It’s widely known that marketing works on kids. We always talk about how the latest toy commercial really makes an impact on our kids and they then go around asking for said toy. Or how seeing an ad on the street causes them to ask you about the product on the ad.
But, have you ever tried to use marketing as a parenting tool? Think about it. If advertisements and marketing campaigns work on our kids, why not use that to our advantage? Let me give you some examples that have actually happened in our house.
1) My baby girl says she doesn’t know what to do on a relaxing Saturday afternoon. She has tons of toys, books, and the like that she can use to entertain herself, but at the moment seems to have forgotten about them. She even has a play room that she could easily spend hours in, if she only gave it a chance. I say “Go play in the play room,” and she just says, “I don’t know what to play with!” The next time this happens, I instead say “Why don’t you explore your play room and see what you find?” Explore? Well now I’ve just added a challenge and mystical appeal to it! She runs to the room and ends up playing by herself for a while.
Play with words. Make things sound mysterious, magical, and appealing.
2) I want baby girl to try to drink some coconut water, something I grew up drinking, but that’s not so popular in this culture she’s growing up in. I tell her, “Guess what? Mami used to drink this when she was little!” I go on and tell her a story about how we would grab cocos from the palm trees in Puerto Rico, refrigerate them, cut them open once cold, and then stick a straw in them to drink the water. I tell her that daddy did the same in Trinidad as a little boy. And, I tell her that now someone just stuck the water from the coco into a can, but it’s the same.
Hearing this fun story from when mami and daddy were little makes her interested. If we had all that fun drinking agua de coco when we were young, she can’t be left out! So she tries it…and loves it! Plus, she feels like she connected to our youth and is doing “the same” as us.
3) I have a media event to attend, followed by 3 days at a blogging conference. Luckily, my baby girl and husband are coming with, though not actually attending the events and conference. Knowing that we’ll be spending the next 4-5 nights in 3 different hotels, we want to avoid the fact that she’s being thrown off her routine from affecting her mood. So, before we even leave the house, we say to her, “We’re going on an adventure! It’s going to be so much fun and we get to stay in 3 different hotels!!! Isn’t that exciting?” We continue to tell her how one hotel has animals to see, and the other is by the beach. And we ask her, “What do you think the bed will be like? Do you think it’ll have big, fluffy pillows?”
The idea is to get her so excited about our “adventure” that she starts to wonder about it herself and ask questions. She starts to imagine what it will be like and in turn begins to look forward to it. We even tell her, “You and daddy are going to have so much fun while mami is working and learning!” That way, she doesn’t even care that I won’t really be around since I’m attending a conference. Of course, daddy has to deliver and make the trip fun!
It’s all about how you package and “sell” what you’re saying. It’s in the presentation. Just like we are attracted to certain product packaging, food presentation, and concepts in the advertising we see. Much the same, we as parents can use that to our benefit and “sell” concepts to our kids and present them with new ideas.
Marketing to our kids. Try it and see if you can’t get your child excited based on your presentation. If it works for advertisers, it can work for you.
Can you think of a situation where you can “sell” your kids on an idea with some creative marketing?