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These YouTube addicts want to save the planet

Why unboxing won’t be enough entertainment for today’s generation.

Kids are a ‘generation of web addicts’, obsessed with their devices and have little time for anything else – including friends – say the headlines (yawn).

This two-dimensional view of a slime-addicted, Fortnite-dominated demographic is far from the truth as we know kids passions go beyond YouTube vloggers and TikTok challenges.

Our forthcoming Generation Alpha report shows a population of environmentally savvy kids with a clear awareness of global issues and challenges.

Three years of weekly interviews with our Trendspotter kids, and data from our audience proves that kids care about the planet and, in many cases, have more knowledge about key issues such as plastics, energy and food waste than their folks.

Yep, they’re the ones telling the adults not to throw the yogurt pots in the bin.

Kids recycling food items
Kids often know more about recycling and eco issues than their parents do

Eco-friendly brands

Kids’ focus is shifting outwards from personal worries about friends to global concerns – our kids have views on everything from who can be trusted most to save our planet (not YOU mum and dad, more than half agreed it’s kids themselves), to who the top eco-friendly brands are.

Rather than watching back-to-back slime squelching on YouTube, they’re just as likely to be exploring social, political issues and ethics with Kid President on Soul Pancake, or viewing online and print newspapers and magazines for kids like Jump! Mag and The Week Junior.

Clued up? You bet they are!

We know kids are aware of news events: they love to hate Trump and they’re bored by Brexit (aren’t we all?). While, unlike generations before them, they’re rejecting the latest tech. Our kids surprising make-do-and-mend Christmas present requests were a real eye opener (sign up to our fortnightly trend reports below to find out more).

YouTube stars: who can kids trust?

As our kids grow up, they’re developing a forward-thinking approach that questions excessive production of disposable items. And they’re wary of those who promote this.

We’ve seen the top YouTubers’ popularity rise and fall due to actions seen as greedy, selfish and wasteful. Videos of these influencers unboxing a mound of toys don’t cut it, as our kids start to question their values and authenticity.

It’s the influencers with real passions and interests, calling out the ‘bad guys’, who are winning the views. Like YouTube commentator Kavos’ expose of child ‘flexer’ Lil Tay, which has six million views.

While we’ve heard first-hand how documentaries such as BBC One’s Drowning In Plastic affected our Trendspotter kids.

The rise of the micro-influencer

In-your-face branded messages from advertisers are out, as kids get more informed and search for influencers who consider the impact of what they promote. Samantha Ravndahl, for example, removed herself from the PR lists of around 45 brands, saying, ‘It’s so much stuff. It’s over the top, and it’s just not interesting content to show you guys’.

Micro-influencers, like eco campaigner Glacier Girl (22-year-old Elizabeth Farrell) may have a lower individual reach than some of their counterparts, but engage with their fans on the issues that matter most to them.

With 90 percent of toys still made from plastic and the majority ending up in landfill, companies are under pressure to deliver solutions, but action has been slow. Enter the kids who are keen to stop talking and start acting.

Keep tabs by signing up to Bang on Trend at – the only fortnightly report that focuses on kids’ trends right now.

How Beano for Brands can help your marketing strategy

Beano for Brands is a kid-first consultancy and agency for brands seeking to connect with a new generation who are already rewriting the rules of engagement, creativity and even the world around them.

Our fortnightly reports are drawn from a wide range of touch points with real kids and families: Trendspotters (a UK-wide panel aged 9-12), insight and analytics from – the UK’s fastest-growing kids’ site, external research and 80 years of working with kids. Sign up at

Pssst if you don't already get our FREE monthly newsletter updating you on the latest kids' insight, trends and industry news, click here. ​


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