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Geppetto puts brand cool to the kid test

IN an effort to give marketers more lead time to act on shifts in brand cool momentum, The Geppetto Group has launched its first bi-annual Brand (In)dex Report. A test group of 300 kids ages eight to 10 (150 boys and 150 girls) were recruited for an on-line study designed to measure a brand's coolness on two levels: its current status with kids compared to the competition, and how cool it's likely to be in the future. Kids were asked to rate the three top brands in each of 10 product categories, and then assess all 30 brands individually to measure whether each one was getting cooler, getting less cool, or staying the same.
November 22, 2002

In an effort to give marketers more lead time to act on shifts in brand cool momentum, The Geppetto Group has launched its first bi-annual Brand (In)dex Report. A test group of 300 kids ages eight to 10 (150 boys and 150 girls) were recruited for an on-line study designed to measure a brand’s coolness on two levels: its current status with kids compared to the competition, and how cool it’s likely to be in the future. Kids were asked to rate the three top brands in each of 10 product categories, and then assess all 30 brands individually to measure whether each one was getting cooler, getting less cool, or staying the same.

The big winner was Lunchables, which registered the most significant dominance over its portable meal category mates Hot Pockets and Bagel Bites with 70% of kids deeming it the ‘coolest.’ According to Geppetto’s chief creative officer Rachel Geller, this indicates that there’s room in that market for another competitor, although a fledgling brand will have to work pretty hard to touch Lunchables, which also posted 5.2 times the brand momentum of its competitors.

Similarly, the study shows that Nike has a solid lock on ‘best sports brand’ status, with 71% of the study’s participants giving it the nod. Reebok and Adidas, meanwhile, posted big numbers on the ‘getting less cool’ index, so those brands’ marketers will have to kick into high gear on the kid front.

In the world of fast food, McDonald’s dominates now with 53% of the ‘coolest’ vote, but Burger King scored higher on the momentum scale, which could signal an important paradigm shift in the future.

The study upheld Nickelodeon’s claim about being number-one with kids, with 46% of the field putting it slightly above Cartoon Network (38%). However, Cartoon is definitely giving Nick a run for its money, and the two nets were pretty much equal in the momentum results.

Pepsi had a slight edge over Coke on the soft drink front, while Gatorade was the clear non-carbonated winner over Kool-Aid and Minute Maid Juice Coolers. PlayStation dominated the video game category, M&M’s chalked up the highest brand momentum level in the entire survey, and after just a year at market, Lego’s Bionicles bested action figure rivals X-Men and G.I. Joe.

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