When marketers work from home while schools are closed because of the coronavirus, every day is take your child to work day! Keeping kids entertained during a single snow day can be a challenge; now some parents are finding themselves having to homeschool or at least supervise children while also making sure that their own work gets done.
Instead of throwing on Frozen II for the tenth time this week, how about bringing them into your world with some fun marketing lessons and activities? Here are some suggestions to help keep kids entertained and engaged (though based on your kids, you may need to modify these lessons a bit to make them more age-appropriate).
The 4 Ps of Marketing
Teach your kids about the 4 Ps of Marketing (Product, Price, Promotion and Place). Have them choose an item in the house to be their product, then ask them to fill in the other Ps with relevant information.
If they choose a toy, for example, have them come up with how much they think it should cost. Ask them how they might want to advertise for this toy (on television, on YouTube, online, etc.) and what would those ads say? Finally, ask them about where they would sell this product to get the most sales.
How do these answers differ when the product is something completely different, like cereal or sneakers? Once they get the hang of it, or they are looking for more of a challenge, ask them to invent a brand new product and go from there.
Want to play along at home?
Talk to your kids about logos and their purpose in helping people identify a brand just by a single image. Are they able to think of any logos? What makes them memorable? Why do they think the marketers chose to go with this logo instead of a different one? What do you think the colors or the shapes are supposed to make people feel when they see them?
How many of these familiar logos can your kids recognize?
Have your kids pretend that THEY are a new brand or company (or work together with your family acting as the brand). Give them art supplies and tell them that they will need to design their own logo.
When marketers create a new logo, they will come up with different versions and then look at them together to decide which one is best. Have them do the same. Put their finished logo art work on their bedroom door – voila! Their bedroom is now their company headquarters.
Get ready to create something awesome!
Kids love making movies. If they have their own phone or tablet, they probably have already made quite a few. Use YouTube to find examples of commercials (or check out our video portfolio page) and explain how commercials can teach people about products by telling a story. They may not know how much work goes into making a video, especially if the commercials they’re used to seeing are only a few seconds long.
Have your kids choose a product they want to advertise. It can be something around the house, or something they made up. Then have them write a script and get everything ready to film. If they are able to, have them create a storyboard of the different shots they will need. Then film it and watch the finished product together. If you’re able to do some extra editing to add in music or other effects, that will only make it more fun.
If you do make a commercial with your kids, be sure to share it on social media and tag us! We would love to see what your little marketers come up with.
Are You a Good Marketer, or a Bad Marketer?
While you’re having these conversations with your kids, this may be a good time to mention that not all advertisements can be trusted. Marketing’s goal is to help people sell more stuff. Good marketing identifies the right audience of people who would want or need that stuff, then advertise to them to let them know it exists and where to buy it. Bad marketing can be a bit trickier or deceptive, so you’ll want to foster critical thinking in your kids so they don’t blindly believe or accept everything they see.
Software like Photoshop can make things even more confusing because it can make the impossible look real. Adobe has its own online quiz for kids that can help them test their powers of observation. Take the Quiz.
Microtransactions are another subject that they are likely already familiar with, especially if they play games online. Teach them that this is a deliberate business strategy, and that games today are often designed to eventually and purposefully become too hard to play unless you pay to upgrade. Ask them their opinion on this strategy, and whether they think it’s fair to gamers (or their parents).
Future Marketers at Work!
During these uncertain and unpredictable times, it’s important to give kids some stability and help them stay engaged while they aren’t in their normal learning environment. We hope that you and your kids have a lot of fun with these activities. If they’re not ready to be a master marketer yet, there’s always Frozen II.