The Beano turns 80 later this year and is still going strong.  

The brand is managed by Beano Studios and with the ‘Dennis and Gnasher Unleashed!’ TV series launched last year and a movie in the pipeline, Dennis will be hard to miss in 2018.  

Even Ant and Dec were seen reading a copy on their ITV Saturday night show...

beano ant and dec

In a recent Media Show podcast Emma Scott (CEO, Beano Studios) discussed how they changed their approach to marketing to be able to appeal to young children who are ‘digital first’.  

Ofcom tells us that children are online more than they are watching TV. The Beano still has a weekly comic, but now have a much broader digital presence with Beano.com.

The comic focuses on the characters and storylines, whereas the website is a mix of videos, games and quizzes, Scott describes it as a ‘buzzfeed for kids’.   

Let’s look at what we can learn from the Beano’s approach…

Know your audience...

The Beano's target market is 6-12-year-olds. To find out what the hot topics kids are talking about in the playground, the Beano uses 20 trend spotters dotted around the UK who feedback to them each week. This has helped the Beano to deeply understand their audience, they know what makes them tick and the response has sometimes been surprising.  

Scott describes how adults can underestimate how much children know about what is happening in the world around them, but hot topics straight from the playground repeatedly include Trump, Kim Jong-Un and Brexit.  

Beano Studios produce a whopping 20 videos a week - recent videos have included 'animals with jobs', 'slime in reverse', 'hidden google games' and 'films improved by screaming rubber'.  They also use GIFs, listicles, quizzes and spoofs.  All their content is created to be easily found by voice search - they even have videos of funny things to ask Google, which is hugely popular.  Beano Studios consistently produce new content which is relevant to their audience.

On social...

Refusing to use a one size fits all approach, the Beano realise the different merits of various social media platforms and use them accordingly. 

Twitter is mainly for communication, Facebook is aimed at parents and grandparents and Instagram is aimed at a mix of audience.  Although social sites stipulate that the account holder must be over 13 before creating an account, there are children younger than this using the platforms (mainly the over 9s) and so Beano makes their feed appropriate and inspiring for a mix of audience.  According to Scott their appetite for a good meme will not cease...

beano marketing meme

Beano's strapline is 'funny stuff, everyday' and by knowing and listening to their audience, their content is always relevant and appealing.  

Maybe we all need to be a little bit more Beano in our approach?  

Now, where’s my catapult…

beano marketing