Psychology of Consumer Behaviour |

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Engage Kids 6-11- Things I'd like to unknow

The email newsletter had been sitting in my inbox for a couple of days. The subject: Engage kids 6-11. I had been away. Is that why it had been sitting unopened? Probably not. I’ve worked in advertising. I’ve seen a lot and known a lot.

There are things I’d much rather unknow. Maybe the targeting of children is one of those things. And now I’m going to get a weekly newsletter on just this subject alone- how to “get” the kids 6-11.

The subject of this first Engage Kids 6-11 newsletter is one that could be good- marketing nutritional food to kids. We all know that kids are eating too much bad food and not getting enough exercise, so how bad could this be?

It starts out by telling us that the “Better For You” products are one of the hottest market battlegrounds. The newsletter is about to tell us a seven point strategy to sell your “Better For You.” First, determine the family type. Is it “restrictive” where the parents dictate the foods; is it “balanced” where kid and parent decide or is it “anything goes” where kids rule?

Now how can the marketer get all three? Well, point two tells us you have to infuse the nutritional anchor (whatever may be healthy about the product) with kid appeal. “While the nutritional anchor will appeal to mom, it's essential to "Kidify" the product and make it appealing to kids, while leaving the nutritional anchor clearly evident. Ways to infuse kid appeal can be to attach a cool spokescharacter or to give it a fun "kid friendly" name. Try to make the product look or feel like an invitation to a party a kid would not want to miss.”

Next, delight the kid and therefore the mom. Make sure it tastes good and the package says so too. Don’t worry, your product doesn’t have to be really really good for you, just fit between indulgent and nutritional. And for Pete’s sake, sell the kids on something other than nutrition.

Is this all new?

In television's infancy Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob told their young audience, "Wonder Bread builds strong bodies 8 ways. Look for the red, yellow and blue balloons printed on the wrapper." Mom bought it and Howdy said it was good.

Change anyone?

Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood

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