Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Channel M targets kiddie gyms for Hasbro/Playskool kiosks

There's something both alluring and decidedly sneaky about marketing to children out-of-home. Of course, the same could be said for marketing to them in home as well, as anybody who has ever watched even just a half hour of Saturday morning TV will tell you. But outside of the home environment, there other factors that come into play - including the powerful but unpredictable mom-will-do-anything-to-get-the-kid-to-stop-crying - that makes out-of-home marketing to kids quite interesting.

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so, too. According to this article at MediaPost, Channel M is installing interactive kiosks into 350 My Gym children's play centers with the goal of pushing Playskool and Hasbro products like Play-Doh:

Channel M has branded the cubbies and installed kiosks that display Hasbro's Play-Doh and Playskool products.

The agency bills the arrangement as an integrated partnership whose goal is to increase children's hand-eye coordination, dexterity, balance, and agility by joining Play-Doh products with select My Gym classes.

My Gym instructors include product samples for children ages 2 to 5, advancing kids' fine and gross motor, cognitive and sensory development, while playing with Play-Doh. And here you thought it was a toy.

In addition, children ages 3 and up who attend a birthday party at a My Gym Children's Fitness Center receive a booklet showing them how to make My Gym's mascot, Mymo the Monkey, out of Play-Doh. Parents can find a coupon in the booklet good toward Play-Doh's "Make 'n' Display" line of products.

Noting a correlation between Play-Doh use and manual dexterity is interesting, but I'd like to know how much that actually factored into the product/venue selection. I do think that the take-home booklet (undoubtedly filled with more soft marketing) is a great idea, though, since kids typically love those things, and any way of moving more brand messaging into the home (especially when the consumer takes it for themselves) must be viewed in a positive light by the manufacturers.

Tags: Channel M, interactive kiosks, retail marketing

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