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What Kids Said

Ever wonder what kids really think of spots and promos outside of focus group confines? KidScreen turned to Strottman's Kid Engineers to find out. Twenty-nine kids ages six to 14 assessed the same spot and promo shortlists as our esteemed Golden Marbles judges, after Strottman kid-ified the criteria.
October 1, 2002

Ever wonder what kids really think of spots and promos outside of focus group confines? KidScreen turned to Strottman’s Kid Engineers to find out. Twenty-nine kids ages six to 14 assessed the same spot and promo shortlists as our esteemed Golden Marbles judges, after Strottman kid-ified the criteria.

The Engineers were asked to evaluate each spot based on purchase intent and entertainment value. For promos, the most important measure was whether kids would participate. Read on for a kid evaluation of our 2002 Golden Marbles field.

Kid Engineer Top 10 Spot Picks

Today’s kids are a media-savvy bunch. Often cynical in their know-ledge that ads are designed to get them to open their wallets, they nonetheless accept that fact and relish a creative spot – whether it was intended for them or not. So it’s not surprising that five of the seven spots disqualified by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) popped up on the Engineers’ Top 10 list.

While Blockbuster’s ‘Chet Interview’ was the clear winner with kids for its humorous portrayal of a slovenly video game trainer, the spot violates a CARU guideline urging advertisers to ‘capitalize on the potential of advertising to influence behavior by developing advertising that, wherever possible, addresses itself to positive and beneficial social behavior…’

Strottman’s Kid Engineers saw eye-to-eye with our Golden Marbles judges on the merits of three spots – Saatchi & Saatchi’s ‘Lizard Love,’ Leo Burnett’s ‘Vacation Advanced’ and KidCom’s ‘Bobblehead Skateboard.’

1. Chet Interview – Blockbuster: ‘I love this commercial – it is so funny. Let’s see it again.’

2. Bobblehead Skateboard – MDH Target Market: ‘It set a good example [not smoking], but at the same time, it was so funny you paid attention to it.’

3. Waiting Room – Nintendo

4. Space Voyage – Go-Stix: ‘This was a great commercial – they should do more like that.’

5. Horrible Accident – Corn Pops: ‘It was so stupid it was funny.’

6. Lizard Love – Fruit-by-the-Foot: ‘That lizard loving that kid was funny.’

7. Vacation Advanced – Nintendo

8. The Cube – Nintendo

9. Special Moves – Nintendo: ‘I liked it because the bully got beat up.’

10. Pushing – Nickelodeon

Kid Engineer Top 10 Promo Picks

Humor and familiarity with the product or character were two main attention-grabbers for the Engineers as they judged our promo shortlist, with the big media-driven programs coming out on top. The power of Nickelodeon’s kid programming connection earned it three spots on the kids’ Top 10.

Says Tom Wong, Strottman senior VP of strategic insights and entertainment marketing: ‘On sweepstakes programs, the Kid Engineers were acutely aware of, and surprisingly analytical of what prizes they’d want, and by implication, which programs they’d participate in. They understood the relative value of prizes, but also discussed intangible benefits such as ‘I’d be really popular if I won Nick for my school.”

On the promo side, the Engineers concurred with our promo judges on five of their picks for Top 10 Kid Promotions – Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius – the Movie, Shrek Theatrical, Shrek It Out, Play with a Pro and Nick Takes Over Your School.

1. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius – The Movie – Nickelodeon: ‘I could enter on my computer and win. I didn’t need to buy anything.’

2. Clockstoppers Global Give-Away Sweepstakes – Nickelodeon: ‘This was the best because the private jet would be cool.’

3. Play with a Pro – Lunchbox Marketing for Humongous Entertainment

4. YTV Animated – YTV

5. Shrek Theatrical – DreamWorks: ‘You could get toys at Burger King and ice cream at Baskin-Robbins – how cool is that!’

6. Nick Takes Over Your School – Nickelodeon: ‘I remember this from last year, but a SlimeTime day at school is still a cool prize.’

7. Shrek-it-Out – Norm Marshall for Baskin-Robbins: ‘The Donkey character is my favorite, and turning blue is cool.’

8. Geoffrey’s Ultimate Birthday Sweepstakes – Leo Burnett for Toys ‘R’ Us: ‘I love Toys ‘R’ Us and I would like lots of money.’

9. Gotta Have My Pops – Starcom for Kellogg

10. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese/Monsters Inc. – 141 Communicator for Kraft

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