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 solutions." 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 strengths. "'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 understanding. 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 ( www.leoburnett.com ) 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.
SOURCE Leo Burnett