March 7, 2007

Gandhigiri Meets Pester Power

Posted by Bizaholic | 9:52 PM | with 0 comments »

Kid: Mom, I want that toy air-plane
Mom: No, you have so many toys. No more.
Kid: (Plants a kiss on her mom’s cheek and smiles) Mom, just one more please.
Mom: (Frowns) No, my dear son. Let’s go.
Kid: (Plants one more kiss on her other cheek and smiles) My sweet mom, please get me this one. I will grow up to be an ace pilot.
Mom: (Some sense of pride on face) But you have so many toys
Kid: (Plants a kiss on her forehead and smiles) But to become a pilot I need an air-plane, mom. Of course, I will also need to study hard.
(Smiles again and hugs his mom)
Mom: (Sparkle and emotion on her face) You, my naughty son (plants a kiss on his cheek and hugs him) so my little boy is going to be a pilot. So sweet. I will buy you this air-plane but you will have to promise me that you would study well.
Kid: (Plants a kiss on cheek and smiles) Of course mom.
Moral of the story: If you want your mom to buy you something, smile kar ke binamrata se bahut saare kisses dene ka hai, bahut saare hugs dene ka hai, aur tab tak dete rahne ka hai jab tak mom maan na jaye...lage raho baba log!

Creative sparks come at the most unexpected of times. Today, while coming back from work, I suddenly started wondering about what would happen if Gandhigiri met pester power of kids. Kids are an important as well as lucrative market for marketers. But as with any other consumer market, kids market has also become cluttered. To rise above this clutter, something very innovative is required. Considering the attention span of an average kid and her instantaneous judgment about what she likes or dislikes, the task of a marketer becomes tougher. And here, I have a gut feeling that if marketers incorporate Gandhigiri based pester power in their brand communication, something miraculous could happen – something where the kid gets what she wants, the parent is happy with her Gandhian well-behaved kid, and the marketer is happy with a fat bank balance!

Pester power is often based on the brashness of kids, their persistent and public display of unruly behaviour, often to the embarrassment of parents, to get what they want. This is irritating for parents most of the times. What marketers could aim for is to transform pester power from something unruly to something polite yet influential, with lots of fun moments, both for kids and the parents. Brand communication could aim at transformation of kids’ behaviour from undisciplined pester power to a seemingly responsible pester power. And this could be done with a dash of Gandhigiri elements- politeness, love, persistence.

In this strategy of “Gandhigiri meets pester power”, marketers need to focus on following aspects to influence the behaviour of kids towards polite pestering, which is more influencing and less offending to parents.
  1. Show the kid as a polite stubborn and not as a brat
  2. Focus on the innocence of politeness of the kids
  3. Show how the polite persistence ultimately melts the parent’s heart.
  4. Show the kid as a responsible and knowledgeable kid.
  5. Bring in the fun element.
  6. Show how Gandhian pestering brings about a happy ending with a smile of the face of both the kid and the parent.
  7. Give the message to kids that Gandhian pestering is much more influential and effective than rona-dhona (whining) kind of pestering.
In the process, apart from boosting sales, the marketers may end up doing some social good as well in the form of teaching politeness and Gandhigiri to an entire generation. No one knows when and how something reaches tipping point and gains entry into mass consciousness. Revival of Gandhigiri through kids, thanks to the shrewd marketers, may become the next big revolution!!