By Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight, Beano Brain
Here at Beano Brain we speak to kids every week. Every single week.
It’s meant that we’ve had a ringside seat for them learning about Covid-19 whilst quickly adapting to home schooling and worrying about their beloved grandparents. During the Brexit debate we saw them get confused about why adults are so concerned with separatism. And we heard them voice their frustrations with President Trump and his plan to build a wall:
“He's stared building a wall between Mexico and the United States – all countries should be able to go together, it’s stupid” – Sam, Age 9 (2017)
There is so much that unites this generation globally. Our conversations with kids in the UK, US, Europe and beyond show that with a world of media literally at their fingertips and content filling up TikTok accounts, kids today are acquiring a wider knowledge and appreciation of different cultures than ever before.
So here we are mid-November, mid celebration season and little demonstrates Gen A’s global citizenship more than their growing awareness (and participation) in the celebration days from cultures other than their own.
From US toddlers leaving a mince pie out for Father Christmas (thanks to Peppa Pig), to just under a third of kids and teens in the UK celebrating Thanksgiving.
As a cohort, Gen Alpha particularly love to discover or stumble upon ideas, information and entertainment for themselves – rather than have it given or spoon-fed to them. They are open to new and different cultural influences from other geographies, reinforced and supported by growing up in an era of global connectivity. New and established learning tools (hugely accelerated during Covid lockdowns worldwide), social platforms and modes of play combine to establish Gen Alpha kids as international citizens.
This has allowed Gen Alpha to form, project and take pride in social identities on the basis of their own feelings, thoughts and interests. They explore and embrace their own individual cultural identities unencumbered by their physical geographical location.
And unlike our childhoods dominated by US influences across music, media, toys, food and fashion (from Springsteen to Scooby Doo!), Gen Alpha has a wider cultural map. Japanese pop-culture can be seen across the kawaii-like aesthetic and mochi and bubble tea explosion. Day of the Dead and Chinese New Year are celebrated across the world and a surprising number of US kids talk about Remembrance Sunday and Bonfire Night.
For brands this means there is a global stage to play on, where engagement and interest in celebrations is tied to interest rather than location.
If a global citizen is defined as - someone who is aware of and understands the wider world and their place in it - then Gen Alpha surely pass that test.
If you'd like help to define your brands' role on a global stage, please get in touch and use our brain. We're here to help.