Children are facing an upbringing dominated by technology – the struggle to find balance in today’s fast-paced environment is an ongoing c...
Children are facing an upbringing dominated by technology – the struggle to find balance in today’s fast-paced environment is an ongoing challenge for families.
In partnership with Gilbert Rugby, Nakatomi, child psychologist Dr. Emma Woodward and Colenso BBDO, Spark are developing a Bluetooth-enabled smart ball to help families achieve a healthy balance of screen time and active playtime.
“Technology is not bad, it’s how we use it that might be corrosive,” says Dr. Woodward. “Play by Spark will help Kiwi families teach their children important self-regulation skills from a young age and become more mindful with their technology use.”
Custom built techware inside the ball - including a gyroscope and accelerometer - can track minutes of active play and balances this with screen use, sending an alert to the parents when screen time limits are met.
“Technology is part of everyday life and we want to help children grow up developing positive digital habits. At Spark, we’re working to equip parents with the right tools – like this smart rugby ball and app - so that technology is part of the solution, rather than the problem,” says Spark’s Brand Experience Tribe Lead, Sarah Williams.
Over a trial period, families across New Zealand will put the prototype ball to the test by taking on a series of challenges designed by Dr Woodward. The ball data captured during the trial will teach Spark even more about playtime, and inform future Play by Spark projects.
“One of the things we love about Play is that it harnesses kids’ love of devices to tackle the problem. For us, the ball is the beginning of an exciting story. We see the Play platform extending to wearables and other tech to help kiwi families get a little balance – those of us with kids cannot wait,” says Dan Wright, Executive Creative Director at Colenso BBDO.
“Our children are facing a very different future to the one we were parented to face so it’s important that we teach them the skills that they need in order for them to thrive and fulfil their potential. Spark are keen to support families so children develop healthy tech habits,” says Dr Woodward.
Play by Spark launches with a TV spot that sees young Toby approach the conversation of balance with his favourite computer game character.
The campaign will also appear across OOH, social and digital. Future plans will be finalised once the results of the trial come in next year.
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Partners: Gilbert Rugby, Nakatomi, Dr Emma Woodward
Production Partner: Sweetshop
Director: Mark Albiston
Executive Producers: Kate Roydhouse, Ben Dailey
Animation: Pete Circuit
Post Production: Creature
Sound: Franklin Rd
Photography: Troy Goodall