Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Key to Kids and Healthy Products? Collaborate with a Licensed Character

Surely it will come as no surprise that a recent study found that children’s consumption goes hand in hand with effective merchandising, licensing and marketing (Yale University: Licensed Characters on Food Packaging Affect Kids’ Taste Preference, Snack Selections).

But onions? Sure enough, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article about Shrek’s recent promotion with Vidalia onions.

The anecdote about the three year-old who threw a fit until his mother dropped a bag full of onions into her shopping cart pretty much sums it up. What parent hasn’t been there before? Not with the onions, I mean. The toddler pitching a fit in the grocery store over a licensed character.

This same mom went home with her onions, chopped them up into a casserole and the tot gulped them down. “It was like a toy in a cereal box,” said the mom.

Now, I’m not advocating marketing to children merely for the sake of marketing, but when it comes to stuff that is “good” for kids but not always an easy sell (healthy foods, educational products, etc.) the challenge is always this: how can you make it as fun and rewarding as a toy inside a cereal box? Sure, of course you can partner with a box office hit like Shrek and sit back and watch your sales rise… or you could do something even more fun and engaging.

If Shrek can sell onions to kids, what can you do for your brand?

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