no kidding around
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 19, 2010 01:00 PM
Do you market brands to children? Then a recent study's finding are good news. Do you actually have children? Well, the study might not be so appealing.
Turns out that children — even to their own detriment and against their better reasoning — trust what they are told, over what they "know" to be true. While the conclusions are not entirely shocking, they do raise questions about who activists are going after in the battle over marketing to children.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 24, 2009 05:00 PM
There isn't anything that can do more damage to a brand's credibility than a product recall. Stork Craft, the Canadian manufacturer of baby cribs, is reeling from a recall of over 2 million drop-side cribs -- the largest crib recall ever. About 150,000 of the recalled cribs were sold under a Fisher-Price brand, and the company's phone lines are jammed with calls from anxious parents.
The US Consumer Products Safety Commission reported that four infants died from being caught in the crib's side gates, which slide up and down. Drop-side cribs have been the subject of criticism before. In the past two years, close to one million of them were recalled by Simplicity.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 20, 2009 05:30 PM
Sesame Street better watch out. There's a new kid on the block -- who makes Elmo look like a dinosaur.
Now in its second season, Nickelodeon's children's show Yo Gabba Gabba! has won accolades and become an overnight sensation for children and adults alike. Mixing live-action segments hosted by DJ Lance Rock and a cast of puppets along with animated sketches and pop, hip-hop and rock dance sequences, the series plays frequent host to a cast of high-profile celebrities like Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Tony Hawk and The Roots among many others.
The crew of characters -- Muno (a red cyclops), Foofa (a pink flower bubble), Brobee (a hairy green monster), Toodee ( a blue cat-dragon) and Plex (a yellow robot) -- have not only won the hearts and minds of pre-schoolers and their "hip" parents but have made the brand a media darling. Touted by Slate as "the best preschool programming" on television, the show is poised for widespread appeal with its irreverent sketches, educational and family values messages, and captivating imagery.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 10, 2009 06:40 PM
Sesame Street is 40! It doesn’t look a day over six... but then again, felt hides a multitude of sins.
Sesame Street began airing episodes on this date in 1969, intending to captivate children’s attention and educate them through music, comedy and fun.
The 40-year mark has been celebrated over the past week and a half by Google, with the muppets taking their own star turn in the Google “doodle.”
With the rapidly accelerating pace of nostalgia, columnists and commenters have come down from the mountains to offer up their opinion of the show after four decades on the air. Critics have complained that the essence of Sesame Street has changed too drastically since the beginning. Originally an ensemble cast, parents believe the show has become dominated by Elmo. Yet, Elmo himself has been a boon to the brand, driving sales of toys and licensing agreements, and wholly embraced by a new generation.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 27, 2009 06:47 PM
For over 100 years, FAO Schwarz was widely regarded as the Tiffany of toys. Its renowned Fifth Avenue store in New York City became a must-see stop for visitors with (and without) children.
Founded in 1862 by a German, Frederick August Otto Schwarz (hence the "FAO"), FAO Schwarz expanded to as many as forty stores before it was unable to withstand an assault from value-priced competitors. The company succumbed to a few ugly 21st Century bankruptcies. In May 2009, the unthinkable occurred: the venerable brand name was purchased by discounter Toys 'R' Us.Continue reading...
brands during wartime
Posted by Peter Feld on October 5, 2009 01:14 PM
The NY Times Magazine looked yesterday at brand management challenges facing Sesame Workshop in bringing its Muppets to Palestinian kids on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the show is filmed in a bullet-pocked building that "seems to be simultaneously under construction and decaying into a ruin." "Shara'a Simsim," originally a controversial spinoff from the Israeli Sesame Street, airs on a microbroadcasting channel which journalist Daoud Kuttab, who produces the show, founded in order to broadcast it.
"Shara'a Simsim" was originally ordered up by Sesame Street in the '80s as a segment on the popular Israeli version "Rechov Sumsum." It was spun off in the '90s as a joint Israeli-Palestinian production -- a partnership that brought significant tensions. After the 2000-01 intifada suspended the cooperative effort, the show evolved into a Palestinian stand-alone.
Though local producers ensure that each extension of its globally popular kids' brand fits its culture, the brand is managed centrally from New York.Continue reading...
Posted by Jennifer Wright on September 18, 2009 04:10 PM
What does it take to dethrone Barbie? The buxom blonde plastic doll has been reigning for over half a century – which isn’t to say that designers aren’t trying. Behold, the new line of “Liv” dolls targeted at girls age 6 to 10.
While aimed at the same audience as Barbie or Bratz, Spin Master's designers are attempting to brand the dolls as a realistic alternative to the two. To that end, every doll has a trademark physical flaw (though none that seem immediately noticeable).Continue reading...