Digital Kids: Navigating and Making Sense of a World of Choice

Shari Donnenfeld
Andy Goodhand


Television is one of the most effective ways of influencing mass culture. It shapes our lives, attitudes, behaviours and aspirations. This was true in a world of just two to three terrestrial broadcasters and is even more relevant in a cable and satellite multichannel world.

Television broadcasters, faced with a sea of competition in the late 1980s with the introduction of cable and satellite channels, discovered that marketing practices (classically employed by fast moving consumer goods companies) could help position their channels in the minds of their target audiences. Many broadcasters are now coordinating their channels look, feel and attitude as well as their on and offair marketing to present a coherent, meaningful and appealing image. By communicating core values, attributes and imagery that were relevant to their target audiences, they were able to achieve saliency and appeal. They found that communicating a clear and cohesive message and creating a branded environment was the best way to build brand loyalty. However, on October 1, 1998 the broadcast environment in the United Kingdom saw a dramatic change with the launch of Sky Digital services.