The new marketing opportunity – unborn children

[Post from guest blogger David Nichols, my partner at the brandgym, and author of Return on Ideas: A practical guide to making innovation pay]

I like to keep on top of the latest trends. They can be a great stimulus for idea creation. Reinier Evers at Trendwatching is a good way to stay informed of the latest happenings. And his latest monthly trend report for November is a real eye-opener.

After Gen X and Gen Y we now have…..Gen Z – children born after April
1, 2006. It seems that brand brand preferences of toddlers can be
correlated back to in-womb experiences. As the report says:

"A Swiss study has found that when
sufficiently exposed to child-friendly brand jingles, tunes and spoken
messages during pregnancy, up to 77% of all newborns not only recognize
these brand markers, but develop a brand preference that could last
until puberty, and probably into adulthood."


The starting date of Gen Z (April 1, 2006) may give you a clue that this is a spoof. But a good one eh? And, god forbid, there probably really is someone researching this…

This over-the-top spoof got me thinking about the bigger issue of what might be called
"counter-marketing" campaigns. In a world where consumers are becoming
over-loaded with conventional messages urging them to buy, grabbing attention is harder and harder with regular ads. Quite a few
brands are now telling people not to use them, in the hope that this
provokes a mini rebellion and increased sales.

We’ve had Yorkie chocolate bars saying its "Not for
girls!" (result, increased sales, including, you’ve
guessed it, more use by girls). We’ve had Marmite telling us people "Love it or hate it", and showing in an advert one of the haters spitting it out. And as the Xmas season approaches we have drinks companies spending millions telling young people not to drink too much 😉

What next? Asda/Walmart telling us  to "Eat less at Xmas"?!