Branded Play At KidZania

Branded Play At KidZania

KidZania is a faux town where kids dress up like professionals and exchange currency in a brand-saturated environment.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 15 april 2011

KidZania is a multinational chain of family entertainment centers, where kids ‘learn while they play’, trying out different professions that have been downsized and simplified in ways that are just downright fun. Children can dress up as surgeons, detectives, journalist, miners and radio hosts, while actually playing the part in a faux town the size of a soccer field. While kids are exchanging KidZos (official park currency) for burgers and makeovers, a bank teller is overseeing ATM withdrawals (each kid is given an ATM card and an account) and a journalist has got the latest scoop.  A mock Congress of 14 children discuss the day to day operations of the park, while a construction crew in the Dubai KidZania fittingly erects a 25 foot tower, hoists and harnesses in all. At the planned KidZania in Santiago, Chile, children can pretend to be Chilean miners.

Though the concept is for kids to learn while having fun, its corporate undertones are relevant to its discussion. As written in The Morning News:

But when the children are learning factory work, it’s in a job bottling Coca-Cola, and when they’re working at a restaurant, that “restaurant” has golden arches. The dentist office is sponsored by Crest. The plane fuselage visible from the airport-style departure gate through which you access each KidZania franchise is branded, too. Corporate sponsorship is crucial to the KidZania concept. Companies can sponsor generic job activities, and other jobs are specifically built around the participating brands. Some sponsors fit awkwardly in the park: Selling Chevrolet to children is tough. The answer in these situations is often to put up a few computers in a booth where children can interact with the brand—in the Chevrolet case, by designing a customized Camaro.

Despite this reality, reports are that kids love the experience. The park also develops listening skills, as each activity is set up and curated by in-park staff. As children earn PhD’s, they at least form an idea of the responsibility that carries in a community. Others may discover they love the process of baking bread, or operating on robot dogs; all of this, before nap time.

KidZanias are coming to the U.S. within the next two years.


The Morning News: “State of Play”


IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Travel Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Related Expert

Brian Tiong

Asia Culture & Content Expert

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Retail Today

Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

An app for the wrist-mounted device is looking to revolutionize customer service for staff


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Financial Services Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

No search results found.