Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nickelodeon Shares Insights From "Pied Piper Or Follower: Finding The Brand Advocates" Study

Media agencies, brand marketers, licensees and media thronged to Nickelodeon's annual Insights Breakfast in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this month to hear the findings of the number-one entertainment brand for kids' international study, TV Re[Defined]!

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Research, Insights and Reporting SVP, Christian Kurz, says the TV Re[Defined] study aimed to examine how people watch television in the current viewing environment which is undergoing significant transformation, how they discover content, and how their TV consumption habits are evolving.

"In a short span of time, content has become available any time, anywhere, opening up endless opportunities for viewing," Kurz said. "Both rapidly and radically, we have seen TV redefined. In the midst of all this change, our study shows that more television is being consumed now than ever before. What is needed is a redefinition of our understanding of television."

To compose the study, VIMN conducted in-depth video ethnographies with consumers, spoke to over 10,500 respondents aged 6-34 years, and looked at 26,866 of their viewing occasions across 14 countries – Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Germany, UK, Italy, Poland, Netherlands and Sweden.

The findings in the new study commissioned by Nickelodeon Australia, Pied Piper or Follower: Finding the Brand Advocates, were also unveiled at the breakfast.

Kirsty Bloore, VIMN Australia and NZ Research Director, said the Pied Piper study was seeking insights into who or what Australian kids are fans of, how they follow their fandoms, the differences and behavioural attributes of various fandom categories, and how brands can utilise their fans to fuel the fandom and become brand advocates.

"Australian kids think that being a fan today is not what it used to be and that, these days, you can be a fan of almost anything. Social media and the Internet have helped to facilitate these sub-cultures," Bloore said.

According to Bloore, fandom "is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterised by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest".

The study found that social media and the Internet have helped to facilitate these sub-cultures, and that 87 per cent of Australian kids believe that you could be a fan of more than one thing at a time and that fandoms span a wide range of categories. Being a fan also offers shared experiences with friends, with 74 per cent saying they're fans of the same things as their friends and 61 per cent saying they became a fan after their friends/family introduced them to it.

For Australian boys, their top five favourite things are Lego, Minecraft, video/online games, TV shows/channels, and sports. The top five favourite things cherished by Australian girls are TV shows/channels, Sports, Popstars/movie stars/celebrities, cartoons, and animals/pets.


For kids, being a fan is about three things: self-expression – 77 per cent agree that being a fan allows you to express yourself; discovery – 84 per cent agree that being a fan of something helps you to discover more related things you like; and finally, community – 4 in 5 agree that being a fan makes you feel like a part of something bigger. The fandom journey can best be expressed by child relationships below.

New Acquaintance (Awareness)

The new acquaintance is when the kids first become aware of the thing/person or brand. At this stage, it's not necessarily a preference or a favourite and they are more likely to be swayed if others don't like it. Kids' acquaintances with brands tends to be via family, peers or media.

Friend (Attraction)

The next stage is the friend stage where an attraction happens! It's at this stage that they start to recognise the benefits that it gives them in their life – things such as: it's fun, it's entertaining, it makes them laugh, helps them to improve their skills, makes them knowledgeable, may initiate or strengthen friendships and help them to be a part of the playground conversation or it may be that it's consistent with their family values and how their parents have raised them. Still at this stage the relationship or connection is external – they refer to things at "that show" or "those people."

Best Friend (Attachment)

Best friend attachment is when the fandom journey becomes more internal. They feel like they start to understand each other and know more about their fandom than others. The fandom becomes a part of their identity and the language they use is more emotional.

True Love (Allegiance)

For the true love stage, kids have a real allegiance to that fandom! They feel an intense connection and endurance that places them in the inner circle with their fandoms. This is the stage where the internal journey has greater impact on their attitudes and behaviour – all of their attention is on this brand and no other brand will do.

The last two categories (Best Friend and True Love) is SuperFan territory. However, while those kids in the True Love stage are the biggest consumers, they are often not the biggest advocates. When many of the kids have reached this stage, they start to get possessive of their fandoms and feel a sense of ownership of them. So what Nickelodeon has found is that when it comes to brand advocacy, Friends and Best Friends are likely to be more rewarding territory than True Love.


The fandoms Nickelodeon researched fell into four categories: Sports, Licensed Products, Gaming/Youtube, and Celebrities.

Sports have mass appeal, are encouraged and supported by the family and have many touch-points (merchandise, viewing, participation etc.).

