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The Rise of Fortnite & Kids Influence in Marketing

Is Fortnite On The Way Out?

Some say that "Fortnite" is yesterday's news.  You might even say: "What is Fortnite?" No, it's not a misspelling of your two-week fortnight. It is actually one of the most lucrative video games on the planet. 

But with more than 350 million users worldwide in 2021, Fortnite being on the way out seems unlikely.  (According to statistics from Business of Apps.) Especially as 2 out of 3 Fortnite weekly players aged 10 years old to 17 years old saying that Fortnite is on the way up, behind only Netflix and YouTube. 

There is no sign its momentum is slowing.

brand love results 2019

Tweens Are In "Brand Love" With Fortnite

Step aside OREO (the yummy treat), YouTube is now the most popular band amongst kids. In their annual survey of more than 8,100 children from North America, consultancy firm Smarty Pants have rated the most popular brands. 

Digital juggernaut YouTube came out as the most popular brand for children aged 6 to 12 years old with a "Kidfinity" score of 917 out of a possible 1,000.

The survey called "Brand Love" discovered that digital content was chipping away at traditional creativity and play, with beloved Crayola and LEGO brands losing 20 and 15 points, respectively.

This finding is not unique. A 2019 survey of 1,500 people in North America by the National Research Group discovered that Fornite is offering brands access to significant young audiences who watch less traditional TV, Fortnite is changing the way consumers and brands are interacting and opening up new opportunities for live experiences. In fact, they found that two in three tweens say they are playing more Fortnite this year than they did last year.

"Our research deconstructs the Fortnite phenomenon - a universe full of interesting paradoxes: it's a competitive game that fosters deep community; it's an immersive experience centered around lasting social connection; it’s a playground to be anybody, yet it’s where we can be our true authentic selves. With polarization and divisiveness seemingly defining our culture, Fortnite presents a more hopeful meta-verse where community, inclusivity, creativity and authentic relationships can thrive,” says Jon Penn, CEO, NRG.

Putting A Rocket Under Fortnite

Not surprisingly Fortnite is a brand force to be reckoned with. 

In 2018, the Fortnite brand's debut in the study pegged it at #199 overall. The video game was particularly popular among boys. It was number #76 with boys in its first year.

In the 2019 report, Fortnite posted the largest annual gain. Fortnite moved up 113 places rising to #86. And continued its popularity among boys rising to an impressive #33. 

The study has a number of attributes that they rate brands on. One of these attributes is "social". Fortnite is one of the top rating brands on this metric. 

"The way the kids are playing Fortnite in duos, and quads, and squads they are connected with friends while they play. They are virtually connected because they are not actually in the same room, even in the same city, necessarily," said Michelle Poris from Smarty Pants. 

"All of that has really fed into the Fortnite craze. What's happened is that kids, with or without their families, are spending time doing Fortnite instead of the other things they have traditionally spent their time doing. The more time they spend on Fortnite, the less time they are spending watching TV, playing board games, or watching movies. So that time away from more historical activities is really having an impact on how we need to communicate with kids," said Ms. Poris.

Marketing to Mums expert, Katrina McCarter agrees: "Fortnite is a video game that is very very popular for boys aged 9 through to 16. I find when my son not actually playing the game he is watching YouTube videos on how to play it better." 

Fortnite & Marketing Opportunities 

The rise and rise of the popularity of Fortnite have created new marketing opportunities.

Hasbro has just launched a new collection of NERF Fortnite guns. This new wave of foam blasters and weapons has been inspired by Epic Games’ video game includes targeting sets and a harvesting tool just like the ones players use in the digital world. You can even get Llama targets! 

Battlefield Sports has created a live game that is inspired by the famous video game Fortnite where the gaming area shrinks over time and the players can access in-game perks at supply crates. To find out more about this live game "Battle Royale" click here. 

The research group surveyed a total of 16,363 children and parents during their May to June 2019 assessment of 350 consumer brands. The Smarty Pants group syndicates research talks about trends, and shares opinions about the child, tween, teen and family marketing, and youth culture. Kidfinity™ is a composite measure that aggregates kids' brand awareness, love, and popularity.

The research team has discovered the growing influence children have in family decision making. They found the line between entertainment and shopping in the minds of kids has blurred. 

For laser tag marketers the influence of Fortnite and other virtual games will continue to impact the industry. 

SOURCE: Smarty Pants research see https://www.asksmartypants.com/

SOURCE: Marketing to Mums see https://marketingtomums.com.au/podcast/

SOURCE: NRG Fortnite White Paper see https://www.nationalresearchgroup.com/news/fortnite-the-new-social-media

The Biggest Game of the Decade?

Kevin Webb from Business Insider believes the "FORTNITE" is the most important video game of this decade.

Such is its magnetism, Webb says, that a star "Fortnite" player made the cover of ESPN The Magazine, and "Time's" list of 100 most influential people. Musicians and actors have been filming themselves playing "Fortnite," and the game even had a cameo in "Avengers: Endgame," the biggest movie of all time. Fortnite continues to evolve with recent brand collaborations such as Baby Yoda from Star Wars Mandalorian and Master Chief from Halo. 

The game Fortnite is a great example of the technology of convergence, of cross-platform compatibility.

With games nowadays being played on smartphones, gaming consoles, traditional computers and live. Fortnite stays fresh for gamers by delivering new "seasons" with its new game modes, new customizable items, and special events. This mint content challenges to unlock customizable gear, and thrilling tournaments have fired up the player base.

Pandemic Disruption

The last 12 to 18 months has seen massive disruption for brands. 

According to Brandt the 2021 report says that: “the last year has been a turbulent time for every brand, with a constant barrage of unexpected issues and changes. But in this report, we took the chance to highlight the brands that managed the crisis, weathered the storm, and came out with innovative and much loved marketing ideas.”

“Hopefully, we’re turning a corner and there’s a chance for normality to return, whatever that entails. Every brand has a chance to come out of this running, connecting with consumers like never before.”

“This is a chance to rethink, re-strategize, and rebuild all our brands into loved brands, and that opportunity starts now.”

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