Marketing for children: to what extent is it right to engage a target of small consumers? What role can packaging play in helping to sell without taking advantage of easily influenced minds? Let’s talk this through with Packly.
Marketing for children. The topic is tricky and it has been addressed from many angles, for example in our previous post on the subject. Today we would like to talk about what packaging design can do to ensure a good commercial success of children’s products, through an ethical code compatible with the young age of the target audience.
An overview on the rules
Let’s start with some necessary foreword. Art. 11 of the Code of Conduct for Commercial Communication establishes that special care must be taken in the messages that are addressed to children and teens or that can be received by them. These messages must not contain anything that could harm them psychically, morally or physically and must also not abuse their natural credulity or lack of experience or their sense of loyalty. In particular, among other things, this commercial communication must not lead to:
- discredit the role of parents and other educators in providing valid dietary indications;
- adopt the habit of unbalanced eating behaviors;
- neglect the need to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Revolution comes from GDO
This is most likely the reason why Lidl, the notorious supermarket chain, has decided to remove cartoon characters from the packaging of its own branded baby foods, snacks, cereals, etc. Everyone happened to witness some angry children acting out because the parents did not want to buy this or that product on whose packaging there was Spiderman, Peppa Pig or Daniel Tiger. These foods do not necessarily meet the standards of proper nutrition for the little ones, but they do affect their decision-making process, attracting them thanks to familiar and desirable figures. So how could we create an impactful but ethically correct packaging design with respect to immature buyers?
The challenge of virtuous packaging
Let’s review some successful examples together.
We decided to start with some healthy snacks. Hare are some delicious snacks with chocolate and fruits having low sugar and calories intake. As you can see, the packaging focuses on a vivid and engaging use of color and on the images of the fruits that are the undisputed protagonists. There is some minimal illustration, some stylized emoticons, but there is no invasive makeup and no deception.
Still on the subject of snacks, we would like to feature a truly smart initiative. The attention is placed not so much on the product itself, but on the double function of the box which is a simple container and a game at the same time. Once opened, these boxes can be recycled as a fun activity of clipping and pop-up construction: a truly engaging and noble reason to choose them.
Now let’s turn to some superfoods: appetizing bundles with honey and apple filling. The packaging design disappears, there are realistic photos of the contents, natural colors, some sort of infographic with the history of the product and the ingredients and you’re done!
Now onto some good healthy tea. The idea here is to create two animal characters, with a colorful and funny touch and with special talents. We have the happy tiger and the cheerful crocodile, featured while they collect or bathe with fruits and boom: the attention of the children is caught. For the more imaginative parents, a story can also be created which will encourage the little ones to build a repeatable ritual.
Let’s move on to a good habit which is sometimes stressful for kids: that of brushing teeth after each meal. A good idea is to create this gift box containing toothbrush, toothpaste, rinse cup, sleepover kit etc. all in a koala theme. Will you help your big-eyed little friend fight the caries monsters? There is no better marketing for children, the answer is yes.
Last, but not least, pharmaceuticals. As beneficial and tasty as they may be, it is difficult to involve the little ones when it comes to taking syrups, herbal teas or suspensions. Megafyt Pharma comes to our aid with a nice greedy bear who very diligently drinks herbal teas and fruits in all formulations, until he falls asleep like an angel. He will not be a superhero or the protagonist of a trendy cartoon, but you can rest assured that he will accompany young patients on a journey towards well-being.
Do you have an offer aimed at a very young audience? Are you looking for a segment-friendly yet captivating marketing approach? Start with a targeted packaging design, complying with the latest guidelines on the subject. Packly can help you build a prototype test or even large-scale production, with no minimum quantities!