In the last issue of Toys n Playthings magazine, we spoke about some of the key areas and properties that are resonating with children across the continent.
In March 2019, Kids Insights launched their service across France, Germany, Italy and Spain – surveying a total of 42,600 children aged three to eighteen annually.
By collecting data continuously, Kids Insights are able to uncover current, emerging and flash trends – as well as better understanding the attitudes, behaviours and consumption patterns of children across Europe.
Using some of our latest research collected over the last 6 months in Europe, we can explore some of the key areas and properties that are resonating with children across the continent. There are some key similarities and differences, so one strategy does not fit all.
Firstly, a device many young children use to access to the digital world – the tablet. In much of Europe, including the UK and Spain which are leading the way, tablet and tech use in generally is high, with 8 in 10 children having at least access to a tablet.
Looking a little deeper, however, shows tablet usage is not all the same. In the UK, 30% of children in this category own an Apple iPad tablet, compared to the 20% who have a Samsung device. In Spain, the pattern is reversed, with 35% of kids the same age owning a Samsung tablet, compared to 12% for Apple.
Children’s content consumption also differs between the two regions, with 56% of children in the UK using Netflix, compared to 45% in Spain. In the UK, 72% of kids have spent money on apps, compared to 60% in the Spain.
The connected ecosystem
At Kids Insights, we view the kids ecosystem system as a whole. Trends that emerge in the toy world influence and spread into the digital world and vice versa. Likewise, if children are spending more time on digital activities, they have less time to spend in their offline world.
The balance between the digital and offline worlds in Germany significantly differs from that of the UK.
Our latest data shows that almost half as many children in Germany have access to a tablet than in the UK. The country is known for its strict stance on children’s digital privacy – defining the age of consent at age 16 under GDPR (compared to 13 in the UK) and even banning the sale of kids smart watches in 2017 due concerns around privacy.
Consequently, 76% of all children attend an extra-curricular club, compared to 68% in the UK.
Top toys resonating in Europe
Looking firstly at how children across Europe shop for toys, we can see that young Italian children aged 3-12 are the most likely to purchase from dedicated toy stores (26%), followed by Spain and France (21%). German children are the least likely to have visited a toy store in the last month (19%). This compares to 25.5% of children in the UK visit toy stores.
When it comes to the favourite toys of children aged 3-12, LEGO has been the consistent favourite with children from the UK over the last 2 years, but it’s German children who prefer LEGO the most ahead of local brand Playmobil. It’s clear that Playmobil in Germany is favoured by girls – with a 75% skew, whereas LEGO is preferred by 78% boys. Specifically looking at girls, Barbie is the favourite toy in both France and Italy, whereas girls in the UK and Germany prefer LEGO and Playmobil.
Hot properties in Europe
One area the UK, France and Germany all share in common is their love for all things Harry Potter. In all three regions, Harry Potter is the favourite book and overall character.
Interestingly, the peak age for Harry Potter as a character in each of these markets is identical – age 12. The gender breakdown is also extremely similar, with a skew of around 60% girls to 40% boys in each region, showing how the Harry Potter brand is consistently resonating across multiple territories, 8 years on from the release of the final movie.
Harry Potter is least popular in Spain, who instead prefer SpongeBob as their favourite character.
Children in France are also the most likely children in Europe to name video game characters amongst their favourite, with Mario and ‘Pokémon’ both appearing in the top 5. This is despite only 49% of children in France reporting they plan video games, compared to 70% in the UK.
This is a brief snapshot of our capabilities, but it’s clear the attitudes, behaviours and consumption of children varies significantly by regions across the European continent. We’re offering brands an immersive planning meeting to illustrate how data and insights can help your advertising, content, licensing, product and marketing planning for 2020.
This is a brief snapshot of our capabilities, but it’s clear the attitudes, behaviours and consumption of children varies significantly by regions across the European continent. We’re offering brands an immersive planning meeting to illustrate how data and insights can help your advertising, content, licensing, product and marketing planning for 2020. To download a complimentary Kids Insights report click below: