Jenerosity Marketing


Are Adults Going Crazy For Their Favorite Childhood Brands?

Most people in the licensing or promotions business will concur that there isn’t much out there that is truly “new” these days. Everything is either a rehash or a sequel. And while something truly different, like Frozen, may reap tremendous rewards, a brand from our youth might be just what the doctor ordered. Earlier this year, I read about Cinderella-inspired make-up and designer glass slippers. In February, Crayola introduced a partnership with Bloomingdale’s that included woman’s designer dresses fashioned in Crayola colors. I know as many adults who loved The Lego Movie as kids, resulting in a top 100, all-time domestic ranking. And let’s not even talk about Transformers.

So, what does all of this say to us as marketers? To me, it says that we are capitalizing on adults’ penchant for nostalgia and raking in the big bucks. When I was at Avon over a decade ago, Holly Hobbie, Popples, and Care Bears were all getting updated and re-launched. The big difference at that time was that they were being refreshed to appeal to kids in a new era.

Now, we see companies re-introducing nostalgic brands with the goal of appealing to mom and dad as well. At first, this might seem a little strange, but on closer inspection, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Here’s why: For one, adults like to have fun too. Seeing brands that they love from their childhood might make them feel young again. It might also inspire them to want to introduce the brand to their children if they haven’t already.

Time moves so quickly; if we are able to recapture some of our childhood, even if just for a little while, why shouldn’t we? For the kids, they get to bond with their parents over something that their mom or dad loved when they were “their age.” This could bring them closer and open a wider window for a child into their parent’s life.

And for the marketer, obviously, they have the benefit of an expanded audience and more potential profit. To me, this seems like a win-win-win all around. Perhaps this is something to remember when we whine about there not being anything fresh and different in the market.

Maria Bertrand