Shopping isn’t always easy with children. According to Marco Camisi, VP of Sports and Entertainment campaigns at tcc global, and the man people come to when they want to make their shopper journeys more fun for families, it’s a key theme that emerges regularly from the qualitative and quantitative shopper research completed by tcc global.

This research has found that ‘pester power’, boredom and general misbehaviour are the key reasons that shoppers try to get the weekly shop done while their children aren’t there or avoid it all together and go online. It’s solving this ‘boredom’ that Marco cites as a key to improving shoppers’ journeys. “When children are entertained – with instore excitement, interesting content or a reward at the end of the journey – the family shop becomes so much easier and fun”. A true built-around-family experience.

Previous research has found that adult shoppers appreciate initiatives such as free fruit for kids, sweet-free checkouts and instore activities. “It’s these touches that make the overall grocery shopping experience more enjoyable, or perhaps bearable, for mothers and fathers.” He goes on to cite a number of examples, the result of close collaboration between tcc global and its retailer partners.

While Marco does spend an alarming amount of time playing with toys to test their playability, collectability and appeal, he emphasises that when approaching a kids campaign like this, the storyline and narrative play a key role in the success of campaigns—not just the product.

As retailers look to tell a story about their purpose, these campaigns can be fully intertwined with their strategies. And there’s a logic behind it. “We’re not just trying to get children excited here. We need to get that buy-in from parents too and we are communicating the values of the retailer. While finding a big brand with mass appeal and positive values can be important, retailers need to consider what matters to parents and demonstrate why something is good enough for their kids.” It also helps to create a strong narrative.

Marco observes the one of the key themes that retailers are trying to own is healthy eating. And it is as important and top-of-mind as major entertainment movies for kids and families are nowadays.

Supporting local communities too, is high on the list – which numerous campaigns we’ve run at tcc prove is possible – as well as environment and nature.

So, if on one side the “fun and entertainment” element is still a big topic at retail, it’s very clear how a strong social or educational message is growing in importance on the other.

Marco explains that entertainment-based campaigns targeting young audiences do create emotional connections within a transactional industry: when shoppers can see something they recognise as a shared value – whether that’s a film they like to watch, or a cause they believe in – it builds advocacy. As behavioural economist Daniel Kahneman puts it, “We are not thinking machines that feel. We are feeling machines that think.”

Marco will be leading a Masterclass, Winning with families, at tcc global’s Loyalty Reimagined in Barcelona between 29th – 30th May, where he will enable attendees to reimagine their stores through the eyes of younger consumers and unveil exclusive content from tcc global’s partners.

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