How Do Marketers Market to Kids Now That Aisle Browsing is a No Go
For years, brands have used the store aisles to get kids to say “I want” to their parents through touchable, pushable, squeezable, colorful eye candy. But with COVID, parents are now taking those all important shopping trips alone.
As a mom of 2 young children I can say confidently that I now dislike bringing my kids to the store. I want to get in and get out as quickly as possible and I want to touch as little as possible. Both of those things are near impossible to do with a 4 and 6 year old. So they stay home.
Browsing aimlessly down the aisles of Target used to be such a break and release. Now it’s become highly stressful and a hurried chore.
My kids are not experiencing toys the way they did 2 years ago. They see some ads on Hulu or on YouTube from time to time but basically if my husband and I don’t bring home a toy or they don’t hear about it at school, they don’t know what’s out there.
So with the aisle browsing option not an option, how do brands and marketers tell kids what to ask for?
Tickle Me Elmo
For those of you old enough to remember the Tickle Me Elmo craze of 1996, you know that they were FLYING off the shelf. People were spending an abhorrent amount of money to get that last one or to buy it off that guy who had just grabbed that last one. It was nuts.
The magic of that toy was in the power of touch marketing. Sesame Street relied on those ever important trips to Toys R’ Us to get children all around the world to say “I want”.
What if Tickle Me Elmo had come out last Christmas?
With the doll’s call to action being “tickle me” and no toy to tickle, would the same insane craze have happened?
Elmo’s creators didn’t have to pivot, but these days it is essential. How can we tap into the consumers psyche without having that priority sense available to us?
We are lacking that physical immersive experience we used to have. So how do we relate to our consumer?
The beauty of sensory marketing is that, when done right, it’s multi sensorial. This means that a brand is not just relating to its consumer through touch but also sight and sound and smell and taste. Obviously not all 5 are relevant to every scenario but the point is they are there available to be creative with.
Pre 2020, sensory marketing was starting to slowly be recognized but not fully actualized. Sure restaurants got it. They knew the power of taste paired with visual presentation. And of course toy manufacturers knew the importance of touch (i.e. the aisle browsing power I discussed earlier) but hardly any were actively acknowledging that more than one sense in the marketing process at a time meant something.
Now here we are. We are experiencing less in a social capacity. Those brands dependent on one form of presentation (say touch or smell or taste) are scrambling to become known via the digital world.
Trailblazing A New Perspective
Aisle browsing may not be what it was and it may never be again. No one knows for sure. But what is clear is that as the world turns and society and culture evolve, branding and marketing must evolve alongside.
We are sensorial creatures. Subconsciously, we expect our world to communicate with us through all of the five senses. Where one sense may be lacking, another sense can and will take up the slack.
If we can’t touch a toy, we try and relate to it sensorially through another perspective.
Your brand has a persona. And that persona has a faux sensorial perspective. Using the senses is as human as you can get. So explore those senses. All five of them and see what you can find.
Explore the senses. Your ROI will thank you.
If you are a brand and you are looking to create a sound experience or need a consultation on sound strategy, go to www.DreamrProductions.com and let’s chat.
Let’s make this world of sound more intriguing, more unique, and more and more on brand.