Monday, March 20, 2006

Sponge Bob runny nose

Having a hard time getting kids to blow there noses? Sponge Bob has come swimming to the rescue. Now the facial tissues (or "family care") aisle feels a little more like the cereal aisle. Here, the contrast to the tissue boxes' normal swirls and flowers makes the licensed box stand out proudly on the shelf...and I'd bet that will have a healthy effect on sales.

The point? The influence of kids on purchases leaks into yet another grocery category. Watch for fresh fruits and vegetables to figure it out next.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Halloween: all grown up

There was a lot of bemused commentary at this year's Halloween Show, because among the Princess and Super Hero costumes with their padded muscles had appeared booth after booth of mini-skirted French maid costumes, bondage attire and platformed stilletos and fishnet hose.

It appears that the treats in store this October may be associated with tricks in a different sense of the word. If I had little kids I'd want to watch out for what pops up on the search engines when they enter "Halloween."

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

These boots are made for hopscotch

The most visible fashion on the Paris streets this season, is a landscape of boots in every
variety of coolness and chic-ness. At first, I noticed them on young women but, soon,
I saw that mothers and daughters were sporting the same styles.

The most prevalent, are knee-boots worn outside of skin-thin jeans. A
primary variation on that is the fold-over knee-boot. Kind of like "The
Three Musketeers".

Then comes the ankle-boot and the fold-over ankle boot. Often with a
3-inch heel (OK, not on the kids) , or with mouton fur on the part that folds out.

Very cool.

Other than that, you see variations on cowboy boots. Knee length, cowboy
length or ankle length. These are often adorned in multiple shades and
colors and plenty of leather-work

Most surprising, there are moccasins. But, bien sur, these are knee high,
including beads and leather tassels.

Could US girls be persuaded to shed their athletic shoes and Uggs?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kids' collections

Recent articles bemoaning kids' lack of interest in amassing stamps, coins and traditional collectibles have missed one surprising trend: Kid Say has unearthed ROCK collections.

Bob Reynolds showed me the results of Kid Say's kid panel's survey, which put rocks at the very top of all collections among tweens. A video of a girl's neatly organized cache in a see-through segmented box makes it clear that, today, rocks rock.

With the ongoing popularity of Neopets--can Neopet Rocks be far behind?

Friday, March 03, 2006

The difference between a girl, 15-16 and one 17-18

Mary Claude Mayer of Publicis Groupe says that French girls go quickly from dressing "like a boy" to discovering their femininity at about 14 or 15. Today, there's an explosion of sales of expensive lingerie to young girls, even ones who don't have boyfriends.

At 15-16 they're still behaving in ways intended to please others, or intended to reject others' styles and rules. At 17-18 the girls figure out who they are and begin to dress, think and act for themselves.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Looking at a magazine called "Krazy Club" in Simon & Schuster's offices in London yesterday, we (adults) felt blinded by the scramble of content on the page. But it has 10,000, hmm.. "readers" all used to absorbing visuals at a rapid rate. I've heard US ad agencies claim that if adults can absorb the content in a kids commercial it's too slow for children. .

Today, in Paris, I notice the same trend in the youth fashions.

Patterns over patterns, faux coffee sacks turned into T-shirts (numbers and words jumbled together) over ruffled skirts and everwhere display windows add one more item, long narrrow, knotted multi-color scarves.

In the US, I see socks over bright tights, and a pile-up of tanktops one over the other. Look up t-shirt surgery to see how this trend explodes into a profusion of teen creativity.