Kids these days are smartphone savvy. Parents across the world often hand children as young as the age of four an iPhone, Android phone, or Blackberry to play with.
These smartphones are fun centers packed into tiny squares, and fun apps manage to keep kids who travel quiet for hours on end. Give all the appeal that a smartphone has for children, it’s no wonder that big movie studios are starting to cash in on the “apps for kids” trend.
In the past, movies such as "Kung Fu Panda 2" and "Shrek Forever After" gained their own apps. Now, the latest cartoon blockbuster “The Smurfs Movie” is already attached to a new iOS game app called “The Smurf Storybook.” This app comes before the release of the movie as a sort of teaser for kids.
Who Needs Previews?
Previews are effective marketing tools if kids manage to catch a preview. For those kids who don’t watch a lot of television or head to the movie theater frequently, previews are a lost cause. Movie studios don’t want to lose this potential audience. So, instead of spending all advertising dollars on creating previews that some kids may miss, these studios are sinking large amounts of money into creating smartphone apps.
Parents are far more likely to purchase a movie preview disguised as a smartphone game app than they are to allow kids to watch hours of television per day. Thus far, pre-movie apps for kids are working like magic. When it comes time for quiet time, it’s far easier to hand a child a smartphone filled with fun games than it is to find other activities to occupy a child’s mind.
What This App Does
The Storybook app contains read-alongs and games for kids to enjoy. One game includes allowing children to find certain mistakes within a storyline. While this all seems like harmless fun, there’s one reason why you may want to think twice before downloading the Smurfs app. This app will get your child hooked on the new Smurfs movie before the movie even debuts.
In addition to games, the Smurfs app includes
celebrity voiceovers, characters from the movie, and the whole thing is based upon the storyline from the movie. So, when your kids finally do head to the theater, they will know all about the movie. Needless to say, they’ll also be familiar with the celebrities who are taking part in the film. One has to wonder if movie studios will soon be slipping advertisements into these apps as well (will Smurfette get a hankering for a Coke?).
Cost and Availability
The Smurfs Movie Storybook is currently available on the iPhone and iPad. No Android app release has been created at the time of this writing. If your kids want the new Smurf app, you’ll have to fork over $2.99 for the iStorybook application. As for the actual movie, the release date is July 29 (2011). What will your kids do with the Smurf app if the movie itself is a flop?
Well, you may be stuck with that app for a few more months, even though nobody will play with it. But, is this really a big deal? After all, if you’re like most parents, you probably already have a Shrek, Transformers, or Penguin app someone on your Apple device.