Cradle to Grave Advertising

Posted by Flux on 

30 July 2012

What’s trending now?

Cradle to grave advertising to an unconventionally young market.

Although the advertising concept itself is not new, the current market targets an untraditionally young audience that deviates from its primary consumer demographics.  The phenomenon aims to capture consumers from youth in order to increase the likelihood of brand loyalty into adulthood.

Companies now finally realize what McDonalds and Disney always knew – that it is easier to build a customer of life time loyalty early than to switch their preference later in life.

Why it’s important 

As companies saturate their current target audience, they are forced to expand horizontally to build and capture a greater portfolio of client diversification. Brands with traditionally adult products are exploring the untapped market of the youth.

The children’s market can be thought of in 3 segments: the primary market, the influencing market and the future market. It has been suggested that the final market far exceeds the sum of the other two combined.

Surprising statistics have shown that children possess cognitive ability to recognize brands prior to reading. And a study, in a preschool sample pool of 38 participants, revealed that 80% of the participants between the ages of 3 – 5 years old recognized the Toyota logo and 53% were cognizant of Shell and its association with car and petrol.

The rapid increase and accessibility of technology has been instrumental in the development and fast spread of this strategic practice. The interactive features incorporated in the digital campaigns are far more captivating than traditional television and print ads. And since parents have lower level of control over web browsing, children are more susceptible and vulnerable to these marketing schemes. Not only do digital advertisements have a high level of customization, it is also more cost effective in reaching specific demographic groups. Thus, becoming an appealing marketing option for companies to adopt.

What’s the butterfly effect

Adult marketing campaigns are now evolving to include a greater demographic landscape. Corporate vision are not only going younger, but setting their mission statements to serve customers from cradle to grave. They are thinking outside the box and plotting beyond their immediate consumers to claim brand significant over competing groups.

Certain European countries are already stepping in to regulate advertisements to children under the age of 12. Since it is difficult for a younger audience to differentiate between fact and exaggerated truth, parents are validated in their concern over these marketing propagandas. As companies continue to explore this new consumer group, it is worth taking note of impending regulations that is likely to be imposed.

The pioneers

Volkswagen left a memorable mark on America advertising prime during the 2011 super bowl commercials. Defying predictability of a car driven through breathtaking views, the advertisement follows a kid dressed in Star Wars costume through a series of events and being eventually mesmerized by the family VW station wagon. It is an ad that has mutual appeal to the adult generation grew up watching Star Wars, as well as the children’s sector who can relate to the commercial’s character. A succinct example that covers cradle to grave demographics in building its brand awareness.

With increasingly affluent Chinese parents educating their kids overseas, American Airline saw the potential to tap into the cradle to grave customer by launching an overseas student information exchange blog.  Once these kids graduate and proceed to become the top percentile earners in the country and continue to travel for business or leisure, they will remember the airline brand as one that jumpstarted their career and adventure.

Elite luxury brand Oscar de la Renta reinvented its image to a younger audience with its famed Oscarprgirl, Erica Bearman, at its marketing helm. Through youthful social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, de la Renta built an avid following and created a web of fantasy for a large crowd of future consumers.

Some brands have gone as far as creating specifically junior products to entice their consumers. Sports illustrated launched Sports Illustrated kids. And visa cards now offer simulation credit cards in the form of debit card marketed as a way to cultivate credit management.

The global hot spots?

Both mature markets such as the United States and rapidly expanding developing markets like China.

By: Carol Lin


About Carol


Born into the world of fashion retail, Carol is an aficionado of all things in vogue. The cat-feeding, online-shopping, TED enthusiast is often spotted checking-in, instagramming and obsessively pinning. A decade of retail industry experience from commercial to luxury provides an insiders zeitgeist. And her consuming Fear of Missing Out keeps her in check of all real time up to date trends.


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