Christmas and paper towels

So this is our first Christmas with two children.  Our youngest is 4 months old and the oldest is 4 years old.  It’s really easy to make Christmas special for a 4 month old.  Anything that will tolerate slobber and being dropped is sure to be a big hit.

Christmas for the 4-year-old has taken on a new meaning this year.  This is the first year that he actually told Santa what he wanted when he sat on his lap.  In year’s past he wasn’t quite sure what to think of Santa so he sat in silence when Santa asked for his list.  Not this year, when Santa asked what he’d like for Christmas he said “a jet and a car”.  I’m not sure either of those will fit in the sleigh or the budget.

I took our oldest son to the Rotary Christmas Dinner last week and my wife took advantage of him being out of the house to wrap Christmas gifts.  The next morning while brushing my teeth my son ran into the bathroom and said “Dad, look what I got!”.  He had unwrapped one of the presents that magically appeared under the tree with his name on it.  To say he was disappointed that he had to put the present back until Christmas is an understatement.

Our son doesn’t watch a lot of TV but I’m beginning to be concerned that when he does he only watches the commercials.  Every seven minutes while watching TV I’ll hear him yell “Dad, come here, you gotta see this”.  I’m thinking there’s an announcement of national importance on TV or that Mickey Mouse just fell off a cliff.  Nope, it’s a commercial about the “coolest toy ever made – EVER!”

I’m a firm believer that commercials and marketing works on 4 year olds.  Just a couple of weeks ago I took my son to the store to buy paper towels.  On the way into the store I told him we were shopping for paper towels.  If I don’t tell him exactly why we’re there we tend to stop every third step to look at the “coolest toy ever made – EVER”.  As soon as I told him we were shopping for paper towels he said “OK Dad, we have to get Sparkle”.  I didn’t think much about it and I really didn’t think he knew what he was talking about, I mean after all, I’ve never heard of Sparkle Paper Towels so I said “OK”. 

We made our way to the paper towel isle where he abruptly stopped and said “look, Sparkle, those are the ones you need to get”.  Sure enough, there is such a brand as Sparkle and he identified them even though he can’t read.  I asked him how he knew about Sparkle Paper Towels and he told me “I saw them on TV”.

Marketing to 4 year olds works and when done right Dad ends up buying the “coolest paper towels ever made – EVER”…

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
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