog can recall your childhood – you played outside, rarely inside, staying out till it got dark, getting a bike was the start of your independence, you could successfully navigated your way to and from school without your parents, and to catch up with friends you had physically go and see them… sound familiar?
Now you have kids that are starting schooling at a younger age then the previous generation, and it is projected that they will stay in the educational system for longer – it therefore correlates with the findings of the UK survey, and that is they live largely indoors; after all, Gen Z & Y parents place high priority on homework, coaching and extracurricular activities, which is the polar opposite to our carefree childhood. Furthermore, the overall heightened fear that has stemmed from our hyper alert and connected society, has given parents fears about child predators, parents are cautious about letting their kids play with friends on neighbouring streets, the park, or any other natural environment for that matter.
Parents today have to now battle on the home-front, from the rise of negative influences and the unscrupulous methods deployed by advertisers and the media, keen to cash in on this emerging demographic who are not only easier to influence but easier to catch online, our kids now spend 27% of their waking hours dedicated to screen time
It is a fact that Gen Z & Y parents also work longer hours then previous generations, and they are the masters of multi-tasking, between the ever-increasing number of screens that seem to be in-orbit around our lives. You know what they say, a kid are simply a mirror image of their parents, or wait, is that the maid?
The truth of the matter is that UAE families, as reported by Gulf News discovered that 94% of Emirati kids are raised by maids and 5% of expat families rely heavily on domestic help for co-parenting – essentially parents are leaving a complete stranger in charge, and a tablet device can be tempting alternative to other before-and after-school activities, even as a bribe to achieve kids to eat their dinner by exhausted maids, and time-poor parents alike.
Feature image credit: courtesy of Voyagerix / Shutterstock.com
In part two we investigate Gen Z’s and their obsession with consumerism, how global brands are taking advantage of the malleable 0-13 demographic. And finally, we give Advertisers and Publishers the chance be the first in the MENA region to interact with “tweens” [0-13] in a kid safe compliant environment.
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