Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Inappropriate Marketing?

There are quite a few commercials on the air that annoy the heck out of me, like the Ally Bank commercials. I feel so bad for those kids (yes, I know they are actors), but I would never use Ally Bank specifically because of the commercials. I don't want to see ads that make me feel uncomfortable, so why would I use the bank that provides that discomfort and way too often?!?! Is that appropriate marketing for a "new" bank? Of course, that is another rub; it really isn't a new bank doing things differently, rather an old bank with new branding. But, that is an entirely separate issue.

On Sunday, my family piled the seven of us (my parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew and me) into a mini-van to visit my grandparents in Iowa. On the way home, the kids were hungry, so we stopped by McDonald's to get Happy Meals for them. In the car, they started talking about the toys and that they were big kid toys for the movie, Avatar. They asked me if I wanted them. I said if they didn't want them, they could give them to me. And, I didn't think anything about it, I just thought they didn't like the toys.

When we got home, my nephew asked about the toy, so I looked at it. It was an Avatar action figure. I said if he wanted to play with it, it was just an action figure. And, my sister-in-law commented that she didn't understand why McDonald's would put Avatar toys in Happy Meals because it was a PG-13 movie and Happy Meals are for kids. 

This got me to thinking about inappropriate marketing. Why would McDonald's put toys for a PG-13 movie in Happy Meals? Those are clearly for kids. Even if they were for Mighty Meals, those are targeted towards pre-teens.

How does your credit union target your youth accounts? Have you thought about what is and is not appropriate for different age groups? Do you give away Dum-Dum pops or do you stick with Saf-t-pops? Do you give away stickers? What type? Disney characters? Credit Union or money themed? Are Spongebob stickers acceptable?

Do you think McDonald's considered the movie rating when deciding to have Avatar toys in their kids' meals? Is it inappropriate marketing or not really a big deal?

1 comment:

  1. I think McDonald's purposely puts toys for PG-13 movies in the Happy Meals because they are banking on future revenue. If you are 8 years old and you have an Avatar action figure, chances are very good that you are going to ask Mom & Dad to purchase the picture book (with still shots from the movie) so you can get an idea of the movie's storyline. Then you're going to ask your parents for the Avatar video game. Then 4 or 5 years down the road you are going to rent or buy the DVD so you can watch the movie....