Across the world, Coronavirus ranks as the biggest concern of school-age kids. Undoubtedly, the virus has had a significant impact upon all elements of kid’s ecosystems, inciting the notion of the ‘new normal’. Arguably, one of the most notable changes has been within education, with the majority of schools being forced to close for a course of several months. This generated considerable differences in the daily lives of kids, ranging from simply how they spend their time, to affected relationships as a result of being apart, as well as a decline in both academic and social skills.
This disruption to schooling, coupled with the uncertainty of the year, has had profound effects on kids.
In our Kids Insights India data, we can see that 3-9s are now 59% more likely to sometimes feel anxious, compared to six months ago. These issues are reiterated across all demographics, with 39% more tweens and teens now most concerned about employment opportunities as a result of these changes in education.
This concern regarding education is echoed across the globe. Some schools have reopened in Brazil, putting a strain on the mental wellbeing of kids with 9% more 3-12s frequently feeling anxious in October than August. This highlights the crucial role of education and the subsequent opportunities for development within this area.
Brands must remain agile in all areas of their business, to sustain engagement as the consumption habits of their audience changes. Launched in September, the Jio TV channel in India broadcasts free educational material to the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With 3.5 million consumers thought to be able to access Jio the TV format represents the revolutionising changing format of education, prompting the question – will the future of education be digital?
Kids Insights identifies two ‘sweet spots’ within the brand appeal of Jio. Our data demonstrates that 3-5s and 16-18s rank the brand the highest – at 18th and 20th respectively. Such a wide range between demographics highlights the breadth of interest surrounding this edutainment and also projects the universality that an educational product can have.
India is not the only country to take a digital stance on education. Demonstrating the global appetite for educational TV channels, the Mexican Government have launched their comparable product. Keen to not let the current climate academically limit certain members of the population and further widen the attainment gap, the government have partnered with national TV channels to initiate free education across multiple channels.
Like in India, the channel runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Kids Insights portal proposes that TV is the most effective form of media in reaching a mass youth audience, with 82% of Mexican kids reporting access to a TV within the home. This is in contrast to government figures stating that only 56% of the country has access to the internet. Accessibility across all areas is key when promoting an educational product to a young audience for a range of reasons, including increased and sustainable engagement, as well as to promote the brand’s stance on equality.
In these unprecedented times, a growing digital market has emerged for edutainment, namely content which is both educational and entertaining. With physical trips to culture sites and other institutions playing a compelling role in kid’s education, Google’s Arts & Culture site allows for the virtual visiting of museums and other places of interest using an augmented reality app.
In Brazil, where nearly a fifth of kids aged between 6-15 visited a museum in February and March, Google’s online platform grants kids the opportunity to discover the sites of Christ the Redeemer, as well as tours of the Afro Brasil Museum and the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes from the comfort of their homes. With large in-person events unlikely to be able to go ahead for a while, brands should continue to remain vigilant and move their products and subsequent areas online where possible.
The question remains whether this trend will extend to more countries and if this notion of a digital education will continue post-Coronavirus. Regardless of the outcome, brands should consider these vital, yet ever-changing markets as lucrative areas to develop new products in. Furthermore, with education currently at the forefront of attention, the topic should be utilised within a brand’s content, marketing product strategies.
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