This Could Be the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship... KidLeo Unlocks the Human Potential of Kid Brands with Global Study

Sep 09, 1999, 01:00 ET from Leo Burnett

    CHICAGO, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Imaginary pals may soon find themselves,
 well, imaginary.  KidLeo, Leo Burnett's kid consultancy, recently unveiled
 "Let's Be Friends:  Understanding the Human Potential of Your Brand."  The
 global study pinpoints six universal qualities kids seek in friends, providing
 kid marketers insight on how to connect with their younger audience.
     "This study stems from KidLeo's single-minded mission to our kid clients,"
 said Cheryl Berman, LB USA chief creative office and founding member of
 KidLeo.  "Rather than rehash in a report what's trendy or hot, KidLeo is
 interested in digging deeper to find the eternal qualities a certain person or
 product embodies that resonate so well with kids.  'Let's Be Friends' tells
 clients how to truly draw out the human potential of their brands by creating
 a kid-friendly personality around the product's ultimate goodness."
     Utilizing the group's global on-line research panel, KidScope, KidLeo
 surveyed over 700 school-aged kids worldwide; talked face to face with child
 psychologists, teachers and youth club directors; and held relaxed, informal
 kid discussions.
     KidScope was developed by Leo Burnett's media arm Starcom Worldwide and
 has been implemented by Burnett agencies worldwide.  Through partnerships
 formed with local schools, KidScope responsibly surveys school-aged children
 from the first years of school through high school using fun on-line
 questionnaires overseen by school administrators.  Not only does the research
 provide real-time marketing insights for KidLeo clients, but it allows kids to
 log valuable Internet practice time and clearly think through their opinions
 on current political, social and economic issues.
     KidScope identified the following six universal friendship qualities of
 kids globally:
     A friend...
         1.  Understands how you feel.
         2.  Grows up with you.
         3.  Knows how to fit in.
         4.  Knows boys and girls are different.
         5.  Is someone you can trust.
         6.  Is fun.
     "The friendship truths charted in every market from Singapore to Chicago
 were then linked to world-renowned brands," said Tina Imig, senior planner and
 founding member of KidLeo.  "Successful brands embody a kid-friendly
 'personality' consistently throughout their commercials and print ads, showing
 that kids look to brands as they do friends.  KidLeo's unique and enduring
 approach to kids lies in the foundation of the study: create a human link
 between a brand and child to empower clients with real, brand-building
     The study encourages marketers to take a step back, forget about selling
 and marketing, and connect with kids as an enduring, responsible friend.  By
 providing six qualities kids worldwide look for in their friends, brands have
 concrete qualities to emulate while promoting their individual brand
     "'Let's Be Friends' is appealing to brands for two reasons," said Molly
 Stewart, Starcom media insights catalyst and KidScope expert.  "First, it is
 universal.  With Burnett's global network, KidScope is established in schools
 across major markets worldwide so the research penetrates local kid insight
 while tracking global trends.  Second, given the real-time nature of KidScope,
 the study is easily adaptable to reflect specific market trends in fashion,
 games, toys and stores.  And although what is considered 'cool' varies from
 market to market -- which brands adapt to as needed -- the six universal
 truths remain constant."
     A cross-functional kid consultancy team of creatives, planners, and media
 and client service professionals dedicated to understanding the world from a
 kid's perspective, KidLeo was formally launched by Leo Burnett in 1998.  The
 group consolidates Burnett's "cradle to college" marketing expertise -- which
 has grown steadily over the past 50 years -- with a simple philosophy:  marry
 current trends with eternal kid truths through humanity, humor and
     Burnett and KidLeo have built kid brands for such world-renowned marketers
 as McDonald's, Nintendo, Walt Disney, Heinz and Kellogg.  By conducting over
 1,000 kid conversations and exchanging insights via panel discussions and
 cutting-edge research methods like KidScope, the team combines knowledge with
 real-time marketing insights to connect brands to young people with relevance
 and responsibility.  Most recently, Toys "R" Us has entrusted its image to
 Burnett in the U.S. because of its kid-savvy expertise.
     Leo Burnett ( ) operates a global network of more than
 280 operating units across 81 markets, including 91 full-service advertising
 agencies and a variety of specialty marketing services including direct,
 database and interactive marketing, sales promotion and public relations.  Leo
 Burnett currently handles seven of the world's most valuable brands as ranked
 by Interbrand:  McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, Marlboro, Kellogg, Tampax
 and Nintendo.  It also handles 22 other brands in the top 100.
     Founded in Chicago in 1935 with eight employees and three clients, today
 Leo Burnett employs more than 9,100 people and posted 1998 billings of
 $6.81 billion.

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