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Trends & Insights | Blog

Supporting Power of Zero in its efforts to educate families on cyber safety

February 6, 2024


To mark Safer Internet Day on 6 February, we partnered with children’s charity Power of Zero for a pro bono project to help educate families on how to introduce a child to their first device.

Mark Stuart


When international children’s charity, Power of Zero, asked Battenhall to help with a ‘First Device’ campaign it was launching to mark Safer Internet Day on 6 February, we jumped at the chance.

Battenhall has previously worked with several educational organisations for our 20% time projects, always with the goal of helping a cause that aligns with our social purpose.

Power of Zero is a global initiative that brings together parents, educators, researchers, UN agencies, corporate citizens, NGOs and philanthropic foundations to ensure every young child learns the life skills they need to navigate their online-offline lives.

The brief asked us to help raise awareness of its First Device campaign through brand messaging, PR, social media and design creative. 

The campaign is intended to educate families about online safety and encourage young children to use technology responsibly. Power of Zero believes it’s vital that families instil good cyber habits from the moment young people are given their first phone or tablet. 

There’s growing evidence to suggest that’s an essential cause. A research review by the National Library of Medicine concluded that early screen exposure is “associated with lower cognitive abilities and academic performance in later years”. Research released in May 2023 by Sapien Lab shows that young adults who received their first smartphone or tablet in their teen years have significantly greater well-being than those given their own device in early childhood. 

Over the past three months, we’ve worked with Power of Zero on a range of activities to help raise awareness of the campaign and the charity. We’re delighted to see our work amplify the educational elements that include:

  • A YouTube animated series – ‘Heroes of Zero’ – which is intended for parents, grandparents and children to watch together to understand the benefits and challenges that come when a child gets their first device.
  • A family toolkit for parents to download that can act as conversation starters, with activities to try out, and a variety of advice. There is also a Children’s Pledge, which encourages them to be aware of the power they have in their hands and act responsibly from an early age.  

SLOW tech message

We were particularly proud to work with Power of Zero on a new messaging strand for the brand – the ‘SLOW tech’ framework – which advocates for caregivers to take it SLOW when introducing a child to their first device:

  • Safety first: Prioritise safety by setting up parental controls and discussing online risks
  • Life skills: Ensure your child is developing skills of resilience, critical thinking and kindness before they start online
  • Open dialogue: Encourage your child to tell you if anything they see online makes them feel uncomfortable
  • Watch together: Stay engaged in your child’s online life as their ‘cyber coach’ by co-watching, co-playing, co-celebrating online discoveries together (as guided by Power of Zero's videos and toolkits)

Our Battenhall Studios team also produced a range of animated social stickers that families can engage with online, and which spread the messages of the SLOW framework. These are available on Giphy and can be easily accessed in Instagram and other social platforms.

Power of Zero CEO, Nicholas Carlisle, said: “When and how you introduce your child to their first phone or tablet makes a real difference to their health and wellbeing throughout their lives. It’s important for parents and grandparents to talk to their children about how they engage with the online world. By releasing these free resources for families we are hoping to make these conversations easy and fun.”

Safety in social

This latest project builds on the theme of ‘safety in social’ that Battenhall has been exploring in recent months. Our CEO and founder Drew Benvie launched his Raise initiative last year on ITV’s Katie Piper Breakfast Show, with the goal of making social media safer for the next generation. 

With the proliferation of AI software, and social platforms targeting teens and younger with marketing, this is a campaign we intend to stay close to throughout 2024 and beyond.

If you’d like to find out more about our work in social and creative, check out What We Do or email hello@battenhall.com to find out how we can help you and your brand.