Creating experiences for kids: advice from Beano Studios

Barry Pilling is Creative Director at Beano Studios, the digital offshoot of the much-loved comic brand. Here he explains how the team gathers insights from a team of young advisers and offers advice for brands looking to create content for kids

The Beano played a formative role in many a British childhood. Founded in 1938, it introduced young readers to a host of loveable rogues – from Bananaman to Dennis the Menace. At 80 years old, the comic is still going strong and has published over 3,500 issues but the Beano brand now extends well beyond print. Beano Studios, which was founded three years ago, now runs an award-winning website and app along with a YouTube channel and various social media feeds. In November last year, it launched Beano for Brands, a consultancy service helping brands to create content for kids.

Keeping an 80-year-old entertainment brand up to date is no easy feat, particularly at a time when kids have access to more content than ever before. But Beano Studios has ensured its digital content reflects the latest playground crazes and pop culture trends. The website is filled with quizzes, games, videos and challenges – from a Which Disney Film Are You? quiz to slime-making tutorials, jokes and influencer interviews. Dennis the Menace and co still make an appearance but content now covers a wide range of topics, from Fortnite to football, Little Mix and Harry Potter.

All of this content, says Creative Director Barry Pilling, is designed to entertain and inform: “Whatever we’re working on, whether it’s a digital touch point or a live touch point or the comic, we try to make sure we’re always being relevant. Our mission is to entertain kids, to help them understand the world, and to be funny where possible,” he explains.