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'I Want That!'
By: Aaron Whitaker
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When I’m watching TV with my four-year-old daughter, I am no longer in charge of the remote. I have to watch her shows or experience the crying wrath of a little one determined to get her way. So, every day when I sit down and watch TV with my daughter, we watch cartoons and kid shows and just like when I watch my shows, there are commercial breaks. While I like watching TV commercials, I’ve never gotten as excited and easily sold to as my daughter.
Obviously all the TV commercials are targeted towards the young ones on the kids' program channels but I never realized how easy it was to market toward kids until I had my daughter. Literally, as long as the toy or product is not intended for boys, she wants it. It’s obvious that she wants that product because she is jumping up and down beside me while yelling into my ear over and over and over, “Daddy, I want that! Daddy, I want that! Daddy, I want that!”
As an advertising creative, I am in awe of how easy it is to sell toys and products to kids. I either want to design a toy and make millions or just work with clients that have kids in their demographics. I’m thinking that I could literally take a block of wood, draw a face on it and call it Princess Pine of Dinosaur Valley and create a compelling TV commercial that would have my daughter jumping up and down wanting that Princess along with all her dinosaur friends. You say it’s not that easy to make a toy for a kid and sell thousands of them? What about the Pet Rock?
The Pet Rock was actually created by an advertising creative whose name is Gary Dahl. Dahl jokingly created the Pet Rock along with a 32-page manual on how to take care of your new pet and sold more than 1.5 million of them becoming a millionaire. The cost was in the box and manual as the actual Pet Rocks were just simple grey rocks that you can find at a garden center. Just think how many he could have sold in today’s world where there is cable TV with dozens of kids’ channels? My daughter would undoubtedly be jumping up and down screaming, “Daddy, I want that Pet Rock!” I would want to name it "Rocky," but she would probably name it "Princess."
If advertising to kids is as easy as I think it is, especially when compared to advertising to adults, then why don’t clients and their advertising agencies just change their demographics to kids? Kids can be great influencers to their parents, as I can attest to. So rather than advertising a minivan to soccer moms, advertise to the kids who will be riding in back. Show the kids all the cool storage places that they can hide their toys and how they can watch their favorite cartoons on the DVD entertainment center. Maybe even sell vans stocked with cool toys that the kids will love. Or perhaps include a toy store shopping spree with each purchase of a minivan. Basically, make kids jump up and down pleading to their parents, “Daddy, Mommy, I want that!” If parents are anything like my wife and I, they’ll eventually cave and buy that toy or that minivan for their kids.


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About the Author
Aaron Whitaker is a copywriter, blogger, and social media aficionado who likes watching the TV commercials more than the actual shows. He prefers reading the magazine ads over the articles. And you can learn more about him online right here.
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