Licensed Products connect with kids' imaginations and allow them to immerse into their world through movies, TV shows, reading books, the Internet, merchandise, etc.

With Gaming/Youtube, these tend to be more individual fandoms. Kids are more private about their fandoms and there is less family involvement. Kids have fewer ways to connect with their fandoms – there are fewer touchpoints.

With Celebrities, fandoms quickly progress to Best friend status as the kids are often very emotive about their favourite celebrities. The fans are female skewed and for the fans, it's all about the personal connection.


For kids, the power of fandom comes from:

Word of mouth – 83 per cent of kids talk about the thing they're a fan of at school; 56 per cent of kids have encouraged their friends to be fans

Their followers – 71 per cent believe that fans aren't just followers – they have their own fans and followers too: 67 per cent agree that normal people with large online followers can be just as influential as celebrities

Influence - 83 per cent of kids consider themselves to be influential


1. Brand need to stay Fresh and Evolving
2. Make it Personal, Authentic and Inspiring
3. Put the kids in control
4. Family Matters – involve every influencer

The TV re[defined] international study demonstrated that as far as consumers are concerned "It's TV on their own terms". One of the study's key findings is that in an ever-more digitally connected world, television and great stories (content) still connect people to each other now more than ever – with 68 per cent of Australian kids saying "TV has never been this good!"

TV Re[Defined] statistics – Australia vs Global:

Australians love TV and are social and tech-savvy consumers of television content.

* The majority of respondents agree; "TV has never been this good."
- Global: 63 per cent
- Australia: 68 per cent

* The majority of respondents agree "There are so many great TV shows coming out, it's difficult to keep up with them."
- Global: 72 per cent
- Australia: 72 per cent
- Kids Global: 77 per cent
- Kids AU: 72 per cent

* Linear TV is the 'go-to' source and it remains the main reference to discover and watch TV programs
- Start sessions with linear TV (inc DVR)
- Global: 69 per cent / Australia: 64 per cent
- The majority of respondents agree "I enjoy watching regular TV because I don't have to think too hard about what to watch, I just come across great shows on channels I love."
- Global: 70 per cent / Australia: 73 per cent

Television has become THE go-to conversation topic.

* 3 in 5 Australian children are talking about TV more than they did a few years ago; internationally, 4 in 5 are likely to agree with this statement.

* Kids are also talking about TV shows they love more often that a few years ago.
- Kids Global: 82 per cent
- Kids AU: 72 per cent (second lowest country)

Globally, channel surfing is the #1 method for discovering new TV shows.

* Australia, word-of-mouth is the most likely method for both kids 6 – 12 and viewers 6 – 34.

But making TV content available on multiple devices is important.

* The majority of respondents agree, "Having more ways of accessing TV shows helps me try more shows."
- Global: 70 per cent
- Australia: 77 per cent

* Australian viewers aged 6 – 34 use an average of 7 devices, one more than the global average.

* Australian kids own and use an average of 6 devices, more than the global average of 5.2, and they use them at an earlier age.

* Tablets play a special role with kids, particularly in Australia amongst the younger demographics. Australian kids are nearly twice as likely to own a tablet vs 1 per cent). This is in line with Australian kids owning more devices on average (6 devices vs 5.2 globally). They are however 1.5 times less likely to own a smartphone. (54 per cent vs 63 per cent).

Kids Tablet Ownership:

* Global: 64 per cent
* Australia: 75 per cent

* Kids know on which source they can find the TV shows they want to watch.
- Kids Global: 89 per cent
- Kids AU: 87 per cent

Australia skews higher than the global average when examining sources used.

* Kids in Australia are 2.5 times more likely to source TV content from linear and DVR sources (defined as a "traditional TV viewer") than the global average.

* 85 per cent of Australian viewers 6-34 watch TV content via their providers VOD services.

* When asked, "How often, if at all, do you watch full length TV shows via each of these?"
- DVR: Global 54 per cent, Australia 89 per cent
- TV provider VOD: Global 58 per cent, Australia 85 per cent
- Channel app/website: Global 72 per cent, Australia 80 per cent
- Subscription VOD: Global 49 per cent, Australia 70 per cent
- Direct to own: Global 47 per cent, Australia 69 per cent
- Torrent sites: Global 47 per cent, Australia 65 per cent

Sources: Toy & Hobby Retailer, MNC.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for all the latest Nickelodeon Australia & New Zealand News and Highlights!