Ph2007011202301 We'd read this piece a couple of months back and found it was interesting that automakers had been flooding the zone to promote new cars on Nickelodeon and Disney stations and sites, as well as placing product in virtual kid worlds like Whyville and inside Electronic Arts videogames. J.D. Power, in the Journal article, claimed that 62% of parents admit that their kids "actively participate" in car-buying decisions.

Still, we never put much stock in marketers' claims here. After all, even if automakers were targeting kids, that wouldn't affect us here at home, right? And then came the college bowl season and the NFL playoffs, rife with opportunity to bond with Small Fellow in front of the big screen as we sat through non-stop airings of the Dodge Ram/Rock'em-Sock'em Robots commercial. (You can see it on YouTube.) How often did this ad tun? According to the Washington Post, as often as five times during just one quarter of the college Bowl Championship Series. (Spoiler alert: Apparently a sequel will begin airing any day now. Might it feature Hungry Hungry Hippos? Dodge isn't saying. . .)

We're more nostalgic than most for the toys of our youth and we actually really liked this spot when we first saw it. Frankly, even after 50 or so views, we still find it amusing. Fellow, however, was quickly addicted. He refused to allow us to fast-forward through the ad when we replayed games we had DVR-ed. OK, we thought, he likes Rock'em-Sock'em Robots. No big deal. And then, after maybe his 25th viewing of the ad, he said it:

"Daddy, can we buy that car?"

DaimlerChrysler? Mission Accomplished.

January 31, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS


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