Saturday, June 30, 2007

Carnaby St, is baaack!

This month, teen girls in London floated by on ballet slippers, baring cleavage and ankles in their loose baby doll tops and colorful leggings.

What brought back thoughts of Beatles music for me, were the bright op art patterns and sleazy polyester fabrics. No wonder many moms sported the same look as their daughters.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Universal tweens

While in London, I visited a family in Hammersmith Barnes: 11-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister--lovely, sociable kids living with a single Anglo-Guyanese mother.

They were perfect tweens. The boy loved his Wii, the Simpsons, soccer stars, and Playstation.The girl loved her iPod, Ashlee Simpson, Brittany Spears, Jamelia and Hannah Montana.

I offered them an Edgar & Ellen "Rare Beasts" Book. The boy's eyes lighted up. "I LOVE them!" He said. He had found Edgar & Ellen's "Under Town" and "High Wire" in his school library.

Now I'm crossing my fingers that Edgar joins Bart in his heart. And that his mainstream tastes predict that the twins will catch the big tween wave.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Wii gets the table, Playstation gets the floor

In a tiny rowhouse in Hammersmith, a mother who works seven days a week has managed to provide her two kids with every digital necessity. The 11-year-old boy's Wii rules his room's most prominent corner. He even uses it to search the web, as his 12-year-old his sister begrudges him computer time. Of course, she never lets him touch her iPod or CD player, either.

Finally, he has a bargaining chip. Unlike the kicked-aside Playstation and his box turtle, this the first posession he owns that she covets.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Mums in hijab and headscarves

Again, my attention turned to big strollers this week on Oxford Street in London (this is partially because they were hard to navigate among the crowds).

Though I noted many strollers, I saw NONE being pushed by women who lacked a head-covering. This points to a clear direction for baby and kid product development--it faces Mecca.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wonk'd Out Room

Wonka promotions contain real kid trends and insights. Today, I noticed that they're offering "Build a Factory Room" online to win a cool room. Why it's on-trend: kids are taking control of their room decor--and kids relish designing environments on-line, too. This lets them do both.

Wonka's first insightful promo was "Wonkaaaah" The insight: for kids roller coasters provided a rite of passage--they tied the scream to the brand with boxes that screamed "Wonkaaah" to show you'd won. (Full disclosure, my previous team created that one).

Prediction: Next prize trend will be chances to glamorize rooms in kids' virtual worlds.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Many moneys

Kids (who don't have credit cards or checkbooks) have many creative ways to buy things in virtual worlds. Gaia offers Gold, Whyville offers Clams, NeoPets offers NeoPoints which kids (who don't have real world salaries) love earning and spending. In my favorite panel at Digital Hollywood this week, on microtransactions, the question was raised, "Will there be too many currencies? Will it become confusing?"

I'd say "no." People are used to multiple currencies. Think of Green Stamps, Box Tops for Education, Poker Chips, Frequent Flier miles, Frito-Lay Ploids...when it comes to money, for kids or adults, the more the merrier.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pop-up/Light-up cards and books

I heard oohing and aahing behind me today, and turned to see a detailed pop-up that featured glowing light sabers. No need to tell smart kids marketers what That property was.

This brought to mind the tendency toward maximalism that I wrote about in my first entry on this blog. A recent conversation with a greeting card manufacturer threw light on the subject, too. Effects that used to be too expensive are affordable now that manufacture is largely done in Asia.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Giant strollers

As I watched a Dad muscling a heavy stroller into the backseat of an SUV, I thought of all the strollers-wrestling I see in airport jetways. Parents need an iPod of strollers: light, compact, and tasteful.

Today's strollers are the equivalent of yesterday's boom boxes.

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