As kids navigate the online world, caregivers of Gen Z/Gen Alpha are faced with a unique challenge: parenting during a digital age where kids have more access to technology and are savvier than ever before. According to Google survey results from January 2020, only 4 in 10 parents feel confident enough to talk to their family about online safety. And more than that, 73% of parents have spent less than 4 hours a year talking to their kids about online safety while their children were on average spending 4 hours and 44 minutes per week online (which by May 2020 increased to 6 hours per week with the introduction of remote learning).
Google understands that as a brand that gives access to a new online world, there is responsibility that comes along with that. Our goal with this campaign was to partner with influencers to generate awareness around the free Be Internet Awesome educational resources available from Google and to encourage parents to have ongoing conversations about online safety with their families.
Rooting our strategy around Safer Internet Day, a day that Google has embraced across product initiatives as an opportunity to provide people with the tools and knowledge to stay safer online, we designed a multi-platform social campaign to introduce a new rite of passage for kids. With the freedom of access to the internet comes the perfect time for a sit down talk from mom or dad … the “Tech Talk,” that is! Unlike “the birds and the bees,” there’s no script (or puzzling metaphors) for the Tech Talk. It’s not a talk that millennial parents received as kids themselves and like the talk they probably did receive as a tween, it’s deeply personal to each family, reflecting different values, rules and approaches.
The idea behind the Tech Talk is that in giving kids the guidance they need to responsibly navigate the online world, it will provide them, and their parents, with the confidence that they are safer online, no matter what they may run into.
Our rallying message to all our partners was to introduce the idea of the Tech Talk to their audiences and create helpful and yet illuminating content to inspire action within parent communities together for a better internet - raising the next generation of digital citizens. We provided each partner with resources and tips from Be Internet Awesome to help them navigate an open conversation on internet safety with their own family and from there, let them tell their unique story.
The Tech Talk came to life as conversation threads on Twitter, Podcasts, graphics and video (IGTV and YouTube) via reflective posts about each family’s approach to online safety, vulnerable posts about not knowing where to begin, and even some hilarious conversation reenactments, showcasing how kids don’t know what they don’t know.
Our 20 partners opened up the conversation to parents in their communities to crowdsource, confide and converse about where they are with the tech journey with their kids, building value for their followers with authentic and actionable content around how to approach the topics of internet safety and digital wellbeing, with a swipe up to learn more about Be Internet Awesome.
The Tech Talk exceeded goals across awareness and engagement metrics, showcasing the need for continued guidance around the topic of family internet safety - we’re still seeing partner content shared a year later. The Tech Talk campaign drove 80% of the social engagements around Safer Internet Day for the brand as a whole, and proved to be a relatable concept for parents:
Generated 128k+ engagements
Earned a 36% increase in impressions as a percentage of partner followings (79% to be exact) compared to past benchmarks
Across comments, sentiment was 98.7% positive/neutral, with audiences affirming the gravity of the topic, echoing “this is so important.”
We tapped into a pain point that opened the floodgates for partners to speak honestly about their experience and fit in Google tools to guide the conversation, truly showing up in an authentic and helpful way to support parents. Two formats that worked especially well were Q/A videos and posts with long-form captions that showcased the relatability and connective tissue amongst parents navigating this time - not offering all the answers but coming together around a topic that hits home for so many parents.
In February 2020 when this campaign ran, we didn’t know what was in store for the world and how that would forever change the way that parents approach screentime, online safety and more. The Tech Talk allowed us to open the conversation, and in 2021, we’re continuing to support parents as they navigate this time through the evergreen Tech Talk narrative.
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