What About The Little Ones
Anyone who has kids knows the power of a toy commercial. Once a kid sees what they really want, they don't stop until they get it. This is why a lot of the marketing for children’s products is tailored right to the children. It makes sense. Make the kid want it enough to bug mom and dad until they fork up the money. This works with more than just toys, too. In many households, kids are at the forefront of a lot of family decisions, including where to eat, where to shop and where to go for family outings. If the baby’s unhappy, everyone is unhappy.
Just like with any demographic, though, it is important to follow the generational changes and trends. In today's society, most young children have millennial parents and as we can see all around us millennials tend to do things a bit different than their baby boomer and gen x predecessors. Parenting is no different.
Where most boomers were child-oriented and overly involved, millennial moms and dads are more focused on the family as a whole, making everyone happy and finding things to do together that everyone can enjoy.
What does this mean for marketing? It means that instead of relying on pestering and tantrums to convince mom and dad to buy the newest toy, try ads that target the parents as well as the children. Show parents having fun with their child and sell an experience rather than a product. Millennials have also all but done away with the gender roles of the past. Families look a bit different now. Mom no longer does most of the cooking cleaning while dad brings home the bacon. In fact, a lot of households aren't mom, dad, and children anymore. There are much more single-parent families as well as same-gender parents. We've already seen a boost in ads reflecting these changes and although there is still resistance in this area, if it's parents of young children you're looking to hook, you'll find much more good reception than bad amongst the millennials.
No matter what a family looks like, it is likely that it no longer contains a stay at home parent. While there are still successful full-time parents out there, the reality is that most families rely on two incomes or don't have two parents in the picture at all. For these families it is usually going to go all the time and just like the millennials they are, they're always looking for tools and gadgets to make the go easier. This is another way marketers can successfully reach children and parents. If the product is seen as useful for a fast-paced home, it just may get more attention. Anything that promotes the super parent mentality, the mom or dad that can do it all and keep it all together, is bound to get attention from millennial parents and even young Gen Xers.
Altogether it is safe to say that the mentality of everything is about the children is slowly coming to an end. The new trend is that everyone can have what they want. Parents can have their alone time and their quality time. Marketing that reflects this new mentality, such as board game commercials showing all ages laughing together or theme parks or other establishments giving family discounts or other family-oriented promotions, is the way to go moving forward. If mom and dad can have just as good a time as all the kids, then everyone is truly happy.