I was recently asked, “As a mom how do you feel about advertising directed at kids?” I responded that no matter what the ad campaign, the onus is on us as parents to either not allow them to watch / engage with that messaging, or have open and honest conversations about why they can not have the "Real Toothfairy" dolls. Then, literally that evening, Netflix prompted me to create an alternate profile, specifically citing that it would be “great for kids.” My mama bear came out.
I thought “forget you Netflix! I am not about to give you my children’s information.” Then, my marketing persona came to play, and I started to ponder the implications. Thus the Jekyll AND the Hyde.
Working at a digital agency I know how this game works, and why it’s so important to gather research and analytics. It helps brands connect with their audience, make better products, steal market share. But as a parent, I am leery of sharing information that makes my kids a target for marketing, a data point on a spreadsheet. So, knowing what I know, how can I help marketers and parents alike manage this muddy environment?
Nick Wilkerson came to work with us a few months ago, and is a wealth of interest and information when it comes to research and analytics. After reading his responses, I am again reminded that it is always up to me not to participate in information gathering. However, in doing that, my digital experience (or my kids), will be broad, irrelevant, and noisy.
Netflix’s stated objective in providing individual profiles within a household is to help focus suggested viewing lists. As envisioned by Netflix, suggested viewing lists for one’s children will be limited to age-appropriate entertainment based on their profiles. It does make sense, and they aren’t asking for a lot. In fact, all they wanted was a name for the profile, and whether or not that person is under the age of 12.
Upon further exploration, not so bad. And, who knows, they developed House Of Cards by sourcing customers viewing habits and I LOVE that show. Maybe by becoming attune to what kids watch they can help develop engaging AND educational shows. We will have to wait and see. Until then, I will continue to move ahead cautiously knowing I am still involved and can control our digital experience.