Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Marketing thought of the day: Talk to the Moose

I've seen this Gap commercial on enough different channels now that I'm guessing you've seen it already, too (and, like me, may even be crying "enough!")

While as a parent I can't condone trying to incite kids to whine for new clothes, toys, or games, as a marketer, it's a tried-and-true tactic, and my guess is it will be rather successful for them.  

When he spoke at the IOD conference, Malcolm Gladwell reminded us how kids can be the biggest advocates for change by relating how the US government finally got us stubborn Americans to wear seatbelts.  After years of public service announcements and failed attempts at legislating seatbelt requirements for grownups, they went in through the back door - literally.  

In the 1980s, seatbelt advocates switched tactics, passing legislation requiring car seats for infants and toddlers (a politically hard position to oppose), and you can bet that if day in and day out you have to seatbelt your toddler in, it won't be long before they're asking why they have to wear a seatbelt for safety but you don't.  Sure enough, over the course of just 3 years, seatbelt use by adults in the US went from 20% to 75%.

So you may cringe when your 8 year old walks up and says "Forget those frilly dresses," but my guess is it'll be effective.  Talking to the moose only goes so far.