As the number of Millennials taking on ‘parent’ status increases past 40%, there’s a shift in how studios are marketing their family blockbusters.

Social media is still the pinnacle of marketing to Millennials, even once they’ve become parents – research on Millennial mums found that they have, on average, 3.4 social media accounts – meaning family adventure flicks are able to flourish with the help of digital marketing.

Defining a Generation

Millennials – or Generation Y – are people reaching adulthood in the early 21st century. They sit nestled between Generation X (born mid 60’s to mid 80’s) and Generation Z (born late 90’s -present.) The much-discussed Millennial demographic is currently aged between 20 and 38.

The Digital Native Generations

While Generation Z are seemingly born with a smartphone in hand, Millennials witnessed the rise of the Internet and social media. They can hark back to the days of MySpace – founded when the oldest of Gen Z were around 5 years old.

Becoming Parents & Staying Social

As these digital natives go on to have children, they are incorporating social media into their new lives as parents. In fact, more than 90% of them turn to social media for help with parenting. Digital-savvy Millennials have stated Facebook as their favourite platform, followed by Instagram.

Follow in Paddington’s Paw Prints

Now that we’ve defined this golden-ticket demographic, it’s time to learn from one little bear, whose box office success was even sweeter than marmalade sandwiches.

StudioCanal’s feel-good theatrical campaign for Paddington 2 increased intent to watch by 3 points. They captured their Millennial parent audience in an authentic way, by utilising Facebook and Instagram’s most engaging formats. The fun-factor was dialled up, as the bear’s capers were showcased in a variety of assets, such as Facebook Canvases and Live Photos.

While a strong focus on the animated bear put kids first and reassured parents with the lovable character, the balance of live-action footage highlighting the film’s impressive roster of stars ensured that there was something for the parents, too.

Family Values

This charming campaign for Paddington 2 took a set of family values, and applied them to their marketing – ensuring their content delighted and entertained families at every opportunity.

The Kids Come First

When promoting family flicks, it’s important to remember that the kids come first. Showcasing the film’s most fun-filled moments and lovable characters will demonstrate how much younger fans will enjoy the title. In a study, 42% of Millennial mums and 38% of dads stated price is the number one focus when buying for themselves, but happiness becomes the driving factor when buying for their children.

Keep It Real

Millennial parents value authenticity, so it’s important to think about communications that feel genuine. By using mediums, such as Instagram Stories and Facebook Canvases, which the demographic encounters naturally, it’s easier for marketers to have a more authentic voice. We know that 60% of Instagram Stories are viewed with the sound on, which further adds to their power as pivotal platform for promoting family blockbusters.

A Family of Digital Natives

Millennial parents are welcoming Generation Z children into the world – and they’re sure to be more tech-savvy than any generation before them. With 42% of children under 8 in the US owning their own tablets, demand for kid-specific platforms and apps has increased. Facebook Messenger and YouTube have both launched their own child-friendly, parentally controlled alternatives. While parents hold the decision making power, there is potential to use these platforms to responsibly appeal directly to younger audiences.

Capturing Your Audience

It’s not just Paddington with a few lessons under his hat. At Zero Degrees West, we’ve had our share of family title campaigns, and each one has been supercharged with insight into the Millennial parent audience.

The Rise of the Parenting Bloggers

The influx of social media brought online influencers with it. Forbes’ top 10 parenting influencers have a combined total social reach of 13 million. Coupled with the fact that 46% of Millennial mums trust recommendations from other parents, a pattern emerges. It’s this sense of community that has lead to the ever-growing popularity of parenting blogs, vlogs, podcasts and Pages.

We can tap into this popular trend of parenting communities by using influencers and their blogs as a marketing tool. Our PR team have had tremendous success with kids’ titles, such as Molly Monster, by populating parenting blogs and forums with trusted reviews and rewarding competitions.

My Go, My Go!

20% of Millennial parents see social media as a distraction, but innovative creative can serve as a moment for families to share, rather than as a waste of their time. Content that conveys the title’s promise of enjoyment for the whole family is made even stronger with a memorable experience to back it up.

Formats such as Instagram Stories are the perfect opportunity to take your execution up a notch, and gameify your promotion. Our LEGO Batman Costume Party Instagram Story is a great example of giving Millennial parents something interactive to share with their children – creating a positive sentiment around the title as a result.

Get Them Hooked

Given that the human attention span has reduced to 8 seconds, it’s more important than ever to capture your audiences quickly, and give them a reason to continue watching. In fact, research found that half of a campaign’s success is rooted in original and engaging creative.

From memorable music to a charming catchphrase, it’s essential to dial up the fun factor for your kids’ titles. Our ‘Learn with Pigeon Toady’ videos for the Storks campaign used every attention-stealing weapon in our arsenal to engross children and parents alike – including a catchy tune, bespoke VO from talent, and bright, bold design. The added bonus of an educational element ensured our video content satisfied the whole family.

Time Is Precious

Amidst a hectic work/life balance, Millennial parents are scarce of one thing – time. By tailoring your marketing for this time-poor demographic, your campaign will make an impact when it counts. Strategically timing your posts to suit when your audience have a moment to browse their social channels will get more eyes on your content. Also, snackable content, such as GIFs, images or bite-size videos are perfect for momentarily disrupting the chaos of everyday life.

Across a variety of campaigns for Warner Bros, including LEGO DC Superhero Girls and Scooby Doo & Batman, we’ve produced content that stands out in a cluttered newsfeed, and only takes a moment to entertain, and deliver the core marketing message.

Raising Your Campaign Right

With $1.3 trillion buying power, Millennial parents shouldn’t be ignored. The desirable demographic’s influence on the success of a family title is undeniable, and their overwhelming presence on social media means it’s critical to go digital.

Be it an animated adventure or a comedy-fuelled kids’ caper, if you have a family title to promote, let us show you how a social and digital campaign can amplify its success.