California-based prodco Pocket.watch is expanding into kid-targeted advertising for the first time, and is launching the full-service ad agency, Clock.work.
Aimed at reaching kids, Clock.work will create and execute targeted media campaigns across popular platforms, including YouTube, mobile gaming and OTT channels. Pocket.watch timed the launch of the new brand to follow the new FTC regulations, which have changed how advertisers can direct content to kids on YouTube. To launch the agency and promote Pocket.watch’s own brands, the agency will launch 15- to 30-second short ads featuring the company’s stable of YouTube creators, including Ryan’s World, EvanTubeHD, JillianTubeHD, HobbyKidsTV, Gem Sisters, The Onyx Family (pictured) and Jason Vlogs.
Clock.work will allow the company to respond faster to industry changes in advertising and help other companies navigate the landscape, said head of the unit and Pocket.watch VP of sales and business development Julia Moonves, in a statement. To find out more about what kids of content kids are looking for, and why, Clock.work will draw on Gen Alpha research, including third-party studies conducted in partnership with Insight Strategy Group (now MarketCast).
Pocket.watch is also looking to lead others through the difficult space of kids advertising since its had its own troubles, including last year when watchdog group Truth in Advertising accused one of its creators of blurring the line between sponsored and organic content. Truth in Advertising filed a complaint with the FTC, claiming 92% of the videos from popular YouTube channel Ryan’s World (24.1 million subscribers) contained at least one paid product recommendation aimed at preschoolers, who are too young to distinguish between ads and natural content.
There are few competing companies that provide advertising services geared exclusively at children. UK-based kidtech platform SuperAwesome creates content and COPPA-compliant digital campaigns aimed at kids. Recently, Microsoft’s venture fund M12 invested in SuperAwesome as part of a broader US$17-million financing round. Since its launch the company has scored a roster of clients that includes LEGO, NBCUniversal, Hasbro, Dentsu, Mattel and Niantic. Its revenue grew 50% annually and is powering 12 billion kids’ digital transactions every month, according to SuperAwesome.