Kids and Advertising: How Childlike Honesty Can Help Your Business

By | April 15, 2013

If you want an honest answer – ask kids.

Trust me, as a mom of three teenagers, I know!

I’m loving the recent AT&T commercials using kids to make simple points about universal principles that we can all believe in.

When asked the most basic of questions, kids’ stream of consciousness comments are astonishingly funny, memorable, and creative.

Kids’ self-confidence soars off the charts when asked a question or their opinion about something. They are happy to share with you what they’re really good at and are constantly telling you to “look at me.”

BBDO, the ad agency behind the currently popular “Bigger, Faster, More” ad campaign, has mastered the art of posing a simple question that warrants a simple response, all the while keeping the viewer’s attention.

There is no product pitch that ever enters into the mix.  At the same time, their unique selling proposition addresses what people want more of in their wireless internet and phone provider:  Bigger coverage, Faster Service, and just more in general.

How are you communicating to your clients?

Are you articulating your message in a simple, straightforward, yet memorable way to your target market?

Recently, I’ve been paying more attention to other small businesses and the ways they market themselves. Since they don’t have the big advertising budgets that AT&T might have, they market primarily on-line, which is often cheaper. To do so, you must get clear on a few things.

Three Things Small Businesses Are Clear On:

1. Who their ideal target market is
2. What specific results these clients will receive as a result of working with them
3. Where and when their service is useful to the customer

The one thing that consistently remains “missing” from these meetings is the “how.” Because the “how” is the trade secret that people want from you.  This is why they’re willing to pay you, sometimes handsomely, for what you offer and the results you provide.

My suggestion would to be to run your unique marketing campaign by someone under the age of 11 and see if they understand the importance of the value you bring.  Chances are, if they can understand and articulate what you do and what you deliver, your message is getting clearer.

Or at lease think of kids understanding your message as you write your campaign.

With the exception of the adult male actor and comedian, Beck Bennett, AT&T primarily uses non-actors to drive the point home that wanting better, faster, and more service isn’t “complicated.”

Why not ask some of your most satisfied customers to provide their honest opinion about what they receive by working with your business? If you market to kids, even better. You might want to let the cameras role as you get their honest opinions about you and your business.

Hmmm . . . I wonder if we could use kids to act as our own spokespeople and post to YouTube. Perhaps we should ask them to enter the boardrooms of some Fortune 500 companies, along with our own small businesses as well.

Clearly, AT&T is on to something here.