Insights in Plain Sight: Children

Observed:
Children are simultaneously overwhelming
and under-stimulating.

We stumbled upon a truism while reading this fascinating article from JSTOR: Yes, Smartphones are Destroying a Generation. Yes, it’s a click-bait-esqe headline, but the article is packed with insights.

What Might This Mean?

Finding an insight is often a combination of hard work, research and analysis. Sometimes it’s sheer, dumb luck. And this was one of those times. No mention about Millennials and their parenting styles or surface level handwaving about how difficult it is to be a parent. Just a simple truth that we all can recognize, whether we’re parents or not.

Applying the Insight:

Brands may be tempted to activate this insight by offering tools or messages that try to make children less overwhelming instead of more stimulating. The problem is that brands, just like advertisers and marketers, really shouldn’t be offering parenting advice if they’re not asked. The other problem is that parents already hire different products and services to address this issue, for instance, turning on the television or handing over a smart device to Junior.

We think Target nailed this with their Force Friday event:

Sure, it helps that Star Wars is a cultural touchstone that “binds that universe together” (Ed. Note: That’s a Star Wars joke written by one of our planners; we apologize.) For brands that don’t carry the cultural cache of Star Wars, it can be an uphill battle and, unfortunately, that strategy can’t be stumbled upon as easily as an insight.