Tag Archives: nickelodeon

How to Make Patriotism a Good Business Strategy

With our Presidential campaign in full swing, Americans could easily begin to feel a bit leery of anyone waving the flag too hard, and rightly so.

However, it doesn’t take much for a marketer to do something patriotic, appropriate and (probably) profitable.  Here’s an example:

Cloudpets_offer

This is what you see when your kids watch Nickelodeon 16 hours per day

In the current jargon, CloudPets are connected stuffed animals.  As in, the toys have a wifi-enabled memory chip in them that allows a parent to record a brief message for his or her child on a cellphone and then have the child listen via the inbuilt speaker.  The DRTV spot shows a parent on a business trip recording a good night message on his phone that the child (happily, obviously) receives at home.

Notice the circled offer in the image above: free shipping for active-duty military.

Regular shipping and handling costs the buyer $6.99, which represents mostly profit for the seller.  The manufacturer can well afford to give away the cost for the relatively few military families who will take up the offer.  Saving seven bucks on a moderately-priced toy does not–and cannot–fully compensate the families of our armed services members, but it still represents a nice gesture.  It gives non-military families a sense that CloudPets has good priorities.  I couldn’t say that the offer drives incremental sales (perhaps they’ve tested it), but a little goodwill goes a long way.

At the same time, CloudPets deserves kudos for making the offer without making a huge deal about it.  They offer this simple, patriotic gesture without acting as if they had raised the flag on Iwo Jima.

Nicely done.

Retro Rant: Same as it Ever Was

File this one under la plus la change

Over two years ago, I wrote what became the most-viewed post on my old blog, Translinear: Silicon Valley Hates Children.  I wrote the post in about five minutes after the umpteenth time we got our ears blasted by a video on CNN.com because one of the kids had turned up the volume the last time he or she used it.  I took out my frustration on the tech industry:

These never-stop-working companies favor two types of people, the young or otherwise unencumbered who have no commitments as important as work or those who have commitments such as family but choose to push them aside in pursuit of a career.  In either case, you have a bunch of people designing products for a broad market with little to no understanding of the market’s needs.

Well, it happened again.  Recently, the missus and I decided to limit our kids’ screen time.  It took a few minutes on my son’s iMac, which has parental controls.  It acted a little wonky right after, but it was simple enough.

Then came my daughter’s Chromebook, a device designed as a secondary PC and a popular choice for kids.  You’d think their supervised user feature would have a time limit function.  Nope.

You can block sites.  Since my daughter lives on the Nickelodeon and Disney sites, however, I find that feature relatively useless.

In short, Google markets a device to families with kids without really meeting their needs.

So, my advice to Google’s product teams: go have some kids already.  Sheesh.