Children must be a marketer’s dream come true. They soak knowledge up like sponges. That knowledge includes brand names and messages.
I’ve always been amused – and slightly disturbed – by the fact that Emma could recognize so many brands at such a young age. I remember, for example, driving down 405 one afternoon just before she turned two and she pointed at a truck passing by and said, “That’s Ralph’s, Daddy!”
Emma doesn’t like pink lemonade – she likes Poppin’ Pink. We don’t go to the grocery store – we go to Trader Joe’s. We don’t play games – we play Xbox (and Burnout by EA, to boot!) Pavillions, Target, Pier 1, Pottery Barn (Kids, no less) and on and on and on.
The culmination of all of this came the other night as we struggled through yet another cold. (I had it, too, of course. We’re hardcore BIDS sufferers in this house.)
Emma woke at about 1 AM on the eve of Sam’s birthday party and tottered down the hall. She appeared at the door of our bedroom, bleary eyed, and pronounced:
“Mommy, I’m sick. I need some Tylenol.”
Not medicine – Tylenol.
Somewhere, in their dreams, there was a Tylenol marketing manager smiling.
Next trip to Pavillions… err, I mean, the grocery store, I made a point of buying the store brand ($3.96) instead of Tylenol ($8.97). I felt guilty, as if I didn’t love my child enough to by her the real stuff. That was tempered by feeling like I was striking back at the evil marketeers.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to grab a Kleenex and blow my nose.